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Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How…
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Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past

by Douwe Draaisma

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» See also 3 mentions

Dutch (2)  English (1)  All languages (3)
The question in the title of the book is tackled only towards the end very briefly but that doesn't render the book irrelevant. On the contrary, it is a unique blend of historical perspective on the psychology of memory and literature. Even though the text is generally relaxed and targeted toward the casual interested reader it provides good references on memory studies. Especially the chapter on near-death experiences provide some good and competing hypotheses which try to link the data to what we currently know about brain.

What struck me most and took me by surprise was a passage related to the metaphor of 'viewing one's whole life as a film in fast motion'. The author showed that long before the invention of cinema the metaphor of 'panorama' was used for that kind of near-death experiences however now that the cinema is so much established everybody who had that kind of dramatic experience refers to what happened in terms of cinema and this may be leading to the loss of some details which cannot be expressed in the language of cinema (such as seeing different part of life, of memory all at once, which is possible in the panorama metaphor but not so using the metaphor of cinema). ( )
  EmreSevinc | Jun 25, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douwe Draaismaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mølmann-Ibsen, NajaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521834244, Hardcover)

Is it true, as the novelist Cees Nooteboom once wrote, that memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases? Where do the long, lazy summers of our childhood go? Why, as we grow older, does time seem to condense, speed up and elude us, while in old age, significant events from our distant past can seem as vivid and real as what happened yesterday? Douwe Draaisma, author of the internationally acclaimed Metaphors of Memory (Cambridge, 2001), explores the nature of autobiographical memory. Applying a unique blend of scholarship, poetic sensibility, and keen observation, he tackles such extraordinary phenomena as deja-vu, near-death experiences, the memory feats of idiot savants, and the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall. Raising almost as many questions as it answers, this fascinating book will not fail to affect you at the same time as it educates and entertains. Douwe Draaisma is Professor of the History of Psychology in the Department of Theory and History of Psychology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He has published books on time and memory and his articles have appeared in professional journals as diverse as Annals of Science, Psychological Medicine, and Nature. The original Dutch version of Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older has won several scientific and literary awards.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:12 -0400)

"In this book, Douwe Draaisma, author of the internationally acclaimed Metaphors of Memory, explores the nature of autobiographical memory. Applying a unique blend of scholarship, poetic sensibility and keen observation he tackles such extraordinary phenomena as deja vu, near-death experiences, the memory feats of idiots savants and the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall. Raising almost as many questions as it answers, this book will not fail to touch you at the same time as it educates and entertains."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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