Lonni Sue Johnson was a successful illustrator, when the herpes simplex virus attacked her brain; she lost almost her entire lifetime of knowledge, along with the ability to form new memories. Michael Lemonick describes how she’s invaluable to neuroscientists working to understand how we make and store memories.
Adrian Daub’s fascinating essay in the LA Review of Books on the Stephen King classic IT — now 30 years old — reveals that the real horror of IT wasn’t Pennywise the supernatural clown, but our own, entirely human ability to forget the horrors of the past.
Ice cream is Proustian. One bite can send you time-traveling decades back, to a hot summer day, when you walked barefoot on shell-dappled Gulf sands, vanilla ice cream dripping over the sides of a cone and onto your fingers. Maybe it was a reward for the first time you lost a tooth, a sweet, cold dish […]
Sigmund Freud called dreams ”the royal road to the unconscious” and theorized that they reflected highly individual unconscious wishes. His student Carl Jung, who later broke with him, thought the recurring use of enduring symbols in dreams, like mazes, mirrors and snakes, reflected something more collective and universal. *** Many people interviewed said they dreamed […]
Memory is your greatest ally and your primary source material, because memory is your body as it was in the world and the world as it was and will be; memory is the people you have loved or wanted to love in the world, and what are we if not bodies filled with reminiscences about […]
I had come to his house, in this sunny spot between Ben Gurion Airport and the Mediterranean coast, for an unlikely reason: not long ago, after decades of unwavering silence, Sigmund Schiller spoke about his Holocaust experience. “People talk about ‘Sophie’s Choice’ as if it were a rare event,” he said. “It wasn’t. Everybody had […]