The story of a mother who loses her memory and a son who seeks to “reconstruct memories” from science and literature

Book Fair 2022 – Carlos Balmaceda

“The book arises as a personal challenge after my mother begins to forget. And since her life is also my life, she challenges me to rebuild and enrich our bond from that tension between forgetting, gradually losing memory, and memories. And from my side, to see that those things that mom is forgetting are also part of my life, ”he says. Carlos BalmacedaSecretary of Culture of Mar del Plata and writer of My mother and Stephen Hawkingin dialogue with Bethlehem Marinone.

“Obviously there was a moment of filial angst, what happens when the people we love stop being the people we know. And as a writer, the challenge of symbolizing the pain, the anguish, and above all the hope: how can a point of contact arise between my mother and me, and how can that point be an active practice that generates the hope of maintaining a love bond”.

“Why the title of the book?”

Stephen Hawking I had a principle about black holes. Physics says that if two particles have been as soon as linked, it doesn’t matter what occurs, they are going to keep related, even when one falls right into a black gap. I take this as a metaphor for love connection; As lengthy as there’s a thread of connection between my mother and me, that relationship will proceed endlessly. So how do you rebuild that relationship? From the conviction that the minimal love connection permits different kinds of connections. There started a dialogue with mother, what occurs once I go to her, what I inform within the ebook, and the way that stress between reminiscence and oblivion works.

(Augusto Fornaciari)
(Augusto Fornaciari)

—What was the breaking level, the second once you realized that one thing needed to be completed?

—In normal they’re processes. Forgetting goes deeper, and reminiscence performs with methods. But for a second she strongly misplaced monitor of actuality, dozens of calls with the identical query in the identical day, methodical forgetfulness, a range turned on at a really excessive temperature, a bit of toast left within the toaster and burned… indicators which can be very clear that one thing is occurring. The very first thing we did was a medical session, from which the analysis emerged. And then selections needed to be made. There is some extent within the illness when the individual now not has cognitive autonomy. There started one other course of that’s that of institutionalization, the place she was going to stay; It was an emotional course of for everybody.

—When you hear that the physician says that reminiscence sinks right into a black gap, what was your first thought?

—I spent a number of nights fascinated with what to do with that state of affairs, and that is when the picture of hawking, which says that if one thing occurs to a black gap there may be all the time a method out. And the best way out is hope but in addition a relationship of cognitive stimulation, dialogue, reconstruction. In the ebook I take advantage of completely different narrative instruments, reminiscence and components of fiction. Because reminiscence can be fictional, we keep in mind issues that didn’t exist. Memory performs methods on us, we reconstruct recollections primarily based on episodes that we consider to be actual. I inform the encounters, what we keep in mind, how I stimulate their reminiscence from previous episodes. Alzheimer’s makes individuals overlook the current and keep in mind a number of extra distant durations, so methods to fill that current. I’m telling what occurs with reminiscence and emotion, how we reconstruct alone and with others, how collective reminiscence influences private reminiscence. What if what’s remembered isn’t true? That is why I additionally attraction to dialogue with philosophers, artists, I take advantage of work, songs, which permit us to make evocations and reconstruct our previous. This is defined by neuroscience, the place I immersed myself to know what was occurring with dad’s reminiscence, with my reminiscence and with these recollections.

(Augusto Fornaciari)
(Augusto Fornaciari)

—What was the reminiscence of her that almost all impacted you or that you just didn’t know that you just saved and that was completely different?

“The recollections of her with my dad. When he left, just a few years in the past, the final evening we had a dialogue through which he recounted episodes from his youth that I did not find out about. I used to be amazed and registered them. As Mom recounted her first encounters with Dad, I spotted that we all know little or no about our dad and mom. What was the primary film they went to see (I discovered it on the web and took it to her to see it), what music did they take heed to, her relationship together with her father; she additionally recounted her childhood. From this dialogue, a narrative of hers started to be constructed that was additionally mine, and I’m telling it within the ebook as nicely. Immigrant tales appear journey tales stuffed with fantasies, these episodes are those that amazed probably the most.

—How lengthy did you’ve gotten these conferences along with your mom to report what you say within the ebook? How did you report these conversations?

“I started taking notes. Five years ago I began to publish in Clarín, as a result of Hawking’s death, I said that thanks to him I had managed to connect with my mother. After that, I was invited to open a psychiatry conference talking about fiction and the intangibility of memory, then at a neuroscience meeting I spoke about how narrative fiction is constructed and how memory is constructed. After those notes came the idea for the book, whose rights were donated to an institution that works with relatives and Alzheimer’s patients.

(Augusto Fornaciari)
(Augusto Fornaciari)

What would you say to someone going through a similar situation?

—Don’t give up, that there is the possibility of a loving connection, in a dialogue, in the sensory, a caress, in remembering together, filling in memory gaps with emotion as sustenance for memory. By reliving that emotion, a look, a perfume, sensations that awaken memories in us. What helps to remember is always worth.

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