Meet the man with only a seven-second memory

Originally published at: Meet the man with only a seven-second memory | Boing Boing

9 Likes

Master sci-fi author Gene Wolfe wrote a few books (starting with Soldier of the Mist) concerning an ancient Greek soldier named Latro who got a head wound in battle and can only recall the most recent 24 hours of time in his life. He keeps a scroll with him on which he writes his experiences, but it soon enough becomes too long to read in 24 hours so he only knows what he wrote recently unless he skips back in the scroll or makes urgent notes at the top for him to pay attention to. People around him take advantage of this, including a transvestite whom the soldier only remembers as being male or female depending on how long this person has been in Latro’s presence in a certain guise. He can also now perceive the presence of the gods and spirits. It’s an interesting premise, but Wolfe makes a puzzle box of the story and only very careful readers will really know what’s going on, and a thorough knowledge of Greek myths would help. I only got through the first 2 of the 3 books.

6 Likes

15 Likes

Came for this reference. Was not disappointed. :slight_smile:

11 Likes

The film Memento also had a protagonist with anterograde amnesia.

4 Likes

What are we without our memories?

6 Likes

I’m more familiar with a lower-brow version employing that condition, the middling Dana Carvey vehicle Clean Slate.

1 Like

“Remember Sammy Jenkins.”

2 Likes

The dude is going to love TikTok.

6 Likes

You know, I’ve had more rewarding friendships than this one. Although I do get to keep telling the same jokes. —Teddy

What are you talking about Sir?

1 Like

Kuato: What do you want, Mr. Quaid?

Quaid: The same as you, to remember.

Kuato: But why?

Quaid: To be myself again.

Kuato: You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memories.

Quaid: Yeah but what if my actions are actually in the service of an evil conspiracy I have no memory of because I had my memory erased to go deep undercover?

Kuato: Oh shit I hadn’t thought of that. [dies in sudden hail of machine gun fire]

2 Likes

I lost the ability to form memories for a brief time after a fall on an icy path as a teen.

Yes. Apparantly that was quite tiresome for those around me.
“Well don’t try the amnesia remedy from old movies…” -Me, over and over again on the way to the emergency room and back.

6 Likes

Yeah I was thinking he’d love cat videos

2 Likes

And he’d only need one.

4 Likes

There’s so much in my life I’d like to forget. But not this much.

2 Likes

I sometimes don’t register short-term memory because of depression and being exhausted and it can be very scary just walking around the house trying to lift the fog but constantly forgetting what you were supposed to be doing again and again and again… It actually hurts like a mild headache when I get to remember a bit of information that is failing to register. I’m very scared of getting Alzheimer’s at an older age. It’s already hell today.

Once I was visiting a friend and the entire path to her house disappeared from my mind when I got out of the bus and suddenly I was lost because I couldn’t remember the way and very freaked out because I knew that I KNOW the way to her house, I’ve been there dozens of times, walking around to try and jog the memory didn’t work and I had to ask her to come and retrieve me because I was lost… a couple streets from her house.

I have really bad recall about specific dates (I will always ballpark it) although I manage to keep some long-term memories. My friends will tell me stories about us doing cool stuff and I don’t remember anything, I have to believe them that this happened this way. It makes me feel extremely vulnerable to gaslighting.

6 Likes

Once at my old building this small lady that was visiting a neighbour sat by my side and we started chatting around. She was very intelligent and full of amazing life stories. I just noticed that there was something weird when we reached conversation stops. She would start repeating the same life story she told me ten minutes earlier without ever noticing that she did already told them. It was a bittersweet experience, seeing this amazing woman retell the same thing about 5 times during 1 hour of conversation. Not tiresome, just sobering. In the future this may be me.

9 Likes

That’s conversation with my mom. It’s exhausting to live with.

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.