04 October 2018, The Tablet

There’s not much about my university past I could remember accurately now

Melanie McDonagh's Notebook


THE SENATE judicial committee hearing featuring Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, which is now being followed by an FBI investigation into her claims that he assaulted her, was terrifying for a number of reasons. One is that it raises the question that Pontius Pilate put pertinently: “What is truth?” Because what occurred to me was that neither of them was actually lying.

Some 36 years after an event, we can persuade ourselves that our version of our past selves and our past conduct is the true one. My own memory is so rubbish, there’s not much about my university or school past I could remember accurately now; those things I think I can remember I’ve probably got wrong – rather helpfully, my university contemporaries are often on hand to remind me about my misdemeanours.

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