Sometimes I feel that what I'm aware of as “self” is like a little sailboat scudding along over sunlit wavetops on a wafer-thin surface — a bit like a scale diagram of the biosphere in relation to the size of the earth — while all kinds of life and currents are going on unseen beneath.
A Neurologist’s Notebook
The AbyssMusic and amnesia.
by Oliver Sacks, The New Yorker, September 24, 2007
www.newyorker.com/ reporting/ 2007/ 09/ 24/ 070924fa_fact_sacks?currentPage=1
Clive Wearing now has “a memory span of only seconds – the most devastating case of amnesia ever recorded. New events and experiences were effaced almost instantly … he did not seem to be able to retain any impression of anything for more than a blink. Indeed, if he did blink, his eyelids parted to reveal a new scene. The view before the blink was utterly forgotten …
In addition to this inability to preserve new memories, Clive had a retrograde amnesia, a deletion of virtually his entire past.”