Daily Archives: January 19, 2012

*** The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt

The Memory Chalet is a poignant memoir by an erudite historian who, felled by Lou Gehrig’s disease into complete paralysis, lets his sharp mind meander, remember, and ruminate into dazzling essays. The title is a self-deprecating play on words from the memory palace of classical memorizers, more modestly sized to suit the author, who nevertheless needs to compose the essays entirely in his mind since he cannot physically write them but it’s a prodigious chalet where a simple bus ride evokes class warfare, formidable teachers hammer German into his head, and French intellectuals of the Ecole Normale are as narrow-minded as I remember them to be. Highly recommended, for all its ivory tower undertones.

 

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