However, more recently questions have arisen whether there ever was a time in which 'pure', non-representational memory existed – as Nora in particular put forward. Scholars like Tony Bennett rightly point out that representation is a crucial precondition for human perception in general: pure, organic and objective memories can never be witnessed as such. crucial m4 128gb
It is because of a sometimes too contracted conception of memory as just a temporal phenomenon, that the concept of cultural memory has often been exposed to misunderstanding. Nora pioneered connecting memory to physical, tangible locations, nowadays globally known and incorporated as lieux de mémoire. He certifies these in his work as mises en abîme; entities that symbolize a more complex piece of our history. Although he concentrates on a spatial approach to remembrance, Nora already points out in his early historiographical theories that memory goes beyond just tangible and visual aspects, thereby making it flexible and in flux. This rather problematic notion, also characterized by Terdiman as the 'omnipresence' of memory, implies that for instance on a sensory level, a smell or a sound can become of cultural value, due to its commemorative effect.
Either in visualized or abstracted form, one of the largest complications of memorializing our past is the inevitable fact that it is absent. Every memory we try to reproduce becomes – as Terdiman states – a 'present past'. It is this impractical desire for recalling what is gone forever that brings to surface a feeling of nostalgia, noticeable in many aspects of daily life but most specifically in cultural products.