Patrick Suskind's Amnesia In Litteris

730 Words3 Pages
In Patrick Suskind’s “Amnesia in Litteris,” the narrator supposedly suffers from a total loss of literary memory. This means he cannot remember any written works he has read in the past. He references different books he knows he read at some point in time, but he cannot remember the contents of the book. In looking at Patrick Suskind’s “Amnesia in Litteris,” we will consider Patrick Suskind’s use of polysydeton and asyndeton, which suggests the writer is emphasizing his points, to find that a person cannot become accustom to their surroundings and must always keep a clear and critical eye towards life. One example of asyndeton portrays the narrator questioning the logistics of reading and explains the reason it is important. The narrator…show more content…
The narrator summarizes the reason a person must not give into the “amnesia”: “You must not give in to this terrible amnesia, I think to myself, you must push with all your strength against the current of Lethe, you mustn't ever again let yourself sink head over heels into a text, you must take a critical distance and stand above the book with a clear and critical consciousness, you must excerpt, memorize, train your memory. In short; you must… ‘You must change your life!’” (Suskind). In this passage, Patrick Suskind uses polysyndeton to emphasize his list of ways a person must “change your life.” The repetition of the words “you must” directly refers to the reader and allows the reader to flow seamlessly through the extremely important information Patrick Suskind is feeding to him. In the list of “you must,” Patrick Suskind states, “you must take a critical distance and stand above the book with a clear and critical consciousness,” which suggests that the reader cannot allow self-bias to get in the way when reading literature. If self-bias is allowed to occur, the person cannot forget what has been read. If a person does not forget what he read, there will always be bias towards any reading in the future and it will not allow any original thoughts to occur through the reader. If this occurs, the entire idea of…show more content…
He explains this through a list of questions using asyndeton that allows the reader to think deeply into the reason a person reads. Patrick Suskind also explains that a person must approach literature with a clear and critical mind. He uses polysyndeton to get the readers attention while listing the important factors a person must keep in mind when effected by the “amnesia in litteris.” In conclusion, if a person were to approach literature with a non clear or critical mind, that person will remember what has been read in a biased fashion. If a person remembers the literature read in this way, this would not allow the person to have an original thought towards that piece of literature or any other piece of literature that relates to the read piece. In result, a subconscious and uncontrollable bias towards much broader subjects is created. Once this is allowed to happen, the entire idea of original literature and original thought is put into ruins, and all new literature comes to a
Open Document