At first glance, memory seems like such a concrete, indisputable thing. That something happens, and you remember it. The truth is, memory can be considered to be one of the most malleable elements of the human mind. We always see it in television shows, or movies. Where two different characters share the exact same experience, but their memories of it are completely different. This is because so many factors effect the way we remember things and in many cases, the way we choose to remember things. As Rosa Eberly’s addresses in her article “Everywhere You Go, It’s There”, one of these factors is media. In this article I will be discussing Eberly’s article and her ideas of memorialization of certain people/events, and comparing it to the novel “The Shakespeare Wars” by Ron Rosenbaum.
Eberly’s article explains both the shooting that occurred on the University of Texas campus in 1966, and the after math of the tragedy. She discusses the fact that the shooting has been memorialized in many ways and that many of them contradict each other. On the one hand, there are the people and organizations that want to memorialize the event by honoring and mourning the victims of the shooting. This seems like what most people would agree to be the most honorable thing to do. However, on the other hand, the University wants to memorialize the event by covering it up and pretending like it never occurred. They had buried the significance of the tower and tried to keep the students from making too much of a big deal about it. At one point in the article, Eberly references a class at UT called the “Tower Class” in which the study the shooting, and how even after many formal requests, they were not allowed to tour the tower for research. What it ends up coming down to though, is that the memory of the shooting has been manipulated and thus, allowing people the ability to memorize it differently.
The object I chose to relate to Eberly’s article is the novel “The Shakespeare Wars” written by Ron Rosenbaum. This book is an controversial, but surprisingly refreshing account of the memorialization of William Shakespeare. He begins the book by introducing the way in which the public sphere tends to memorialize Shakespeare: as the greatest playwright of all time who can be neither competed with nor disputed. At one point, he even references the commonly accepted idea that shakespeare invented human character. Rosenbaum then continues his book with the intention of busting these over-exagggerated idolization of shakespeare.
The truth is, no one alive in the past few centuries knew Shakespeare. So how can we trust anything that anyone says about him? Media, novels, so called facts could easily have been altered to go along with the composer of the source wants the public to believe. That idea is what Rosenbaum discusses in his novel. He introduces the fact that there are many different versions of Shakespeare’s plays, and that there are many representations of his personal character. That different people try to memorialize him in a certain way so that the public will see him in that light.
Rosenbaum’s novel can be directly related to Eberly’s article in that they both deal with the manipulation of public memory. They are both an account of how many sources can influence the way in which people remember something, whether they experienced it personally or not. Each work uses the evidence of media and how it effects the way people remember events, people, experiences.