A packed, provocative anthology on a subject close to us all.
You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all. . . . Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.
Luis Bunuel, Memoirs
"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked.
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
This intriguing anthology introduces us to arguments and experiences, evocative moments and hard scientific debate on the subject of memory, the thread that holds our lives and our history together. With an introduction by A.S. Byatt, the book is arranged in themed sections, and includes specially commissioned essays by writers with expertise in different fields from Memory and Evolution by Patrick Bateson to Memory and Forgetting by the biographer Richard Holmes, and an account of the chemistry of the brain, by Steven Rose. The fascinating extracts move through the ages of Plato and Aristotle to Montaigne and Shakespeare, Voltaire and Hume, Wordsworth and Proust, Freud and Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, W.G. Sebald and Haruki Murakami. Stimulating and provocative and often profoundly moving, Memory is a book to treasure - and remember.
"A book for the magpies among us, designed to be dipped in to time after time ... absorbing anthology" * Sunday Herald *
"The appeal of this scholarly and thoughtful anthology is that it juxtaposes glancing insights with painstaking research... the two introductions... display something of the combined tastes and talents that have gone into this fascinating compilation" -- Penelope Lively * Financial Times *
"Rich and thought-provoking... What is appealing about this anthology (and I write as someone who on the whole dislikes them) is that it not only gives examples of the myriad responses that memory evokes but it offers theories that try to account for it" * The Times *
"A fascinating and topical encyclopaedia on a little understood subject... a forensic strike at the quivering fragility of what and how we remember" * Big Issue *
"Engaging...constantly surprising" * Scotland on Sunday *