The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

June 16, 2016

June 16, 1938

In a book review of the recent memoir by Joyce Carol Oates:

..... The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age, [2015] the 77-year-old author frequently stresses the unreliability of memory. ...

Oates returns to the unreliable memory in her new novel, The Man Without a Shadow, about an amnesiac lab subject, Elihu Hoopes (“E.H.”), whose short-term memory loss is probed by a group of prestigious neuroscientists. ....

“I find it so fascinating, quite apart from my novel, how selective our memories are,” Oates told The Daily Beast, speaking by phone from Berkeley, California, where she is teaching an advanced fiction workshop at UC Berkeley this semester.

“I think we try to create plausible scenarios to try to remember what we said to someone five years ago,” Oates continued. “To be honest, I don’t remember what I talked about with people throughout a lot of my life.”. . . .

Oates said she was intrigued by the way that scientists view the world and their experiments “as the consequence of causes and events, whereas writers and artists are more focused on the sensuousness of the world and the way things look.”

..... “That [Margot, in the new novel] and her team are already thinking about slicing his brain up when he dies is chilling to me. And yet if you’re a scientist, that’s the way that you think. Even when Margot is holding E.H.’s hand...., her mind is working on some great new article she’s going to write about the experiment.”......

Oates was born June 16, 1938. From her 2015 memoir we note the writer remembering the child who drew, and what:

My parents I would not attempt. No human figures would appear in my childhood drawings, only very deepgreen grass and trees, kittens and cats with fur of many hues.

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