This article extrapolates a theory of memory as an intentional
consciousness from Sartre’s early, scattered references to memory.
There are three key questions: How does Sartre conceive of
memory’s intentional structure? Its temporal structure? And how
does memory display both continuity and discontinuity in the stream
of consciousness? Starting from the Sartrean insight that memory is a
‘double consciousness’ the article offers an analysis of how memory
helps to constitute a temporally complex mode of being-in-theworld.
Aside from memory’s usefulness in this regard, memory also
has the power to disturb consciousness and disrupt its projects.
Roland Barthes’s concept of the punctum – which is connected to
analyses of mourning – helps to clarify this. A synoptic analysis of
Sartre and Barthes allows for a phenomenological description of how
consciousness can be stuck in the past, confronted by something that
was, and which holds the mind captive.