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On reading and memory


Have you guys listened to Radiolab? I love it; it’s a pastiche of pop science, psychology and music. They have a great episode on the nature of memory. Apparently the less you access your memories, the more intact they remain. If you mull over past events, you change them – they become fictionalised, cross-pollinated with other memories, TV shows, anecdotes. They are unreliable. Which is why I love reading these old books so much – there are those pictures, the same pictures I had in my head when I was eight. I can revisit a former, purer version of myself.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Hewlett permalink
    22/06/2011 11:40 am

    What a lovely description of memory…

  2. William permalink
    22/06/2011 6:07 pm

    Surely the best memories are the ones you make up

  3. Paula Green permalink
    22/06/2011 6:20 pm

    I loved this book too! I am all inspired to hunt it out again and Tom’s Midnight Garden and oh so many more!

  4. Kirsten McDougall permalink
    22/06/2011 7:07 pm

    isn’t that the thing about memory though – a big messy labyrinth – as you so wonderfully draw it, Sarah. What a strange concept – pure memory. Because if we don’t access them, then are they even memories? I shall have to listen to the radiolab session..

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