Kate's book/ memetic recombination

From: Scott Chase (osteopilus@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu 24 Mar 2005 - 06:07:56 GMT

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    The part of your book where you touch upon memetic recombination has me remembering an essay Jung had written about cryptomnesia (the phenomenon of "hidden memories"). The basic idea of Jung's essay is that so-called novelty results from a sort of recombination. He said: "...only the combinations are new, not the material, which hardly alters at all, or only very slowly and almost imperceptibily." He focuses on how fragments of memory could arise in new contexts and points to a passage in Nietzsche's
    _Zarathustra_ that is strikingly similar to a passage in a book, by Justinus Kerner, Nietzsche may have read when he was younger. If so, this memory fragment of Nietzsche's recombined with other material as he formed his masterpiece.

    So if we look at Nietzsche's work as a representation or "cultural DNA" could we say that Jung's literary forensics work was a sort of "cultural DNA fingerprinting" which supports the case for Kerner as the intellectual father of this particular fragment? Jung, while conducting a paternity test, compared passages from Nietzsche's _Zarathustra_ and Justinus Kerner's _Blatter aus Prevorst_. Is this textual analysis akin to DNA fingerprinting? If so please kick me for the suggestion of such an analogy :-)


    Carl Jung. "Cryptomnesia" from _Psychiatric Studies_. 1957. Bollingen Foundation, New York

    Jung's work is summarized by Daniel Schacter in his
    _The Seven Sins of Memory_.

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