In Frédéric Beigbeder’s latest book, his characters asked:
‘Do you think that reading forgotten authors will reassure us of our random posterity?’
It may not reassure us, but it may comfort those who have been forgotten. The past is as random as the future. The only difference is that we achieve a relative mastery of the past, while the future remains indomitable. We cannot even ascertain its absolute advent.
The forgotten authors of the forgotten past are those who haven’t escaped the randomness of the past. Those who haven’t made the cut into the tidy hallways of memory and record.
It is our responsibility to push them into the room, to let their spillage challenge our presumption. The presumption to know and decide who’s to stay in and who’s to be forever out.
Forgotten authors are like unstable atomic molecules, forever at risk of fission and release of massive amounts of energy in unexpected moments. The forgotten works of forgotten authors are never really forgotten. Instead of sidelining those which don’t conform to the spirit of the age, we should invite them all to the table and start a conversation.
Only by recovering a plurality of lost voices and echoes can we stand a chance of refreshing the air of our present time.