Author: Maël Renouard
Publisher: New York Review of Books
“One day, as I was daydreaming on the boulevard Beaumarchais, I had the idea—it came and went in a flash, almost in spite of myself—of doing a Google search to find out what I had been up to and where I had been the previous evening, since my own recollections were confused.” So begins MaeÅNl Renouard’s Fragments of an Infinite Memory, a provocative and elegant inquiry into life in a wireless world. Renouard is old enough to remember life before the Internet but young enough to have fully accommodated his life to the Internet and the gadgets that support it. Here this young philosopher, novelist, and translator tries out a series of conjectures on how human experience, especially the sense of self, is being changed by our continual engagement with a memory that is impersonal and effectively boundless. Renouard has written a book that is rigorously impressionistic, deeply informed historically and culturally, but also playful, ironic, personal, and formally adventurous, a book that withstands comparison to the best of Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard.