Andreea's Reviews > Memento mori

Memento mori by Jonathan Nolan
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Jul 22, 12

bookshelves: read-in-english, short-stories, ebooks, to-re-read
Read on July 23, 2012

Would make a good (maybe great) action movie. Although I have the feeling I've already seen it/something like it.

I like the ideas too. Liking them doesn't mean believing them, though.

"But you’re not the man you used to be. Not even half. You’re a fraction; you’re the tenminute man."

"So how can you forgive if you can’t remember to forget?"

"You can’t have a normal life anymore. You must know that. How can you have a girlfriend if you can’t remember her name? Can’t have kids, not unless you want them to grow up with a dad who doesn’t recognize them. Sure as hell can’t hold down a job. Not too many professions out there that value forgetfulness. Prostitution, maybe. Politics, of course. No. Your life is over. You’re a dead man. The only thing the doctors are hoping to do is teach you to be less of a burden to the orderlies. And they’ll probably never let you go home, wherever that would be.

So the question is not “to be or not to be,” because you aren’t. The question is whether you want to do something about it. Whether revenge matters to you. It does to most people. For a few weeks, they plot, they scheme, they take measures to get even. But the passage of time is all it takes to erode that initial impulse. Time is theft, isn’t that what they say? And time eventually convinces most of us that forgiveness is a virtue. Conveniently, cowardice and forgiveness look identical at a certain distance. Time steals your nerve."

"You’d probably prefer to sit in your little room and cry. Live in your finite collection of memories, carefully polishing each one. Half a life set behind glass and pinned to cardboard like a collection of exotic insects. You’d like to live behind that glass, wouldn’t you? Preserved in aspic." I kinda would and that's scary...

Interesting: "Here’s the truth: People, even regular people, are never just any one person with one set of attributes. It’s not that simple. We’re all at the mercy of the limbic system, clouds of electricity drifting through the brain. Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then again within those twenty-four hours. It’s a daily pantomime, one man yielding control to the next: a backstage crowded with old hacks clamoring for their turn in the spotlight. Every week, every day. The angry man hands the baton over to the sulking man, and in turn to the sex addict, the introvert, the conversationalist. Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots. This is the tragedy of life. Because for a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius. Moments of clarity, insight, whatever you want to call them. The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious. I should quit smoking, maybe, or here’s how I could make a fast million, or such and such is the key to eternal happiness. That’s the miserable truth. For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick.

But then the genius, the savant, has to hand over the controls to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips, and insight and brilliance and salvation are all entrusted to a moron or a hedonist or a narcoleptic. The only way out of this mess, of course, is to take steps to ensure that you control the idiots that you become. To take your chain gang, hand in hand, and lead them. The best way to do this is with a list." I wonder... Maybe not 24 personalities per day, but maybe just a few...

"Everybody is waiting for the end to come, but what if it already passed us by? What if the final joke of Judgment Day was that it had already come and gone and we were none the wiser? Apocalypse arrives quietly; the chosen are herded off to heaven, and the rest of us, the ones who failed the test, just keep on going, oblivious. Dead already, wandering around long after the gods have stopped keeping score, still optimistic about the future. I guess if that’s true, then it doesn’t matter what you do. No expectations. If you can’t find him, then it doesn’t matter, because nothing matters. And if you do find him, then you can kill him without worrying about the consequences. Because there are no consequences." - never heard this version before. Not that I believe it...

"I just wanted you to know that I’m proud of you. No one who matters is left to say it. No one left is going to want to." - Him to himself in a note

"What the hell do you need a watch for, anyway? It was an antique. Deadweight tugging at your wrist. Symbol of the old you. The you that believed in time. No. Scratch that. It’s not so much that you’ve lost your faith in time as that time has lost its faith in you. And who needs it, anyway? Who wants to be one of those saps living in the safety of the future, in the safety of the moment after the moment in which they felt something powerful? Living in the next moment, in which they feel nothing. Crawling down the hands of the clock, away from the people who did unspeakable things to them. Believing the lie that time will heal all wounds – which is just a nice way of saying that time deadens us. But you’re different. You’re more perfect. Time is three things for most people, but for you, for us, just one. A singularity. One moment. This moment. Like you’re the center of the clock, the axis on which the hands turn. Time moves about you but never moves you. It has lost its ability to affect you. What is it they say? That time is theft? But not for you. Close your eyes and you can start all over again. Conjure up that necessary emotion, fresh as roses. Time is an absurdity. An abstraction. The only thing that matters is this moment. This moment a million times over. You have to trust me. If this moment is repeated enough, if you keep trying – and you have to keep trying – eventually you will come across the next item on your list." THE END
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message 4: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Yes~ it was adapted into a movie called Memento directed by the author's brother, Christopher Nolan. :)


message 3: by Andreea (last edited Aug 01, 2012 03:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andreea Then I might have seen it :) Thank you


message 2: by Dan's (new) - added it

Dan's Obsessions I think I am gonna "promote" this Review to a couple of my closest friend ( with yr permission ofcourse)



Side-note" very nicely done, it shows how U exert yr own value on tis book , by selecting paragrphs, that hold the "weight""" of this work. I like to do that with some obscure philosophical works, that i can't seem to be able, to nail in any other way!


Andreea I'm simply too lazy to write reviews so I just use quotations.
And, of course, I can reread those quotations and remember the book, which is great.

Sure, do as you please. Glad if I can be of help :)


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