Tuesday, April 3, 2007


"Memory was the attempt to capitalize on missed cleverness, or recover an overlooked word that, for a moment, might have made someone else feel more alive." (Powers, 145)

Halfway through the book and memory seems to be a very strong theme. Not only for the many versions of Imp that have been created to win the bet, but also with the characters themselves. Powers finds himself not only struggling with the memories of C., B. and U. from his earlier life; a line for a book he wants to write and is sure he's heard it before; but also how Imp's memories are going to be formed and retained. Is this done just by repeation; strong connections stay, weak ones fade? Or does memory contain smells, feelings, sights; physical limitations of Imp, but strong memory triggers for humans. Lentz is struggling with his wife's memory being wiped out and even physical triggers cannot save it.

Do our memories make us human? Can a machine be taught more than just word generalizations and sentance structure? Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Sean said...

I would have to say that memory is not what makes us human for two reasons. First even today we talk about computers having memory, and even programs like key loggers that store every action the computer makes. I we are to talk about organic memories making us human we then have the problem of people who lose their memories becoming non-human. I say that there has to be more than memory to humanity.