A Resident of the World

Forgetting the Past

Berjanet Jazani

The question of “history” will be approached from two different perspectives in this paper: the
history as every individual’s description of their life and history as the history of the parlêtre
(Lacan, 1975). The former concerns any individual(s) in singular or collective form, while the
latter focuses on the particularity of each subject’s self-created history.

History includes all biographies as well as autobiographies, looking through the lenses of the
apparent reality of events and occurrences and the repetition of these events in a cyclical
format. Time within History is mathematically linear and the impact of socio-political events
on collective individuals’ lives is included in it. However, in subjective history, the question of
the eventuality of impact is seen from a different angle. This angle takes into consideration the
subject’s choice. The subject chooses to put happenings into perspective according to a certain
subjective arrangement. In this respect, subjective history is a testimony. The spatial and
temporal elements do not follow the rules of physics. In fact, subjective history finds meaning
in topology. It ignores the laws of predictability and it is differentiated from what is perceived
as cyclical repetition in history. The two conceptions of history outlined above follow
trajectories which run in parallel yet are not fully independent of one another. There will be
points of convergence – points from which the subject forms her/his testimony. Partly as a result
of History’s impacts, the subject tells her/his version of story/history. Continue reading…