I was thinking the other day about the images our memories present to us and what they represent in the real world. I have been interested for a long time in what exactly remembered images are, and having thought about my Tour Stories Project (Oxford Destroyed) I started to think about Oxford as it exists in my memory. If I picture the High Street what do I see, and, if I try and draw that image, what does it look like? I supposed the resulting image would not be unlike a ruin and so I tried it out.
In many ways, the images I drew of what I could see in my memory were like images of the city in ruins, and in many respects, the remembered city is a ruin – it has, after all, in terms of its temporality, passed by.
In Sebald’s novel Austerlitz, Austerlitz states that fortifications:
“…cast the shadow of their own destruction before them, and are designed from the first with an eye to their later existence as ruins.”
I think in some respects this might apply to any structure and their later existence as memories.