“Buried in Colorado All Alone” — Joy Williams

“Buried in Colorado All Alone”


Joy Williams

from 99 Stories of God

The girl from the pharmacy who delivered Darvon to Philip K. Dick, the science fiction writer, wore a golden fish necklace.

“What does that mean?” asked Dick.

She touched it and said, “This is a sign worn by the early Christians so that they would recognize one another.”

“In that instant,” Dick writes, “I suddenly experienced anamnesis, a Greek word meaning, literally, loss of forgetfulness.”

Anamnesis is brought on by the action of the Holy Spirit. The person remembers his true identity throughout all his lives. The person recognizes the world for what it is—his own prior thought formations—and this generates the flash. He now knows where he is.


1 thought on ““Buried in Colorado All Alone” — Joy Williams”

  1. For what it’s worth, there are also Platonic and modern versions of anamnesis. Ernst Haeckel, for example, developed a theory of inheritance that proposed the transmission of unconscious memories by means of “vivified atom-complexes,” whatever that means. This stuff probably influenced Joyce’s metempsychosis.

    I’m most interested, though, in why the story is called “Buried Alive in Colorado.”


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