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Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2)
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2011 Reads > S&C: Real people with memories like Severian's

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message 1: by Ed (last edited Feb 28, 2011 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments 60 Minutes did a segment last year on people with "super autobiographical memories" (also known as hyperthymesia) and all I could do while watching was think of Severian, especially when the topic of time travel comes up, as it does in this short clip:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?i...

The condition is possibly related to OCD. You can watch the whole segment at these two URLs:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?i...
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?i...

Transcript:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/1...

Some additional background on the story segment:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_16...
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?i...

Other related articles:

http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/m...
http://www.uci.edu/features/2010/12/f...

Actually, I think Wolfe's intent is for Severian's memory to be an eidetic memory, which is slightly different. See the following Wikipedia articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidetic_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthy...


message 2: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Mar 18, 2011 03:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Fascinating. The fact that Taxi star Marilu Henner has hyperthymesia summons up 70's sitcom-watching memories of my own. :)

I agree that Severian's memory seems more like the eidetic variety, since hyperthymesia looks like it leans more towards total recall of any facts, while eidetic leans towards precise recall of images, sensations -- the way Severian can get lost in a memory when he's recalling it.


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