!: Oral history seems to be especially important to ethnic groups. Le Goff explains that this term denotes primitivism and refers to people without writing. There is a commonly held conception that performance is not a legitimate means of remembering but rather a primitive, mythic act. Perhaps this is because performance challenges the dominant narratives of the western world, and it is therefore advantageous for archives to discredit performance as a legitimate means of remembering.
?: Why does the archive especially value the sameness of an original? Can’t we gain more insight by viewing multiple renditions and analyzing their differences? Is there not value in what remains and what is changed?
!: With the early killing of preeminent civil rights activists and the existence of official memorials, we tend to believe that America has recovered from its past. Lemon’s craft challenges this idea and works to construct the past. I find his idea that “any reckoning with the past must both be traumatic and incomplete” to be especially interesting (22).
?: Will we ever be able to monumentalize the past? Will the past ever be finished if all of our reckonings with it are incomplete?