Sonya's Reviews > The Memory Chalet

The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
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's review
May 29, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011
Read from May 18 to 28, 2011

Well, though I liked the conceit of how these essays came about, each essay itself was unremarkable, which perhaps says more about me and my state of mind than the value of Judt's work.

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message 1: by Kristi (new)

Kristi After this you should read The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok!

Sonya That looks good. Thanks for the suggestion.

The Memory Chalet is a memoir of sorts too, by a writer stricken with ALS. He conjurs memories of growing up in Britain and is able to sort and store them through the artifice of a remembered skiing chalet. Since he is immobile yet (at the time of the writing) has retained his ability to speak, he "writes" in his head at night and then stores his sentences in his imaginary chalet's rooms, closets, and drawer. In the mornings, he remembers, then dictates to an aid afterword.

I'm finding the short chapters to be informative, and lacking in sentimentality. There's no Nabokovian sense of nostalgia here, which I miss somewhat. But the idea of how he wrote the book is powerful.

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