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#156545 - 03/04/06 02:20 AM The threshold of remembrance
Stag_Beetle Offline
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Does anyone know a word or any words which help to describe the state of teetering on the brink of remembrance?

I remember seeing in a psychology textbook in a chapter on memory a wonderful description by... ah... possibly Mark Twain, I can't remember (oh the irony), all about the exquisite a agony of having a word on the tip of your tongue.

Now... how did that go?

Anyway, if it helps, this was brought to mind by a passage from the short story 'Legeia' by Edgar Allan Poe.

For context, the narrator is describing how aesthetic parallels between Legeia and the natural world (as along Diotima’s model of ascension) tantalize him with a sense of metempsychotic foreknowledge:

Quote:

There is no point, among the many incomprehensible anomalies of the science of mind, more thrillingly exciting than the fact [...] that, in our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember. And thus how frequently, in my intense scrutiny of Ligeia's eyes, have I felt approaching the full knowledge of their expression – felt it approaching – yet not quite be mine – and so at length entirely depart! And [...] I found, in the commonest objects of the universe, a circle of analogies to that expression. I recognized it, let me repeat, sometimes in the survey of a rapidly-growing vine – in the contemplation of a moth, a butterfly, a chrysalis, a stream of running water. I have felt it in the ocean; in the falling of a meteor. I have felt it in the glances of unusually aged people. And there are one or two stars in heaven [...] in a telescopic scrutiny of which I have been made aware of the feeling. I have been filled with it by certain sounds from stringed instruments, and not unfrequently by passages from books.



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#156546 - 03/04/06 12:15 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
tsuwm Offline
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presque vu, from that famous 'vu' triad: déjà, jamais, presque (already, never, almost)

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#156547 - 03/04/06 01:37 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
Father Steve Offline
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I dated the Vu Sisters when I was a much younger man. Lovely Vietnamese girls, as I remember. Jamais remained unmarried and childless, I heard. Not sure what happened to Deja and/or Presque.

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#156548 - 03/04/06 02:45 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
Stag_Beetle Offline
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Quote:

I dated the Vu Sisters when I was a much younger man. Lovely Vietnamese girls, as I remember. Jamais remained unmarried and childless, I heard. Not sure what happened to Deja and/or Presque.




Maybe they heard one of your jokes and committed suicide.

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#156549 - 03/04/06 02:58 PM A TOT experience
Stag_Beetle Offline
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You've probably heard this one before.

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#156550 - 03/04/06 03:04 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
Stag_Beetle Offline
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Quote:

ah... possibly Mark Twain




What am I saying Twain... it was William James.

Quote:

Suppose we try to recall a forgotten name. The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness, and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term If wrong names are proposed to us, this singularly definite gap acts immediately so as to negate them. They do not fit into its mould. And the gap of one word does not feel like the gap of another, all empty of content as both might seem necessarily to be when described as gaps. When I vainly try to recall the name of Spalding, my consciousness is far removed from what it is when I vainly try to recall the name of Bowles. There are innumerable consciousnesses of want, no one of which taken in itself has a name, but all are different from each other. Such a feeling of want is toto coelo other than a want of feeling: it is an intense feeling. The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct. Every one must know the tantalizing effect of the blank rhythm of some forgotten verse, restlessly dancing in one's mind, striving to be filled out with words.

William James, The Stream of Consciousness (1892)





Edited by Stag_Beetle (03/04/06 03:04 PM)

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#156551 - 03/04/06 03:27 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
Stag_Beetle Offline
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Then of course there's lethologica.

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#156552 - 03/04/06 05:01 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
belMarduk Offline
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Registered: 09/28/00
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Does anyone know a word or any words which help to describe the state of teetering on the brink of remembrance?

Usually we'd say, "it's on the tip of my tongue."

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#156553 - 03/04/06 05:12 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
tsuwm Offline
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Quote:


Does anyone know a word or any words which help to describe the state of teetering on the brink of remembrance?

Usually we'd say, "it's on the tip of my tongue."




well S_B, now you know the thrill of being mantled (but it was already hidden).

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#156554 - 03/04/06 07:49 PM Re: The threshold of remembrance
Stag_Beetle Offline
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Mantled... that must be when someone overlooks your post and tells you what you've already said... is that a neologism?

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