December 7, 2005

It seems horribly self-centered to be reminded of myself, or portions of my past, by bits of movies or literature. But it happens, occaisionally. And then I gnash and blush.  With that disclaimer out of the way:

“…She remembered encyclopedically her years of education, pages of print, apparently arbitrary details of their histories. And some trivial incident or phrase from their childhood might at any time fetch up from her mind and flop down in front of her, alive and thrashing. No, but it couldn’t be called “remembering” at all, really, could it? That simply wasn’t what people meant by “remembering.” No act of mind or the psyche was needed for Sharon to reclaim anything, because nothing in her brain ever sifted down out of precedence. The passage of time failed to distance, blur or diminish her experiences. The nacreous layers that formed around the events in one’s history to smooth, distinguish, and beautify them never materialized around Sharon’s; her history skittered here and there in its original sharp grains on a depthless plane that resembled neither calendar nor clock.”

-Deborah Eisenberg, Some Other, Better Otto

It’s worth noting that this character is mentally ill with a severity that dwarfs my brain troubles. But that stabbing sense of the past reaching in when it shouldn’t, of remembering years-old details the other participants forgot an instant later, the embarassment of being forgotten when I still remember; this passage is the only reference I’ve ever seen to any of it, and it fairly thrust me back into the wall when I read it the first time.


One Response to “EGOISTE!”

  1. p-nut. said

    like: nacre. caisson.

    don’t underestimate anyone’s ability to recall events.
    i have, in the past, and was made a sucker for forgiving and excusing people for what i thought was poor memory.

    nacreous knockers 4tw. oooh, such skin!

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