” . . . the growth and maintenance of new synaptic terminals makes memory persist. Thus, if you remember anything of this book, it will be because your brain is slightly different after you have finished reading it.”
Kandel, In Search of Memory (2006)
Jude posted this fragment on Twitter as an instance of performative language. Unsurprisingly, I’ve thought about it often over the last two days. It was on my mind when compiling my personal canon. Memories, scenes, an atmosphere, a mood or milieu: these are what persist in memory of those books that we find a need to seek out repeatedly. It is as though a space, a cavity is opened up and filled with a new memory. Some books, dizzingly, open up multiple fissures. You sense the difference afterwards. The if only . . .