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The memory machine


Jonathan Swift, Gabriel García Márquez or Iris Murdoch serve as examples to illustrate that lucid people can also lose the most important thing: memory

Mercedes Barcha Pardo and Gabriel García Márquez in Los Angeles in 2008 Steve Pyke / Penguin Random House

Losing your memory is the most common, and also cruelest, form of dementia.

When the brain's long adventure comes to an end, and the body continues to live, the disease exceeds the limits of medicine and Alzheimer's becomes a social disease.

There are many famous cases of Alzheimer's, but here we are going to establish the possible relationship between this disease and literature, reaching

Gulliver's Travels

, a novel by Jonathan Swift, where in one of his geographical adventures the protagonist reaches Glubbdubdrib Island, a territory of difficult pronunciation in which the Struldbrughs inhabit, immortal beings condemned to mental deterioration, since they not only forget the name of things, but also that of people, in addition to not being enthusiastic about what they read, who also forget a read.

Until now, the only remedies have been the closest thing to random, low-note melodies

The trigonometry of destiny cruelly traced the end of its author, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) who suffered the ravages of this disease that still had no name until, in 1901, the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, identified the symptoms. From then until today, science has been fighting against the clock to find palliatives, chemical sketches that bring life back to the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory formation. But so far, the only remedies have been the closest thing to random, low-note melodies.

In the same way that Swift's fate crossed that of his characters, Gabriel García Márquez magically predicts his own end, when in

One Hundred Years of Solitude

he describes José Arcadio Buendía fighting against the memory loss that plagues Macondo.

To do this, José Arcadio Buendía devises the memory machine, a kind of rotating dictionary loaded with chips and which he puts to work using a crank.

It is a rustic idea to fight against oblivion, an ingenious device that offers the possibility of reviewing every day, “the totality of the knowledge acquired during life”.

The Dublin writer Iris Murdoch, while promoting her latest work in 1995, during an interview in Israel, suffered an episode of amnesia

Continuing with the literary dimension, the Dublin writer Iris Murdoch could not be absent here. In 1995, while promoting her latest work, during an interview in Israel, the writer suffered an episode of amnesia. The words shrouded in the mist of oblivion were not allowed to be caught and Murdoch fell silent in front of the interviewer. From then on, her case began to be deeply studied by several specialists from the University of London, doctors who were looking for traces of the disease in the written work of the Dublin author. When writing by hand, they discovered signs of the disease in their latest manuscript, the one corresponding to the novel

Jackson's Dilemma

, concluding that this manuscript lacked the rich vocabulary of previous works, as well as the length.

If Murdoch's work is characterized by something, it is not precisely because of its brevity, nor is it because of the scarcity of vocabulary.

Her husband, also the writer John Bayley, tells us in his book

Elegy to Iris

about the author's tribulations and sufferings.

It is a twilight book that presents the decomposition of one of the most lucid minds that English literature has given of the last century.

A few days ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the marketing of aducanumab, a drug that does not cure Alzheimer's and does not prevent it either, but slows it down;

slows it down.

Although it seems almost impossible that one day a cure for Alzheimer's will be found, news like this provides us with information as infinite as it is hopeful.

The stone ax

is a section where

Montero Glez

, with the will of prose, exercises his particular siege to scientific reality to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2021-06-20

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