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[Cryptomnesia] memory sometimes returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original

[Cryptomnesia] memory sometimes returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original [Cryptomnesia] memory sometimes returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original
Source: Barry Moser via Pinterest
Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams
From a book
Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams
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It consists in the fact that suddenly, mostly in the flow of creative writing, a word, a sentence, an image, a metaphor, or even a whole story appears which may exhibit a strange or otherwise remarkable character. If you ask the author where this fragment comes from, he does not know, and it becomes obvious that he has not even noticed it as anything peculiar. I will quote one such example from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. The author describes Zarathustra’s “descent to hell” with certain characteristic details which coincide almost word for word with the narration in a ship’s log from the year 1686.

[...]

When I read Nietzsche’s story I was struck by its peculiar style, which is different from Nietzsche’s usual language [...] The parallels with Kerner could not be a mere coincidence. Kerner’s collection dates from about 1835 and is probably the only extant source of the seaman’s yarn. At least I was certain that Nietzsche must have gleaned it from there. He retells the story with a few significant variations and as if it were his own invention. As it was in the year 1902 that I came across this case, I still had the opportunity to write to Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche, the author’s sister, and she remembered that she and her brother had read the Blätter aus Prevorst when Nietzsche was eleven years old, though she did not remember this particular story. The reason why I remembered it was that I had come across Kerner’s collection four years before [...] I had read through all the volumes of the Blätter. Naturally I should have forgotten the yarn in the course of time, because it did not interest me in any way. But in reading Nietzsche I suddenly had a sentiment du déjà vu, followed by a dim recollection of old-fashioned cut, and gradually the picture of Kerner’s book filtered into my consciousness.

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