Devy's Reflection On Memory And The Mind Of Memory
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In setting up the problematic, Devy implies that the Indian intellectual is a creature troubled by two doubles, the past as nostalgia and the present as development. By disfiguring and being disfigured by both, the thinker stands as a peculiar and pitiable creature. Steiner opines: Devy demands a double catharsis, insisting on creative therapies both for the past and the future for the present to become viable. It is like writing a drama twice, first, as a Greek tragedy with its sense of fate and second as a modern tragedy with its sense of choice. 7 (Steiner: 1963, 53)
Colonialism has a sense of Greek certainty possibly because of the past tense, while progress smacks of the modern, the possibility of choices. For Devy, both function within the logic of memory.
Devy’s work is a search for the mnemonic man. It is an attempt to transfer memory and the original culture of memory as part of intellectual life. The idea of memory has to be released from its present meaning, its controlled codes and its ended ecosystem of imitation and seen for what it once was a cultural theory of creativity. To remember is to summon a space and to invent more possibilities for it. Memory is not the Gutenberg memory of print where words are remembered by rote. Memory acquired the provinciality of print and became history or records. With print memory became mechanical, acquiring the qualities of cliché. No act of reading is possible without an alternative openness of memory.