This happened to my daughter, who is under 2, two weeks ago. She is still talking about it: “I-cream fell. I-cream. FELL. I. Cream. ISE. FELL.” When she wakes up, it’s one of the first things she says, and repeats, as though she’d relived the experience during her sleep. If something else falls, she mentions the ice cream fall again. It has become Something in her mind, an event, perhaps a trauma, certainly a point of reference. An image that has stayed.
It has been asked before, but it’s worthwhile to re-up: what is one image from a book that has become indelible in your mind?
And here’s the B-Side: do we put too much importance on “the memorable image,” or “memorability” in general, with regard to the books we read? Are the ones that stay with us automatically “better”? Because I’ve read plenty of books that have absorbed me fully in the reading, in the moment, but that seem to vaporize as soon as I’m done. Are such works somehow inferior? Which ones are you more likely to re-read, the ones that you remember, or the ones that you don’t? Is re-read value adequate for determining a book’s worth?