The Fact of Memory: 114 Ruminations and Fabrications (Paperback)
A child keeps a pet cloud in a dresser drawer. A man has coffee with his doppelganger. A 20-something stunt double performs pirate swordplay at birthday parties. A schoolkid ponders the absurdity of Hell. A woman sings a Diana Ross song to a stranger across a subway platform. In this genre-defying collection of short prose pieces, Aaron Angello explores the subtleties of recollection, imagination, and the connections, both momentary and long-lasting, between oneself and others. Each piece riffs on a word from Shakespeare's Sonnet 29; over the course of 114 days, Angello woke early, meditated upon a single word from the sonnet, and wrote. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes profound, and sometimes heartbreaking, accumulating into a map of a mind at work, a Gen X coming-of-age of sorts, seamlessly invoking the likes of The Golden Girls, Spinoza, Rick Springfield, and Rimbaud. THE FACT OF MEMORY uses its innovative structure to pause and consider how language--and people--can both enthrall and abandon us, how the invincibility of youthful ambition gives way to the nuanced disappointments of aging, how unanswerable philosophical questions can share the page with glimpses of our former selves navigating a fragmented past.
Literary Nonfiction. Essays.