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Perception of time.

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9/20/2010 12:07:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
How do you imagine the communist era (if you don't remember it by yourself)?

I for example imagine it as a political system that lasted during a period of time and in a specific space. The concept i would like to analyse here is time. For as much as i might know the exact day the revolution took place, Lenine died and Strotsky (not sure i spelled the name right) was murdered, i have never had a good perception of that era.
Let me explain. Think of a moment in your childhood. You should imagine yourself watching a younger self, while still remembering what your senses sent to your brain at the time (pain, wind, noises, colours, smells). You should remember "Yeah, that was before our cat got a surgery and right after grandpa died." or something. You have an accute perception of time when it was lived by yourself.
Now think about something your parents told you about, or school. You might have a lot of data about it. For example world war 2. You can know the number of people who died, the shape of Hitler's mustache, when the Nuremberg law suits took place, etc... But when it come to time... It can only fit in an artificial timeline. You have no accute perception of time when it comes to historical events (well at least I don't). It was in the middle of the 20th century. But you can't fully... grasp the events.

Anyways, all this to say that it's very hard to have a good perception of time when it comes to historical events.

PS: How i came up with this reflexion: We were reading a text about a guy who got deported (how original) and that was written in 1943. The text had no explicit references to the police, resistance, or deporting. Only indirect allusions. "He couldn't say anything, he'd go to jail or his text wouldn't be published if he had said "The police deported the guy who left his 4years old boy alone with a neighbour"" i thought. Then why not wait till the end of the war? It's only 2 years. That's when i saw it. I thought of my last two years of life. They felt so real, so long, so full. And yet, when i thought of this guy waiting "only 2 years" it seemed almost nothing, like a week or two.