Time Shelter by  Georgi Gospodinov

Time Shelter

Georgi Gospodinov

I never quite knew where this book was going, and it somehow manages to be at once all the genres and yet none of them! Whilst it has moments of satire, I mostly felt unsettled as I read, and it often seemed more like strangely connected short stories than a complete novel. Revolving around ideas of memory and forgetting, it left me thinking about the dangers of reaching back towards supposedly happier times and the politicisation of nostalgia.


It can keep going, so that the glue of the myth holds, but they have to forget quite a few things. Forget the terrorist attack of 1925 in that church. Forget those who were murdered and buried in mass graves immediately after any coup. Forget those who were beaten, stomped under heavy boots, sent to camps.  Forget those who were surveilled, lied to, separated, banned, humiliated … all must be forgotten. And then forget the very forgetting …. Forgetting takes a lot of work. You have to constantly remember that you are supposed to forget something. Surely that’s how every ideology functions.

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