Oscar Wilde once said, “Memory is the diary we all carry about us,” while Tennessee Williams declared, “Life is all memory.”
All of us live with memories and reminiscences. Some memories are forgotten while others remain with us forever. Forgetting can be a blessing at times and remembering a cause for sadness. As Marcel Proust pointed out, the remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. Memories can become embellished or exaggerated.
Writers help us to rediscover forgotten memories and to forget unforgettable memories. In this sense, they are both a surgeon using a sharp scalpel for surgical operations and a physician healing a wound.
The 2016 Seoul International Writers’ Festival is a significant event where twenty-eight writers and poets gather to transform-the forgotten and the unforgettable- memories of the past into a hope for the future. As Guy de Maupassant said, “Our memory gives back life to those who no longer exist.”