I’ve written before about my tendency to confuse vastly different things (Middlemarch and Middlesex, socks), so I might as well add that for a long time I didn’t understand why everybody seemed to have so much respect for the inventor of scuba diving as a thinker and literary figure. Then I realized that Jacques Cousteau and Jean Cocteau were different people.
November 2, 2011
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I still sometimes have trouble with Orson Welles, George Orwell, and H.G. Wells.
For a long time I had a similar problem involving Warren Buffet, Jimmy Buffet, and occasionally Warren Beatty. In a vague sort of way. The mental process starting with “How much money can you make wasting away in Margaritaville?” was never something I pursued far enough to stumble onto the reality.
Which of Irving and Isaiah Berlin was which again?
“What’s all this about Soviet jewelry? Why, Mrs. Kruschev never even owned a watch. Oh, never mind.”
I do the exact same thing with Florence Nightingale. “When did everyone become so impressed with Mrs. Brady?”
Martin Landau Walter Matthau. Ingsomething Bergman. My god it’s good to have a place to come clean about these.
I have had the same problem with: 1. Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler, whose names I have had to remember by using mnemonic devices and looking both left and right trying to activate different parts of my brain; 2. Sigourney Weaver, Susan Sarandon, and Debra Winger. I associate all of them with each other for some odd reason and have to run through all three names to get to one of them; 3. With the most shame, I admit, as a youngster I couldn’t remember which was the country and which the monster: Hong Kong or King Kong. I’m serious.