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Reconsolidation: Or, it's the ghosts who will answer you

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Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whe Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whereby consolidated memories later become unstable, causing false or loose recall. Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you is a lyrical montage born out of the eternal loss of a loved one. Powerfully crafted during grief’s inertia, Janice Lee elegantly weaves the present with recollections of a tenuous past, arresting memory’s flexible and vulnerable position in the lifelong process of mourning. A eulogy for a loved one – pure and honest – Reconsolidation is a poetic search for a lost connection.


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Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whe Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whereby consolidated memories later become unstable, causing false or loose recall. Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you is a lyrical montage born out of the eternal loss of a loved one. Powerfully crafted during grief’s inertia, Janice Lee elegantly weaves the present with recollections of a tenuous past, arresting memory’s flexible and vulnerable position in the lifelong process of mourning. A eulogy for a loved one – pure and honest – Reconsolidation is a poetic search for a lost connection.

30 review for Reconsolidation: Or, it's the ghosts who will answer you

  1. 5 out of 5

    Edward Rathke

    I'm not going to rate this because how can you rate someone's grief? Oddly, this is the second book I've read that a friend wrote about the death of their mother. Both are powerful books. The other is by Phil Jourdan. This, though, reminds me much more of my life and my family. I'd prefer not to state the similarities, but it makes this a pretty emotional book for reasons that stretch beyond the confines of the text and their context. But this is memorable and it's difficult. The sorrow is deep in I'm not going to rate this because how can you rate someone's grief? Oddly, this is the second book I've read that a friend wrote about the death of their mother. Both are powerful books. The other is by Phil Jourdan. This, though, reminds me much more of my life and my family. I'd prefer not to state the similarities, but it makes this a pretty emotional book for reasons that stretch beyond the confines of the text and their context. But this is memorable and it's difficult. The sorrow is deep in every page, as is the feeling that your sorrow is insufficient or incorrect. I remember when I spent the weekend in a hospital after almost dying, how everyone said I must have a new view on life, how I'll probably be cherishing every day. But none of that happened to me. I just carried on living, feeling wrong for not doing it differently, for not being a walking selfhelp book, for not being Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. But, yes, this is a great book about grief, mourning, loss, and what it means to live past and through trauma. What our memories mean and why the ghosts matter. Why they haunt us, even when we pretend they're not real, not scratching at the edge of our vision. Also, I've never come across anyone who feels the exact same way as I do about windshield wipers.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A haunting elegy about the death of the author's mother and a sorrowful reflection on the way memories are eroded by grief. A haunting elegy about the death of the author's mother and a sorrowful reflection on the way memories are eroded by grief.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Co

    the memory is relentless, and the more you wish to forget, the more it shows itself. the less you hear from it, the more you are afraid you will lose the memory forever. very moved by what janice lee dares to chase and trace in her writing and, in her own words, her great capacity to hold many angles of simultenaeity in her work. feels like a very warm and raw thing in my hands while reading this, and this book launches you right into the center of all that is whirling around in grief and in li the memory is relentless, and the more you wish to forget, the more it shows itself. the less you hear from it, the more you are afraid you will lose the memory forever. very moved by what janice lee dares to chase and trace in her writing and, in her own words, her great capacity to hold many angles of simultenaeity in her work. feels like a very warm and raw thing in my hands while reading this, and this book launches you right into the center of all that is whirling around in grief and in living amongst (as) ghosts.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Landau

    Everybody goes through loss, but not everybody can articulate it with such resonating clarity as Janice Lee does in her sort of essay, kind of memoir, almost prose poem RECONSOLIDATION: OR, IT’S THE GHOSTS WHO WILL ANSWER YOU. Yet this isn’t a dry factual text, it’s more catholic and impressionistic. The short book, written months after the sudden death of her mother from a brain aneurysm, captures the shocking finality and banal regularity of death. Lee writes about the fluidity of memory and h Everybody goes through loss, but not everybody can articulate it with such resonating clarity as Janice Lee does in her sort of essay, kind of memoir, almost prose poem RECONSOLIDATION: OR, IT’S THE GHOSTS WHO WILL ANSWER YOU. Yet this isn’t a dry factual text, it’s more catholic and impressionistic. The short book, written months after the sudden death of her mother from a brain aneurysm, captures the shocking finality and banal regularity of death. Lee writes about the fluidity of memory and how memory changes how we think about what we’re thinking about. In this case, language itself becomes if not an obstacle to recall her mother, then a filter by which that form is forever changed. There is a bit of a ghost story here, too, which is no surprise given the subtitle of the book, but it’s not supernatural except if you parse that word to be almost like an overly intense version of the natural. For what is more natural than death? But it is only by closely examining it, by acknowledging its inevitability and recognizing that death haunts our every living moment, can we accept it as natural. It is this process that leads to living of an authentic life. Lee punctuates her tale with related quotes from other writers, which helps to expand her personal story to a universal one, but she would connect to her readers with or without the help of collaborators. If we follow her through the door she opens to something we’re all intimate with, whether we know it or not, it’s a very moving experience.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Muntz

    Somehow I finished two books about losing mothers today, but this was definitely the better of the two. There are a lot of very complicated ideas that get tossed around about loss, memory, and selfhood, but ultimately what's striking about this book is its very honest, straightforward portrayal of loss: the trauma of losing a mother, and the specific moments of pain along the way. We get a very elaborate, well-drawn portrait of Lee's family in a very small space, the things that keep them close Somehow I finished two books about losing mothers today, but this was definitely the better of the two. There are a lot of very complicated ideas that get tossed around about loss, memory, and selfhood, but ultimately what's striking about this book is its very honest, straightforward portrayal of loss: the trauma of losing a mother, and the specific moments of pain along the way. We get a very elaborate, well-drawn portrait of Lee's family in a very small space, the things that keep them close but (especially) far away. There are insightful scenes of Lees mother, some positive and others negative, but what's most important is the absence of her: how ghosts, in some ways, can be more real than living people. It's a powerful, striking book despite how short it is, with a lot of meditations (despite how conceptual it is) on the impossibility of intellectualizing grief, and there were a few bits that resonated with me really intensely for mostly personal reasons; though in the end it's tough to rate or review, since how do you talk about something so real that happened to someone you know, even when it's written down in a book?

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    A powerful book, dominance between emotion, analysis, and the language flow seems blended. It's an intensely personal book that instantly brings the reader into that intimacy. Very strong, and very moving. A powerful book, dominance between emotion, analysis, and the language flow seems blended. It's an intensely personal book that instantly brings the reader into that intimacy. Very strong, and very moving.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alvin

    Consider death. Consider how memories don't tell you everything, but how memories are all that you have. Consider death. Consider how memories don't tell you everything, but how memories are all that you have.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Janice Lee's words will haunt me and my ghosts. Need to read it again, then again. Unti I too become a ghost. Janice Lee's words will haunt me and my ghosts. Need to read it again, then again. Unti I too become a ghost.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Molly Gaudry

    I love this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peter Rock

    What a wonderfully sharp, incisive, helpful book. Loss, memory, ghosts, so many devastating and smart questions, so many carefully attuned words. Just what I needed right now. "It is when words fail that ghosts appear. It is when memory has something to say, that the ghosts are visible. . . ." "I don't know what the afterlife is like for others, but for me, it is the period after a life, after the life of that woman who brought me into this world." What a wonderfully sharp, incisive, helpful book. Loss, memory, ghosts, so many devastating and smart questions, so many carefully attuned words. Just what I needed right now. "It is when words fail that ghosts appear. It is when memory has something to say, that the ghosts are visible. . . ." "I don't know what the afterlife is like for others, but for me, it is the period after a life, after the life of that woman who brought me into this world."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kris V

    “My memory loss moves through my body like a ghost, the memories that reappear swing my limbs in alternating motions, I am a rearranged body, and again I am stalling. I am stalling.” A gorgeous quick read. It’s so difficult to write in the aftermath of the death of a loved one, especially a parent. Yet, the white space and structure allows the writing to breath rather than become overwhelming to absorb. Beautifully done.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Siel Ju

    “The memories congregate like / a slow-moving herd of dots.” * Janice’s brief work is a fragmentary piece examining Janice’s ghostly dreams of her mother, who died of a brain aneurism — alongside memories of her and philosophical quotes and ideas about memory. It’s a slim but rich text.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jared Levine

    Janice Lee touches on the topic of death and memory so elegantly in this book. It's interesting to me, that the book appears to be written mostly as means to cope, to understand her feelings, and in some ways seems as it is written because you only get one chance to write about death after immediately loosing your mom—where perhaps it's a unique writing opportunity. Janice in the process of writing, and more so grieving, finds herself reading a lot, which appears as frequent quotes throughout. W Janice Lee touches on the topic of death and memory so elegantly in this book. It's interesting to me, that the book appears to be written mostly as means to cope, to understand her feelings, and in some ways seems as it is written because you only get one chance to write about death after immediately loosing your mom—where perhaps it's a unique writing opportunity. Janice in the process of writing, and more so grieving, finds herself reading a lot, which appears as frequent quotes throughout. We see her frustrated at her own process of grieving, frustrated at the process of writing about grieving, and it is uniquely sad in this way. With the inclusion of the quotations and all, it almost reads as if it's the journal she was writing in when beginning to cope with loss of her mother, and I think it's incredibly sad, but brilliant.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Carmody

    Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you by Janice Lee. This is a gift: a lyric essay about the sudden death of her mother, and the afterlife, a ghostly presence, created in memory and in text. Lee writes a beautifully measured grief, its rhythms and contemplations. And there they are, “mother and daughter locked in death match after death match” (20), “mother and daughter in life” (76).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Watermelon

    This is a lovely extended meditation on memory and maternal loss. It brilliantly captures the moment of fresh mourning, when the need to remember is most urgent, and the inevitability of forgetting most heartbreaking.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Drew

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lynzpom

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Ceballos [y Campbell]

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wilone

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robin Myrick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Crapmonster

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bes

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Wren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas M

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