Hyperthymesia is a condition in which the individual possesses a superior autobiographical memory, meaning they can recall the vast majority of personal experiences and events in their lives. The term 'hyperthymesia' is derived from the Greek words hyper
meaning 'excessive', and thymesis
, meaning 'remembering'. Although considered a boon for the serious writer, it is a nasty affliction, and often results in spells in residential care.
I must have hypothymesia then because I struggle to remember things. When I was working on Left and trying to draw on childhood memories I found they were lacking in the extreme and so had to take the book in a different direction to address my lacunate childhood. I’ve never had the best of memories—except for trivia—but in recent years I’ve had ongoing problems trying to get things to stay in my head; it worries me because I’m only fifty-two. What am I going to be like in twenty or—shudder—thirty years?ReplyDelete
I trust that you have survived the intervening decade even if you cannot remember it. Like you, I have always had a terrible memory so I want to ask if you, like me, have developed a reasonable ability to understand structures, relativities and concepts; as workarounds for never recalling actual names and associated details. Hypothymesia appears not be a word: it should be. I thought that this unacknowledged condition would disguise normal, age-related decline but regrettably people only assume that I am already on the downward slopeDelete