Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whereby consolidated memories later become unstable, causing false or loose recall.
Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you is a lyrical montage born out of the eternal loss of a loved one. Powerfully crafted during grief’s inertia, Janice Lee elegantly weaves the present with recollections of a tenuous past, arresting memory’s flexible and vulnerable position in the lifelong process of mourning. A eulogy for a loved one – pure and honest – Reconsolidation is a poetic search for a lost connection.
Lee’s text is an act of (active) assemblage, an emotional bricolage that performs in the same way as the act of memory. These writers are the ghosts that haunt Lee’s . Or, perhaps it’s more apt to say that Lee’s book is haunted by writing…
This lean and muscular text is best ingested in one shot, not unlike the way we experience pivotal events. An uninterrupted read allows for an accumulation of the quick changes from the author’s experience to critique of the machinations of memory and back again. This layering and interrupting, asserting and questioning, felt authentic to the experience of sorting out trauma. It is a piercing wail rather than a protracted weep.
No one can capture space as space in language alone, but Lee comes as close as one can hope.
I can’t remember reading a book that so precisely and empathetically allows the reader to consider death and existence so directly. Its openness and willingness to search for meaning in the midst of pain is refreshing in its calmness.