These graveyards look different to Western European graveyards!
Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
Gospel Lectionary, in Latin
Austria, Salzburg, Abbey of St. Peter, ca. 1050
This book of readings for the Mass is one of three important eleventh-century Salzburg manuscripts in the Morgan that illustrate the transition from Ottonian to Romanesque styles. The book opens with two presentations: the book to St. Peter and Joachim and Anna Present the Virgin in the Temple. The latter, an early example of an apocryphal subject in a Western liturgical book, comes from the Infancy Gospel ascribed to James. The nude thorn extractors on the columns recall the Roman statue of Spinario, then regarded as an image of Priapus; the women at the bases recall the barren women who embraced Simeon Stylites’s column for fertility. Such details allude to Anna’s miraculous conception of the Virgin, for she remained barren well into old age.
The Morgan Library
I first met Henry Molaison more than half a century ago, during the spring of my third year in graduate school. I have tried to resurrect the details of my interactions with him that week, but human memory does not allow such excursions. The explicit minutiae of unique episodes fade as time passes, making it impossible for us to vividly re-experience the details of events in the distant past. What I do know is that I was very excited to have the opportunity to study such a rare case as Henry, and I had spent months preparing. Looking back at the results of all the tests he did that week, it was clear even then that the consequences of the operation carried out on him in 1957 – an experimental procedure to cure his epilepsy – had been catastrophic. Henry was left in a permanent state of amnesia, unable to retain any new information.
At the time of Henry’s operation, little was known about how memory processes worked. The extensive damage to the inner part of the temporal lobes on both sides of Henry’s brain made him a vital case study for memory researchers then and now. As the years passed, his fame grew and eventually spread to countries outside North America – and all that time Henry was stuck in the same moment. From time to time, I would tell him how important and well known he was, and he would smile sheepishly, as the praise was already slipping out of his consciousness. In his lifetime he was known as HM; only after his death, in 2008, was his identity revealed to the world.