u_top picture

From the Word Fugitives archive...

A conversion of memories

Please note: This page is a read-only archive of messages posted in the Word Fugitives conference of Post & Riposte.


TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 3) A conversion of memories (1 of 5), Read 103 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 09, 1998 02:04 PM

Gilbert J. Clark, of Calgary, Alberta, writes: "The German language apparently has a word for the concept that with the passage of time, unpleasant or frightful events become converted into pleasant memories. I have long been intrigued by this, though I don't know the German word. Can we invent an English word, or at least adopt the German one?"


I'm sure Gib is right that German has such a word. It is, after all, the language that came up with "Schadenfreude," for the pleasant feeling one can derive from a frightful event that has happened to someone else.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 3) A conversion of memories (2 of 5), Read 105 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Heidi Schroeder (zincats@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 09, 1998 10:21 PM

Well, it can't hurt to fool around a bit while we're waiting for someone to post the German term.

How 'bout FLIPTROSPECTIVE?

Or TRANSRECOLLECTION?

It *is* a fascinating concept. My brain is very good at performing this escapist magic!

-Heidi

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 3) A conversion of memories (3 of 5), Read 76 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Pete Saussy (saussygs@columb31.dhec.state.sc.us)
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 1998 03:27 PM

could you use TANNHAUSERISM?, which I'm guessing, was coined by Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow, for a love for that which causes terror?

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 3) A conversion of memories (4 of 5), Read 79 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Judy Lewis (emjclewis@earthlink.net)
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 1998 04:42 PM

I always called that "selective memory".

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 3) A conversion of memories (5 of 5), Read 78 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jason Taniguchi (jasont@ccp.ca)
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 1998 06:16 PM

From the Award-Winning Toronto Serial Diners Collective:

Many suggestions here, and I'm fond of many of them. One of my favourites is the suggestion that if you have converted frightful events into pleasant memories, you are experiencing "horrorstalgia". I like that idea so much, it deserves a paragraph break to set it off from our wackier suggestions.

Wackier suggestions: it could be called "yesteryuck"; or "postelectionism" (the previous government always looks better after the election that ousts them); or "disneyfication" (the process whereby true horror is transformed into horrifying pleasantness); or "the sixties". And since it was a German word that was being sought, we thought we should oblige and make sure that one of our suggestions was German. Thus we offer up "gichenlchtenkeit", which we made up, but which sounds almost authentic, nicht war?

There were also a variety of suggestions pertaining to the notion that older people often (or at least, stereotypically) put a pleasant and nostalgic sheen on the past, even as they emphasize how tough it was to live back then (frightful events being transformed into pleasant memories of frightful events). Thus we get "decamemories" (on the premise that ten years ago always seems better), "fogeyism", and the suggestion for which I really must apologize in advance, "Monty-Python's-bunch-of-weird-rich-guys-sitting-around-talking-about-how-poor-they-were-sketch-you-know-the-one-where-they-said-'We-used-to-DREAM-of-living-in-a-corridor'-ism". Notice we at least made it a noun. Did I mention that I really really liked "horrorstalgia"?


Return to the
Court Record index.

Return to the Word Fugitives main page.

Copyright © 1998 by The Atlantic Monthly Company.
Cover Atlantic Unbound The Atlantic Monthly Post & Riposte Atlantic Store Search