Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mysteries of Memory

They're important to consider, as one reconstructs zombie consciousness, esp in a literary work, where we might actually have some of the story from an undead POV.

People ask me questions about it, or question how likely it is for zombies to remember some things and not others. Well, consider what we definitely know about zombie thought processes:

1) Moments after being a normal, healthy human being with normal, healthy human appetites, the former person wakes up, having forgotten some rather crucial things, most esp that it's considered very rude to kill people and eat them.

2) But at the same time, s/he remembers, for some reason, to go to work, or to the mall, and to stay there, no matter what, because it's important.

If that scenario in any way "works for you (and I had to erase "is plausible," because that's not quite what I mean), then I think you're ready for any innovation the zombie author throws at you, so long as there's some setup for it.

Or, to put it another way, just consider "regular" memory and all its quirks. I was just making dinner, unable to remember all sorts of important or interesting things, but for some reason I found myself singing this:

Happy birthday, Mr Hood!
Happy birthday to ya!
To make your birthday turn out good,
We give these presents to ya!

Those lines are from a Little Rascals episode (1938) that I probably would've seen in the early 70s in syndication. That's almost 40 yrs ago, with no reinforcement of the memory since then (except the other times I've sung it). So, I don't really think too many scenarios of bizarrely remembered or forgotten info are really that incredible.


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