The Right to Oblivionby David Slavitt
Mostly it's Google's problem, but the French
assert it, because fame doesn't last and shouldn't.
There's a privacy right for a man, hero or villain,
to return in time to his obscure place in the herd,
unnoticed and indistinguishable. Bien sûr!
Google's novel trick therefore becomes
ever more unnatural. Books are, too,
even if they are relegated to storage
for falling below some circulation level.
Bref: unless almost everyone knows,
it is offensive for any of us to repeat
(or, logically, even to know) any dusty fact.
Whatever people are ignorant of can't
disturb their received ideas or stir up trouble.