Categories
culture literature

My last words on 2020 from Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial

Oblivion. Death. The rites we practise to farewell the dead. What better themes to end 2020? This afternoon I have begun a reading plan for 2020 that incorporates listening to audio books, and in one afternoon I have completed, while talking a lunchtime walk and doing the pre-dinner dishes, the magnificent sentences of Thomas Browne’s […]

Categories
culture history

Fragile identities, fragile memories

It is justice which extracts from traumatizing remembrances their exemplary value, turns memory into a project, and it is this project of justice that gives the form of the future and of imperativeness to the duty of memory Paul Ricoeur Memory, History, Forgetting  Some years ago I was asked to prepare one of those profiles of myself that […]

Categories
history Personal story the real world today

From flashbacks to testimony – reflections on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Childhood Sexual Abuse

In September last year I delivered a paper to a conference sponsored by a major research centre on the history of emotions. It was a step away for me from the hidden bureaucrat who never speaks in public or who does not share the depth and range of his thoughts. Perhaps I hoped it might […]