We partnered with The New Yorker, whose librarians dug into the magazine's archive to find some of its best works focusing on memory. These three pieces have also been made available on the magazine's website for free.
By David Owen
Mar 19, 2012
David Owen recounts the most dramatic moments of his youth through the physical marks they left on his skin, describing the ways that childhood wounds can turn the body into a kind of historical document. There's the burn mark on his arm from a dollop of molten G.I. Joe, the line on his toe from a misdirected firework, and the cut on his thumb from a knife used for "carving a spear for marmot hunting" — a life story threaded together by scars.
By Alec Wilkinson
May 28, 2007
Known as the "Frank Lloyd Wright of computers," Gordon Bell has spent years preserving all aspects of his life. Tens of thousands of emails, photographs, and recorded phone calls have been catalogued, along with his entire web-browsing history, every instant message sent since 2003, and more than 800 pages of health records, forming the most comprehensive digital personal archive in the world.
By E. B. White
Dec 7, 1935
E. B. White tells the story of Bernard Zufall, one of the greatest amateur mnemonists in history. Zufall memorized the entire Manhattan telephone directory, could cite on demand the day of the week for any date from 1752 to 2000, and committed to memory every issue of the Saturday Evening Post for more than a decade. White even gets a look at Zufall's 3,000-volume personal collection of books on the subject of mnemonics — and, with it, a glimpse of Mrs. Zufall's bemused disdain for her husband's unique ability.
Like The New Yorker on Facebook for more.