On Friday evening of the Festival, Cabinet Editor Sina Najafi introduced speakers Simon Critchley, Barbara Frischmuth, and George Prochnik in the candlelit space of Joe’s Pub. Each writer presented anecdotes that grapple with the issues of forgetting, from a case involving an amnesiac torn between two externally posed identities to Nietzsche’s epistemological view of memory and truth.  The discussion included how forgetting effects us both individually and communally. The panel noted that fact-based knowledge has become less and less appreciated among individuals, as online search engines have replaced the need to recall names or events that once were committed to memory out of fear of forgetting, while also discussing the role of a nation’s memory of the past in improving the moral decisions of the future.  The panel not only discussed the importance of remembering but also the power of forgetting, noting that, as Critchley stated, our memories of punishment, trauma, and tragedy are “burnt into us” but “forgotten when we speak words like mercy, forgiveness, and love.”