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Architexts of Memory: Literature, Science, and Autobiography by Evelyne Ender

By Evelyne Ender

In this impressively interdisciplinary examine, Evelyne Ender revisits grasp literary works to indicate that literature can function an experimental laboratory for the learn of human remembrance. She exhibits how reminiscence not just has a authentic foundation yet is inseparable from fictional and aesthetic parts. fantastically written in available prose, and ambitious in its scope, the e-book takes up works via Proust, Woolf, George Eliot, Nerval, Lou Andreas-Salome, and Sigmund Freud, attending to the guts of crucial questions about psychological photos, empirical wisdom, and the devastations of reminiscence loss in ways in which are suggestive and profound. Architexts of Memory joins a turning out to be physique of labor within the full of life box of reminiscence reviews, drawing from medical psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurobiology in addition to literary studies.

"An very important, cogently argued, refined and wealthy examine of a subject matter of significant interest."
--Mieke Bal, college of Amsterdam

"A paintings of literary reports located on the intersection of culture and innovation. Evelyne Ender's e-book brings trendy cultural issues to endure on conventional literary texts-her incredible pedagogical abilities trap and advisor the reader in the course of the such a lot tough psychoanalytical concepts."
--Nelly Furman, Cornell University

Evelyne Ender is Professor of French reviews, college of Washington. She is the writer of Sexing the brain: Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Hysteria.

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Who has more of an ability to represent the "scenic" or "melodic" aspects of remembrance? Proustian physiology enables us to "better understand the essentially personal, Proustian nature of reminis­ cence, of the mind, of life," Sacks concludes, intimating that for him, Proust's model of personal recollection captures a phenomenon that lies at the heart of our mental life (147). "41 Most descriptions of Proustian memory call to mind the evocative phrase of Goethe's version of the Faust­ ian wager against mortality: "Verweile doch du bist so schon" (Stay a while, you are so beautiful).

36 This explains why it is so imperative that the rememberer's world be painted in its "true colors"-that is, with as many of its phenomenal features as can possibly be represented. Proustian memory is thus a creative, an inspired act that is inconceivable 40 • Architexts of Memory outside of its author's imaginative involvement: the first cue provides merely the first note of a vast symphonic composition. You remember because you smell a whiff of perfume, overhear a melody, touch unawares an object with your hand, catch a view of a bloodshot sunset, or just hear an evocative word.

In order to account for these, the film's reel would have to be combined with a new, as yet uninvented instrument-a sort of brain scanner that could embed a rememberer's affects into the picture. For whereas a film might capture the aesthetic and formal dimensions of human recollection (its "scenic" or "dramatic" qualities), only the brain scan could give us the melodic quality, the rhythm and pulse, the appeal of the emo­ tions that are part of the memory. But why reach for a new technology when writing offers a ready way of embedding feelings into representations?

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