Tuesday, November 28, 2006

McCarthy and Dillon

Two recommendations from recent reading, both coincidentally about memory and the ways our minds work. A novel, Remainder by Tom McCarthy, starts : "About the accident itself I can say very little. Almost nothing. It involved something falling from the sky. Technology, Parts, bits. That's it, really: all I can divulge. Not much, I know." The narrator's memory has been wiped out by this mysterious catastrophe, and thereafter the story takes an intriguing, funny and eventually demented turn. Constantly interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking.

Then a form of a biography : In the Dark Room- a journey in memory, by Brian Dillon. The author meditates about his home, his childhood and the ways we remember and forget. A touch of W.G.Sebald about this. Again, always absorbing. Much of the best work we receive in our Work Portfolios in the Transition Year is driven by memories of childhood; Dillon writes about our first homes that 'in the furrows and expanses of the house, we uncover for the first time the surfaces on which memory and imagination can be sent in motion, safely sliding from room to room ... to remember such a place is to reconnect with our most solitary sense of ourselves.'

JMG, English Department

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