The Terrible Event: A Memorial

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  • Published 20220428
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-71-9
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I OFTEN ASK myself: had we simply stuck with The Memorial’s original name, would things have taken such a tragic turn? At the time, I didn’t object to a name change per se but to the fact that it happened only a couple of months before the conference. I feared that this would just create confusion: people showing up to the conference only to discover that The Memorial (not its full name: we just referred to it as such to save time) was now officially known as something else. As to the new name itself, that was still under discussion; for now we called it ‘the Terrible Event Memorial’.

The Director advised that all promotional materials distributed during this interim period, including materials relating to the conference, must refer only to the provisional name and never to the original name – just to ensure that we all remained ‘on message’. Ever mindful of the Director’s obsessiveness when it came to consistency and accuracy, I lived in fear of unintentionally referring to the Terrible Event Memorial by its original name instead of its provisional name. I’d already made the occasional slip with dates and times in some of the draft conference material (due to staff shortages, it had fallen on me to organise virtually every aspect of the conference, in addition to performing my regular duties). I became so intent on erasing The Memorial’s original name from my mind so as not to use it by mistake, I have long since forgotten what it was. Hence, the following section employs the provisional name – which would in due course become the official name (with a minor amendment).

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About the author

David Cohen

David Cohen is the author of the novels Fear of Tennis and Disappearing off the Face of the Earth. His short-story collection The Hunter...

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