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by William Gibson

Memory and the Past Quotes in Neuromancer

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #4

It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct, a hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man's skills, obsessions, knee-jerk responses. (5.54)

The Dixie Flatline is a ROM, or read only memory. He has all the memories, skills, and thoughts of the Dixie Flatline up to the moment he died. However, he can no longer create new memories, meaning he can't grow and change like a person can. We agree with Case; it's a disturbing idea. The man has become a sort of object, forever in stasis.

Quote #5

Case glanced at the embalmed [horse] and shook his head […] The thing's legs had been worn black and hairless by decades of passing hands. "Saw one in Maryland once," the Finn said, "and that was a good three years after the pandemic. There's Arabs still trying to code 'em up from the DNA, but they always croak." (7.60)

Memories of the past collect in Istanbul in the form of antiques. Here, the Finn mentions how people are trying to return to the past but no dice. Imagine Jurassic Park, only with horses. Yeah, it doesn't work so well.

Quote #6

"Babylon," Aerol said, sadly, handing him the trodes and kicking off down the corridor. (8.67)

We think of devices like the trodes as being something from the future. But for members of Zion, the trodes only serve as a reminder of bad memories and the past. In this case, Babylon is the Rasta name for America and Europe, where their ancestors were enslaved.

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