Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 8

Posted Jan. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

Expert

How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

Annie posits that a memory is "by its nature a revisionā€¦. shaped by the waves of time, and by the history that has rushed against it sinceā€¦" How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 171

Expert

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

This story confirms that the nature of memory is inherently unreliable. We usually try to see ourselves in a good light and adjust our remembrances accordingly.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 108

Expert

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

I don't think Anne was realistic when she looked back on her youth. It was as if she was watching someone else's actions and was not an active participant. To her, that was a different life and not applicable to the present. She also had these 'wonderful" memories of Patrick, who was really a heel. She didn't truly remember things as they really were.


Posted Feb. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CAC

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

Are any of us realistic as we look back on our youth? We all have selective memories including Annie. Annie had amazing memories of Patrick that just weren't true.


Posted Feb. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 247

Expert

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

Annie seems to have selective memories. She selects or even changes the memories that she wants to have. Her memories of Patrick are very flawed, she claims to have enjoyed working with Malcolm yet her true feelings were very vague. Why did she finally sleep with him? I think her memories seep through an alcoholic haze. Did she never question the possibility of Robbie's paternity before the accident?


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CAC

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

The entire novel interrogates the nature of memory. What Annie remember of Patrick is flawed by alcohol and youth. Her memory of Malcolm is flawed as she doesn't seem to even think that the child she is pregnant with could be Malcolm's. Annie is like most of us. When I ran into my first love I remember thinking wow I remember him as so much taller, more handsome than he actually is. She also doesn't think of her actions in a negative way. Do any of us really want to thing about how "bad" our behavior was. No, I would rather think about the wonderful times in my life. Alcohol and time influence memory.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Violetta

Join Date: 06/10/11

Posts: 12

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

The subject of memory is worthy of an entire discussion of its own. As we all know if you ask two or three siblings to recall an event in their life in which they all participated, each one will often tell a very different story from their perspective. Annie's memories are flawed as is she.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 33

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

I don't fault how Annie remembers the past - I believe any of us that are middle-age or older tend to remember aspects of our youth in the extreme either overly positive versus reality or overly negative based upon our nature. Myself I tend to focus on the positive aspects of life and when I reflect on my youth I tend to remember the good things and less clearly the negative. I also believe we protect ourselves from additional hurt later in life and block out the negative aspects of our past. Sometimes I believe we all replace fact if not positive with how we wished events had occurred.


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

Expert

RE: How does the novel interrogate the nature of memory?

Memory is not reliable. Ask any of your children to remember an event and they all will say something different. Annie remembered her past, and in doing so, may have made it more positive than it actually was. I agree with the other posts on this. We may ember the good memories as much more positive than they actually were and the negative as much worse than they were. Also, we may block out or seriously revise many events of the past.


Reply

Please login to post a response.