[the following thought process is a bit odd, erratically considered and came as a surprise to me. a bit like the couch I found in a field once.]
Forgottenness is not – it seems – a word. Convinced Google was trying to beguile me I persevered with searching for a definition hidden amongst the rubble and falsehoods until, exempting an uncredited Wiktionary entry about its employ in Heideggerian writings, I saw there was naught to be found.
That left me stumped.
How can we not have a word which describes the place, or state, or vacuum which is filled with everything once known and now forgotten? I thought maybe I could build a fitting suggestion from the sum of its parts.
Obscurity is key. It’s the undrawn curtain before the opening number. It’s the sleight of hand which holds your attention just long enough for the secret, the answer, the true content to slip you by and leave you where you started: in obscurity.
Can we understand what we’ve forgotten? I don’t believe so. Let’s add nescience to the mix. “The doctrine that nothing is actually knowable” isn’t the goal here, but the accentuation of ignorance and lacking awareness. It blends wonderfully with obscurity. It also has the delightful quality of being such a tasty word: it starts at the bridge of the nose, takes a sharpness from the tongue and concludes slowly, with all the venom of an angry python.
So we can’t perceive it. We are really quite unaware of it. But conceptually speaking, can we even understand what it is for a memory, or a word, or an era to be forgotten? It’s unfathomable. Try it. Right now, try and remember something long forgotten. Even the idea boggles the mind (boggle – a superb word sadly not applicable to my efforts here) enough to make me uneasy.
Maybe the word exists and I just can’t find it. Perhaps I’ve forgotten it. Perhaps this is just the latest iteration of The Matrix and I’m doomed to repeat my search endlessly until it falls in to fathesciety.
If this post is found on a pen drive a thousand centuries from now will that be discovery, or should I be crafting myself an antonym…?