Monday, April 6, 2009

Truth Elusive, Truth Layered

I'm presently completing a review of Where Did I Leave My Glasses? by Martha Weinman Lear for The Internet Review of Books.

I'm entranced by Lear's discussion of the difference between computer "memory" and human memory.
" … computer remembers all or nothing. No in-between. Whereas the brain is filled with in-between. Think of it this way: What you put into the computer is an abstraction of your experience. Retrieve it, and it's unchanged. What you remember is an abstraction of that experience, then a reconstruction of the abstraction, then a reconstruction of the reconstruction of the abstraction, and so on and on and on—every time you retrieve it. And of course, the more time that passes, the truer this becomes."
What a wonderfully dizzying concept for writers of memoir and personal essay to consider.

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