War is bestowed like electroshock on the depressive nation: thousands of volts jolting the system, an artificial galvanizing, one effect of which is loss of memory. War comes . . . as absolute failure of imagination, scientific and political. That a war can be represented as helping a people to "feel good" about themselves, their country, is a measure of that failure.
A broken leg can be remembered and located: "It hurt right below my knee, it throbbed, I felt sick at my stomach." But mental pain is remembered the way dreams are remembered — in fragments, unbidden realizations, like looking into a well and seeing the dim reflection of your face in that instant before the water shatters.
I don't think anyone ever remembers what they were really like as kids. Adults think they do, but they don't. Photos and videos don't capture the real you, or bring back to life the person you used to be. You have to return to the past to do that.