What is it about memory that makes intrigues writers? Proust, Kerouac, Eco and a list of others write about memories. Proust and Kerouac wrote about their youths as they remembered them. Or more correctly, as they wanted to remember them. Can Proust really remember exactly how he felt when he visited Combray or can Kerouac really remember what he saw from his crib? I don't think they actually want us to think they could. It's their relation to their memory that has made them search for themselves in art as a way to explain themselves or those around them. Eco plays with the concept of memory in a more problematic way. For the first part of The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana he questions the derivatives of memory and what memory is. If we don't remember something, but we're told a story that relayed what happened, does that constitute a memory? Is memory only something that we think we remember or is it anything in our past? Did it have to happen to be a memory? Or can we think it happened? Then in the second part of the novel, Eco begins to remember his childhood perfectly. Only problem is that it isn't necessarily in order. And I agree with this because I don't believe we can reach into our minds and pull out experiences without dragging out various other experiences that related to one another. Chaos with no order as Saramago would say.
I think writers deal with memory because it's a topic that has no definitive answer. I certainly wouldn't read a writer that was simply spewing facts at me. I like reading something that makes me think, especially about the world and myself. And as an amateur writer, I would never want to write about something I'm certain about. I write because it's the investigation that interests me. Writers are supposed to be inquisitive and relay their findings, no matter how vague, to us. At least that's how I see it. I guess that's why I don't care much for books that have tied-up endings. Life isn't that way and neither should my art. I think.