Word of the Day

Saturday, December 31, 2011


\an-am-NEE-sis\ , noun;
The recollection or remembrance of the past.
Platonism. Recollection of the Ideas, which the soul had known in a previous existence, especially by means of reasoning.
The medical history of a patient.
Immunology. A prompt immune response to a previously encountered antigen, characterized by more rapid onset and greater effectiveness of antibody and T cell reaction than during the first encounter, as after a booster shot in a previously immunized person.
(Often initial capital letter) a prayer in a Eucharistic service, recalling the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ.
When I was writing a novel about a fourteen-year-old girl, I must remember what I was like at fourteen, but this anamnesis is not a looking back, from my present chronological age, at Madeleine, aged fourteen.
-- Madeleine L'Engle, The Irrational Season
The narrator of Dostoevsky's Dream of a Ridiculous Man visits in his sleep, in a state of anamnesis perhaps, a humanity living in the Golden Age before the loss of innocence and happiness.
-- Czesław Miłosz, To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays
Anamnesis is derived from the Greek roots ana (meaning “re”) and mimnḗskein (meaning “to call to mind”).
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