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3 Responses to can we trust memory?

  1. Anonymous May 1, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    < ![CDATA[ I have grappled with the memory question in my memoir. I have also found that others not only do not remember some things that I do, but don't remember much at all about childhood in general. There is something about conversation that sticks in my head; I remember them, if they impress me, just like I remember the words of a song. I also remember the way things look to me when I have a strong experience... many of my early childhood memories, words, experiences and settings, have been confirmed with old photos or by those who were around me at the time. So even though I'm starting from age two, so far, it's actually accurate. If I learn something wasn't quite the way I recall, which has been rare, I fix it to be true, and, like you, have done research to discover that things I was told about polio as a disabled youngster were not true, so the facts rather than myths are in my book. I have made an honest attempt to only include what I truly do remember, even though professionals have told me to "make stuff up to embellish it." If I don't remember a conversation ever happening, it's not in the book... if I have a vague recollection, I say that it "went something like this." So I appreciate what you've done in reconstructing what is not concrete but is at the same time very real. It makes me think of the example of a cup; if you looked from one side and didn't see it had a handle, you'd call it a ceramic glass or vessel. Then when you saw the handle you'd rename it a cup. Depends on from where you look. ]]>

  2. Anonymous May 1, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    < ![CDATA[ I have grappled with the memory question in my memoir. I have also found that others not only do not remember some things that I do, but don't remember much at all about childhood in general. There is something about conversation that sticks in my head; I remember them, if they impress me, just like I remember the words of a song. I also remember the way things look to me when I have a strong experience... many of my early childhood memories, words, experiences and settings, have been confirmed with old photos or by those who were around me at the time. So even though I'm starting from age two, so far, it's actually accurate. If I learn something wasn't quite the way I recall, which has been rare, I fix it to be true, and, like you, have done research to discover that things I was told about polio as a disabled youngster were not true, so the facts rather than myths are in my book. I have made an honest attempt to only include what I truly do remember, even though professionals have told me to "make stuff up to embellish it." If I don't remember a conversation ever happening, it's not in the book... if I have a vague recollection, I say that it "went something like this." So I appreciate what you've done in reconstructing what is not concrete but is at the same time very real. It makes me think of the example of a cup; if you looked from one side and didn't see it had a handle, you'd call it a ceramic glass or vessel. Then when you saw the handle you'd rename it a cup. Depends on from where you look. ]]>

  3. Francine Falk-Allen May 1, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I have grappled with the memory question in my memoir. I have also found that others not only do not remember some things that I do, but don’t remember much at all about childhood in general. There is something about conversation that sticks in my head; I remember them, if they impress me, just like I remember the words of a song. I also remember the way things look to me when I have a strong experience… many of my early childhood memories, words, experiences and settings, have been confirmed with old photos or by those who were around me at the time. So even though I’m starting from age two, so far, it’s actually accurate. If I learn something wasn’t quite the way I recall, which has been rare, I fix it to be true, and, like you, have done research to discover that things I was told about polio as a disabled youngster were not true, so the facts rather than myths are in my book. I have made an honest attempt to only include what I truly do remember, even though professionals have told me to “make stuff up to embellish it.” If I don’t remember a conversation ever happening, it’s not in the book… if I have a vague recollection, I say that it “went something like this.” So I appreciate what you’ve done in reconstructing what is not concrete but is at the same time very real. It makes me think of the example of a cup; if you looked from one side and didn’t see it had a handle, you’d call it a ceramic glass or vessel. Then when you saw the handle you’d rename it a cup. Depends on from where you look.

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