Memory and Eternal Life: An Illustrated Presentation with Saul Brown

Posted in > ANALYSIS by David on December 11, 2013

On Saturday, February 14th, 2014 at the Observatory: Brooklyn – Cultural Historian, Saul Brown will present an unforgettable illustrated lecture on memory and the concept of eternal life in Western culture. The mystery of what happens after death has always fascinated humanity, but how did ancient cultures understand this mystery? Was the afterlife merely an infinite extension of this life? We will explore how the myth of Sisyphus and the Cumean Sibyl’s wish for eternal life (but not eternal youth) suggest otherwise. We also find memory highly revered in ancient cultures, which is certainly understandable in preliterate and even preprint cultures. But why does the Art of Memory experience its greatest revival during the Renaissance and Baroque? Did its apparent transcendence of time also hold a key to immortality? Was the story of its inventor escaping the collapse of his patron’s palace an allegory for the soul transcending death? From the tombs of the earliest Egyptian dynasties to Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico, we will explore the mysteries of death, rebirth and memory and see what the great periods of Western culture have to teach us not only about eternal life, but about how to live a life worthy of eternity.

Saul Brown is a cultural historian living in Brooklyn who is completing work on a study of the role of Memory in Western Culture and its unifying influence on civilization from Egypt and antiquity up to the Enlightenment. He has begun delivering a series of lectures and classes on the subject while also developing educational programs in symbolic modes of thought.

This event is event is produced as a joint collaboration between Liminal Analytics and photographer Shannon Taggart.

For more information on the event please head over to The Observatory Room event page.