PART TEN The Archive and the Record: Memory, Obsession, the Discourse of the Miser and the Dustbin of History

“The Creation of the World did not happen once and for all—but happens every day.” Gone are the days when the quoted sentence could mean something like a liberation from the past: “The self I was yesterday is in the trash bin, today I must re-create myself anew.” The desire for self-recreation (the first quote) has become an ideological injunction (the second quote). It is the system of perpetual novelty, the system of “cultural capitalism” that compels subjects to constantly shift from one day to the next, from one paycheck to another, because the archived self that existed yesterday has already exhausted its potential for novelty today.

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