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To Be Possessed By Current Events Is To Be Possessed By Oblivion


To be possessed by current events is to be possessed by oblivion. Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera, born on 1 April 1929 in Brno (Moravia), is a naturalized French Czech writer. He emigrated to France in 1975 and became a French citizen on 1 July 1981. He wrote his first books in Czech, but since 1993 he has used French exclusively.

Current events is a picture taken from the film that is history. This instantaneous, often emotional vision gives us an indication of the state of the world without, however, offering us the necessary hindsight to understand it. News is useful but it is not enough to develop our critical sense. It needs to be mixed with sources offering an overview to better appreciate the complexities of our society.

The modern era of journalistic communication is strongly influenced by the web that competes with it. The result is an unbridled race for ratings that is materialized by an overbid in the frequency of publication and in the sensational aspect of the content. To be possessed by current events is to let oneself be guided by one’s passions whether they are sad or joyful. There is no memory without intellect. Reason alone can operate the memory process. Without it, we are doomed to be possessed by oblivion, as Kundera asserts.

News should not be our only informational nourishment, otherwise we would be condemned to live with blinders obscuring collective memories. As a result, it is easy to manipulate the masses, provided they only think about the short time*.

Short time is opposed to long time (or long duration):

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