Memory vs. History: On the Neverending Struggle to See Clearly Into the Past | Literary Hub

When people die young, it is often said that they are frozen in time. That while all their peers age and turn soft and grey, they will forever exist in photos and our minds just as they did in their last days. But I think there are people like River Phoenix, people who are so famous whose names roll off everyone’s tongues, people who, when they die, freeze even the time around them. We don’t all understand time the way historians do, and even they cannot control all of what we remember. Memory is inexplicable and selective, and nostalgia is strong. As the past collapses and scatters into something messier, less linear, we collectively remember only the road markers, the people and the things that cut the deepest.
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