Forgetting  

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In "What is a Nation?" Ernest Renan states what has become one of the most famous and enduring ideas of nationalism. "Forgetfulness, and I would even say historical error, are essential in the creation of a nation."

Pompeii was forgotten for hundreds of years.  Illustration: Eruption of Vesuvius (1817) by William Turner, an eruption of Vesuvius
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Pompeii was forgotten for hundreds of years.
Illustration: Eruption of Vesuvius (1817) by William Turner, an eruption of Vesuvius

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

To forget is to lose remembrance of; to cease remembering. It can refer to a person or an animal forgetting something, or, the forgetting by a society, as in a 'forgotten hero' or a 'forgotten book'.

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Of people

Forgetting (retention loss) refers to apparent loss of information already encoded and stored in an individual's long term memory. It is a spontaneous or gradual process in which old memories are unable to be recalled from memory storage. Problems with remembering, learning and retaining new information are a few of the most common complaints of older adults.

Of societies

Things are forgetten when knowledge of them has been lost, when it is no longer remembered, such as Pompeii after the eruption.

Forgetfulness, and I would even say historical error, are essential in the creation of a nation said Ernest Renan in "What is a Nation?". See also oblivion, the ash heap of history.

Etymology

From Middle English forgeten, forgiten, forȝeten, forȝiten, from Old English forġietan (“to forget”), from Proto-Germanic *fragetaną (“to give up, forget”), equivalent to for- +‎ get. Cognate with Scots forget, forȝet (“to forget”), West Frisian ferjitte, forjitte (“to forget”), Dutch vergeten (“to forget”), German vergessen (“to forget”), Swedish förgäta (“to forget”).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Forgetting" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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