Friday 25 August 2023

Memory is Imagination

Alain Robbe-Grillet interviewed by Shusha Guppy, ‘The Art of Fiction No. 91’, The Paris Review, 99 (1986):

   Do you mean that memory is imagination, that we invent our own life in retrospect or indeed as we go along?
   Exactly. Memory belongs to the imagination. Human memory is not like a computer that records things; it is part of the imaginative process, on the same terms as invention. In other words, inventing a character or recalling a memory is part of the same process. This is very clear in Proust: For him there is no difference between lived experience—his relationship with his mother, and so forth—and his characters. Exactly the same type of truth is involved.