writing about the past

One ”sees” through memory as through a tremulous prism: The past is recaptured by way of disparate images, fragmented sensory vignettes, snatches of conversation. Chronological fidelity is desired less than impressionistic immediacy. For of what value is the past if, being recounted, it lies dead and mute on the page?

Joyce Carol Oates reviews Unframed Originals by W.S. Merwin  (from here) 

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