Thursday, March 24, 2005

In Which I Take MetaBlogging And Googling To Their Ultimate (neuro)Logical Conclusion

I've never had a particularly good memory. And it's not improving with age. Today I was writing a little trifle at Affiction and wanted to include a thematically related and famous bit of Tennyson that had been floating around in my head. Lines in which a morning streetscape reflects the speaker's inner, grief-stricken desolation. But I couldn't quite recall the lines.

"On the something street/breaks the bald day" was as far as I could get with the old, personal, House-of-Toast hippocampus.

"I'll Google it, then" I thought, pointing, clicking, and typing "bald day" Tennyson into the search box.

I was shocked. There was only one hit. How could that be ? It was a famous poem from an elegiac series whose name, of course, I could not for the life of me remember.

As I scanned the little google blurb I felt a weird deja vu, a vertigo, an practically out-of-body textual disorientation:

... The next admission's Ahab's anyway. Tennyson elbows in with a bald day and
blank street or is it a vice versa sailor's warning warning almost morning ...

Hey, wait a second, those were MY words !

From a poem I barely remembered writing !

A poem that referenced my inability to remember whether the day or the street was bald or blank in Tennyson's poem !

At least then I could remember both adjectives, even if I reversed them.

What good is Google, then, as a mnemonic device, if it's infected with my own, deepest personal amnesias ?

I ask you.

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