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Once upon a time there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a home that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree a castle. Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was Queen and he was King. In the autumn light, her hair shown like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark they parted with leaves in their hair.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.

Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Every day there seems to be more to remember: more names, more passwords, more appointments. With a memory like Ben Pridemore’s, I imagined, life would be qualitatively different - and better. Our culture constantly inundates us with new information, and yet our brains capture so little of it. Most just goes in one ear and out the other. If the point of reading were simply to retain knowledge, it would probably be the single least efficient activity I engage in. I can spend a half dozen hours reading a book and then have only a foggy notion of what it was about. All those fact and anecdotes, even the stuff interesting enough to be worth understanding, have a habit of briefly making an impression on me and then disappearing into who knows where. There are books on my shelf that I can’t even remember whether I’ve read or not.
What would it mean to have all that otherwise-lost knowledge at my fingertips? I couldn’t help but think that it would make me more persuasive, more confident, and, in some fundamental sense, smarter. Certainly I’d be a better journalist, friend, and boyfriend. But more than that, I imagined that having a memory like Ben Pridemore’s would make me an altogether more attentive, perhaps even wiser, person. To the extent that experience is the sum of our memories and wisdom is the sum of experiences, having a better memory would mean knowing not only more about the world, but also more about myself. Surely, some of the forgetting that seems to plague us is healthy and necessary. If I didn’t forget so many of the dumb things I’ve done, I’d probably be unbearably neurotic. But hot many worthwhile ideas have gone unthought and connections unmade because of my memory’s shortcomings?
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking With Einstein)

I recently finished reading Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. I’m currently writing a review of this splendid ethnography, written in 1963 (about the 1940s), however, I take issue with the semi-fantastical nature of his writing style. While I can appreciate the picture he paints and the quick read, I think his findings were so much more important than he makes them out to be in this book. His ethnographic study changed the knowledge of wolves and their interactions with nature/wildlife, yet the book came off to me with a sort of “cool. what now?” feel to it. 

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