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Old 02-16-2017   #1
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Clive Wearing


Ridiculously disturbing documentary about viral brain damage causing severe chronic anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Becomes acutely Ligottian at points.

42:50

“You’re the first human beings I’ve seen, the three of you…no difference between day and night, no thoughts at all, no dreams. Day and night the same, blank. Precisely like death. Exactly the same as being dead, which is not difficult, is it? No dreams, even. Day and night the same.”

And a New Yorker article about him cheerfully entitled “The Abyss”

The Abyss - The New Yorker

His ability to perceive what he saw and heard was unimpaired. But he did not seem to be able to retain any impression of anything for more than a blink. Indeed, if he did blink, his eyelids parted to reveal a new scene. The view before the blink was utterly forgotten. Each blink, each glance away and back, brought him an entirely new view. I tried to imagine how it was for him. . . . Something akin to a film with bad continuity, the glass half empty, then full, the cigarette suddenly longer, the actor’s hair now tousled, now smooth. But this was real life, a room changing in ways that were physically impossible.

Desperate to hold on to something, to gain some purchase, Clive started to keep a journal, first on scraps of paper, then in a notebook. But his journal entries consisted, essentially, of the statements “I am awake” or “I am conscious,” entered again and again every few minutes. He would write: “2:10 p.m: This time properly awake. . . . 2:14 p.m: this time finally awake. . . . 2:35 p.m: this time completely awake,” along with negations of these statements: “At 9:40 p.m. I awoke for the first time, despite my previous claims.” This in turn was crossed out, followed by “I was fully conscious at 10:35 p.m., and awake for the first time in many, many weeks.” This in turn was cancelled out by the next entry.
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Old 02-16-2017   #2
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Re: Clive Wearing

https://www.waterstones.com/book/how.../9781473628595

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A Sunday Times bestseller How long is 'now'? The short answer is 'somewhere between 2 and 3 seconds'.
So, his memory is two or three times the length of 'now'. This kind of thing (severe amnesia) always seems to me to be the most instant refutation of the idea put forward by Eckhart Tolle and others that 'there is only this moment'. I think they should at least take the trouble to qualify what they say.

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山

Last edited by qcrisp; 02-16-2017 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 02-16-2017   #3
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Re: Clive Wearing

Joyce Carol Oates wrote a fictionalized account on this subject, 'The Man Without a Shadow.'

"What Exactly is a Dream? And What Exactly is a Joke?"
-Syd Barret
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Old 02-16-2017   #4
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Re: Clive Wearing

It suddenly occurred to me how relevant this is to what i do; one of the things i dislike about comics is the breathless, oppressive Accumulation of Things on a page: here is the protagonist, running ( or, impossibly frozen in midair, on a different foot in each panel), here he is near the door, nearer still, on the threshold, key in lock; here he is in the house &c; the same character, repeated six, seven times on the page, as if each moment suffers from amnesia about its previous incarnation. The reader is asked to go along with this & pretend it's the same character and not seven of them looking alike, ignoring both the repetition and the singular nature of the drawings. Strange.

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
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Old 02-16-2017   #5
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Re: Clive Wearing

I came back to the site and the random Ligotti-quote generator at the top of the page had this:

“Amnesia may well be the highest sacrament in the great gray ritual of existence.”

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山
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