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The Memory ProcessNeuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives$
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Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014571

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014571.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Memory and Imagination in Romantic Fiction

Memory and Imagination in Romantic Fiction

(p.277) 13 Memory and Imagination in Romantic Fiction
The Memory Process

Alan Richardson

The MIT Press

This chapter underscores the differences between memory and imagination, and shows that they refer to markedly different human capacities concerned with distinct areas of mental activity. Memory is concerned with the factual while imagination deals with the nonfactual and even the counterfactual. Memory functions to preserve matters of autobiographical and historical record, although they can be subject to inevitable biases in perspective when being formed and to various sorts of degradation and distortion when they are stored and retrieved. On the other hand, imagination can propose and delineate entities that could not possibly exist or events that could not be realized according to current knowledge and understanding. The Romantic imagination, in particular, functions to model or simulate possible future events that might never come to pass and to create fictional scenarios that are not expected to correspond with the lived world, past, present, or future.

Keywords:   memory, imagination, mental activity, human capacities, factual, nonfactual, counterfactual, degradation, distortion, Romantic imagination

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