Time and Memory (and research(er) narratives)

This quote caught my eye:

“Time and memory are a fussy firm on interior decorators, always shifting the furniture about and redesigning and even reassigning rooms” (p.28)

Banville, John (2012). Ancient Light. London: Viking/Penguin.

A timely reminder, if ever we needed it, of the great importance of maintaining a Research(er) Journal THROUGHOUT the process and not rely on memory and reconstructions of what happened in our research and of our reasons for doing it in the way that we did. Memory is fickle and RJ entries are endlessly fascinating when reviewed later (eg for the thesis drafting process).




  • Magda Rostron

    Absolutely – and a necessary phase, too, since otherwise I would be drowning in my own notes…

  • Richard Fay

    The ‘tidying up’ phase could be understood as reflection on action focusing on the earlier reflection-in-action entries, no?

  • Magda Rostron

    Good quote – and I couldn’t agree more re: researcher journal. Even though I’m half way through my research process, I’m already finding it useful as it helps me revisit ideas for previous research activities which may or may not have worked out. This goes some way towards better planning, more accurate design of future proceedings, etc.

    Another point is that it also pays to be fairly systematic and organised in journal writing. I write compulsively, but also impulsively – on bits of paper, in books, notebooks, on my laptop, in emails (mainly to Richard!), and so on. Putting that mass of notes into some kind of semi-coherent order is a mammoth task in its own right. Still, even that “tidying up” phase can be useful, for example when it comes to discarding notes that are irrelevant or unimportant.