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This article is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

A Close-up
On U, The Reader InOutside
Kyoo Lee
‘Never Forget’

‘NEVER FORGET,’ wrote the president of a country on this day, Tuesday 23 May 2017, in the guest book at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel he visited partly to feed his twitter followers: ‘IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO BE HERE WITH ALL OF MY FRIENDS – SO AMAZING AND WILL NEVER FORGET!’ (Silverstein).

What? Whether it is the Holocaust or the visit to the museum, the conspicuous absence of the textual object, grammatical and contextual, remains telling – resonating otherwise too. Something seems forgotten in the ‘never forget’, an often-cited historical imperative ‘willfully’ recycled into the speech-active superlative, a turn that sounds – and does – more like ‘forget about it’; besides, whose, who’s, forgetting, remembering this, whatever ‘it’ is? For whom does the bell toll for the eclipsed sobject (subject & object)?

Am I making this up? Reading it too closely? Reading something into it too much, too quickly? Or, in fact, will a closer reading help one understand ‘it’, the ‘thing’ circling away when circled around, this elusive loop of sobjective evacuation? This push & pull of a wondering mind at the door of reading, however unsettling or slight, seems at least to bring some stability to the wandering eye now riveted if rather distractingly.    

One thing for sure, somehow reading goes on or else must. I, for one, neither a friend nor a foe, am impelled, compelled, to read it… again; and again not necessarily an implied or a compliant reader, although potentially part of the ...


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