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Top 10 books about forgetting

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Books about the erasure of memory are usually about its opposite - the real subject of works as diverse as TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is the struggle for fragments of recollection to shore against the ruins

The irony of books about forgetting is that they are often about remembering. The absence of memory, or the fallibility of memory, is the seed from which a story is germinated. The elimination of memory through force, will or the process of time often turns into a story of the re-emergence of memory.

Memories are not accurate records nor mirrors held up to the past. They are filtered, distorted, inaccurate constructions through which we view a version of a story of the past. Eyewitness accounts of events, as proved in numerous court cases, are notoriously unreliable.

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