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Kancyper, L. (2017). Four kinds of memories in the works of Jorge Luis Borges. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 26(2):121-128.

(2017). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 26(2):121-128

Four kinds of memories in the works of Jorge Luis Borges

Luis Kancyper

The works of Jorge Luis Borges allow us to cast an original glance at certain psychodynamisms that play a part in the configuration of memory and oblivion. His work constitutes, in great measure, a denunciation as well as a plea: it denounces the “alienating power,” as it were, of the memory of previous generations, who tend to alienate individuals in the histories of others, histories unconnected to them that fatally retain them within a labyrinth closed to change. On the other hand, the works of Borges constitute a plea for the defence of a liberating memory for both individuals and peoples. Among the folds of the “changing shape of a memory made of oblivion” that Borges describes, the author discriminates four kinds of memories: the memory of rancor, the memory of horror, the memory of pain, and the memory of splendor. While the memories of rancor and of horror remain opposed to oblivion, to forgiveness, and to the work of mourning, the memories of pain and of splendor integrate the past into an affective restructuring and, at the same time, bring about the hard, slow, and intricate work of mourning.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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