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Douwe Draaisma



Douwe Draaisma (1953) is Professor of the History of Psychology at the University of Groningen. His books have been widely praised, not only for their wealth of information, but also for Draaisma’s excellent style. His successful Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas about the Mind (first published in 1995), was awarded the Heymans Prize of the Dutch National Institute of Psychologists. Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older: On Autobiographical Memory (first published in 2001) has won four national prizes, two literary and two scientific, and was shortlisted for the 2005 British Aventis Prize, the world’s most prestigious award for popular science.

In Disturbances of the Mind (first published 2006) Draaisma shows a highly original approach by exploring historical material and comparing it with recent findings on eponyms of well-known mental illnesses. If Why Life Speeds Up established Draaisma’s reputation as a writer-psychologist, his Nostalgia Factory (first published in 2008) made clear that his fame was here to stay; it sold more than 50.000 copies in less than half a year. Again, Draaisma writes in an engaging, almost literary style, his language is accurate and full of well-chosen metaphors. By linking two highly interesting themes, namely history and the brain, Draaisma manages to reach a huge audience. His most recent book, The Book of Forgetting (first publication in 2010), describes memory in terms of one of its most vital properties: ‘Forgetting is mixed through our memories like yeast through dough.’ By masterfully characterizing the close mesh of remembering and forgetting in this way, Draaisma has opened up an entirely new field of research.



Translation opportunities

Als mijn geheugen me niet bedriegt

isbn 978 90 6554 0430

176 pages, 5 (black and white) illustrations

7500 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of Als mijn geheugen me niet bedriegt

"Because something that happens in one’s youth is often the consequence of an incident in later life." — Marten Toonder

"Are we different people when we grow older? Are our memories accurate? Why, when asked the same question about our past, do we give a different answer thirty years later? Memory, recollections, the winding paths in the labyrinth of time. In this maze we are fortunate to have such a wise and brilliant guide as Douwe Draaisma, who is able to distinguish between sense and nonsense in a book that, sooner or later, concerns us all. And thanks to all the examples and anecdotes, the book is also exciting and at times moving. The ability to combine knowing and writing in this way, is a rare talent." — Cees Nooteboom


If My Memory Serves Me Well

What does it do to your memories when you hear later in life that you had a different biological father from what you always thought? What happens in your memory when you find out that you have been betrayed by a lover and you realize that the betrayal has been going on for some time? What changes in your memories of a friend or loved one when it turns out later that they committed a serious criminal offence?

Some experiences are so radical that they not only give you a different future but also a different past. What you only understand or find out later in life may suddenly change the shape of a life story, like a cushion that is punched to give it the right form.

What does all this revision mean for the reliability of our memories? And is reliability actually the issue? Can memories contradict each other at various moments in your life and yet both be true?




Vergeetboek

isbn 978 90 6554 4773

280 pages, 25 (black and white) illustrations

40000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of Vergeetboek

"Historian of psychology Douwe Draaisma knows well how to weave science, history and literature into irresistible tales. Forgetting, his collection of essays around the theme of memory, is — like his successful Nostalgia Factory — hard to put down." — Alison Abbott, Nature

"Douwe Draaisma, a historian of psychology, has a rare gift for discovering buried archives that cast new light on even familiar accounts of key episodes in the discipline’s often troubled past. His past books, including The Nostalgia Factory and Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older, have developed what has become a well-honed method: a set of linked essays around his major theme, each focusing on an individual researcher or a particular pathology." — Steven Rose, The Lancet


Forgetting

Unlike his Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older and Nostalgia Factory, Douwe Draaisma’s Forgetting does not centre on the puzzling logic of memory, but on the wonder of forgetting. Forgetting, says Draaisma, serves a purpose. It is not a defect of our memory, but one of its main strengths. Forgetting is mixed through our memories like yeast through dough. The ‘first memory’ not only marks the beginning of our memory, but also highlights the forgotten years that preceded it. Memory would not remember anything if it did not selectively erase as well.

In Forgetting Draaisma once again demonstrates his talent for combining literary and scientific sources in a way that is both original and light-footed. Novels, films, paintings and photos alternate with examples from psychology, psychiatry, neurology and philosophy. Almost casually he thus reveals how forgetting works, and exposes persistent clichés. Like the idea that photos can refresh one’s memory: ‘A photo needs memories to be a real representation.’ Much more often the image of the photo slides in front of the real faces of old friends or lost loved ones. As for dreams, he drily remarks that it cannot be their mysteriousness that makes them so easy to forget. ‘In real life, if I suddenly found myself in the basement with the gorgeous lady from next door, I would certainly remember it a week after, all the more so because we don’t have a basement.’

Draaisma is at his best when he raises questions which immediately seem important, but which you are surprised to realize you have never considered. Why, for instance, are there techniques for remembering but not for forgetting? Where do repressed memories reside? What happens to shared memories when the person you shared them with is no longer around? Can memory traces really disappear from our brain or do we ‘forget’ because these traces are no longer accessible? Can ‘hypnosis’ bring back ‘forgotten memories’? Why do portraits, painted or photographed, tend to erase our memories of faces? How come a colleague remembers your idea, but has forgotten that it was your idea? This danger is certainly present in Forgetting. Its ideas are so convincing that you almost forget you read them first in Draaisma.


Ontregelde geesten

isbn 978 90 6554 4506

328 pages, with 48 (black and white) illustrations

25000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of Ontregelde geesten

"What does it mean to discover something, to see it for the first time? In Disturbances of the mind, Douwe Draaisma, the author of two profound and beautiful studies on memory, tells us the stories of James Parkinson, Alois Alzheimer, Gilles de la Tourette and others, and the special circumstances and qualities of mind which enabled them to ‘see’ the diseases or syndromes which are named after them. There are a dozen such stories here, and together they create a compelling history of our understanding of the human brain and mind. One can open this book at any chapter – but having done so, one cannot put it down. Disturbances of the mind, combining deep learning with beguiling narrative, and full of fascinating information and ideas, is one of those rare books that will delight professionals and public alike." — Oliver Sacks

"This book is a treasure for those studying the mind and brain, and is written accessibly to appeal to the general reader interested in the history of medicine and the variety of human behavior." — Simon Baron-Cohen


Disturbances of the Mind

Psychiatrists and neurologists honour their colleagues by naming diseases after their discoverers. Alois Alzheimer, James Parkinson, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Hans Asperger – all were men of flesh and blood whose names now signify a disease, a syndrome or an autistic disorder. In the process they lost their first names, and soon the memory of their lives and the circumstances of their discoveries vanished. In Disturbances of the mind, bestselling author Douwe Draaisma reconstructs the histories of thirteen ‘names’ in the science of the mind and the brain. Who were these men, and what exactly did they discover? Who were their patients? Doctors like Parkinson, Alzheimer, Korsakov and Asperger, but also lesser known psychiatrists like Capgras and Clérambault had a talent that reminds one of Oliver Sacks: by writing the history of a disease, their patients come to life, seem to stand up from the paper and walk into the reader’s memory. Disturbances of the mind offers a surprising and at the same time moving view of the recent history of brain research.




De heimweefabriek

isbn 978 90 6554 4407

144 pages, 2 (black and white) illustrations

55000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of De heimweefabriek

"Are we different people when we grow older? Are our memories accurate? Why, when asked the same question about our past, do we give a different answer thirty years later? Memory, recollections, the winding paths in the labyrinth of time... In this maze we are fortunate to have such a wise and brilliant guide as Douwe Draaisma, who is able to distinguish between sense and nonsense in a book that, sooner or later, concerns us all. And thanks to all the examples and anecdotes, the book is also exciting and at times moving. The ability to combine knowing and writing in this way, is a rare talent." - Cees Nooteboom

"I know of no better thinker and writer on the wonders of human memory than Douwe Draaisma." — Joshua Foer

"With great subtlety and in a gripping manner, Draaisma describes old age and its infirmities – which should by no means be exaggerated. Drawing on novels and memoirs as well as on specialist literature, he proves himself an expert at fathoming human nature." — NRC Handelsblad


Nostalgia Factory

“Wisdom comes with the years. But forgetfulness precedes it. And that is why we will try anything to keep our memories sharp, from brain-training to vitamin supplements. But are these mental gymnastics of any real use?”

Douwe Draaisma stands up for the ageing memory. With an eye for detail he dismantles commonplaces about the brain and in a loving way he tells the true story of the things that go by. He talks about the intangibility of memory, the market of the great forgetfulness and about nostalgia for a world that exists only in our memories. But also about the unexpected pleasures of an ageing memory, such as the reminiscence effect, which allows memories of youth to return with renewed vigour.

Nostalgia factory not only makes it clear that time does something to our memory, but also that memory does something to time.

Douwe Draaisma’s Nostalgia factory is written with eloquence and humor, his style is engaging, careful and full of well-chosen metaphors. There are many nuggets of research, carefully placed in the appropriate context. Nostalgia factory is compelling, allowing the reader to traverse diverse terrains of ageing, memory, nostalgia and the like, without getting lost in specialist terminology. It moves smoothly from anecdote to research and back, weaving stories of memory, forgetfulness, youth and old age into an effective narrative.

The section on autobiographical memory is fascinating. It is fascinating to a wide audience, precisely because everybody has an autobiographical memory which follows certain rules that we all easily recognize. Draaisma illustrates these rules with historical and literary examples; he does this systematically, making this book a project that reaches far beyond the domain of psychology.




Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt

isbn 978 90 6554 1000

288 pages, with 35 (black and white) illustrations

130000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt

"One finishes the book with a heightened awareness of complexity and the fickleness of human memory, and a genuine sense of pleasure at having encountered such a subtle, entertaining, and illumi- nating guide to the territory." — Andrew Scull, Times Literary Supplement

"Draaisma is a terrific writer, whose erudition and passion for the topic are apparent in every page." — Juan Carlos López, Nature Medicine


Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older
On Autobiographical Memory


Is it true, as Cees Nooteboom once wrote, that ‘Memory is like a dog that lies down as it pleases’? Where have the long, lazy summers of our childhood gone? Why is it that as we grow older time seems to condense, speed up, elude us, while in old age significant events from our distant past can seem as vivid and real as what happened yesterday? In this enchanting and thoughtful book, Douwe Draaisma explores the nature of autobiographical memory. Applying a unique blend of scholarship, poetic sensibility and keen observation, he tackles extraordinary phenomena such as déjà-vu’s, near-death experiences, the memory feats of idiot-savants and the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall. Raising almost as many questions as it answers, this fascinating book will not fail to touch you as it educates and entertains.




De metaforenmachine

isbn 978 90 6554 4896

320 pages, with 63 (black and white) illustrations

25000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of De metaforenmachine

"No area of science has been more metaphor-rich than the study of mind, brain and memory. Memory was a mystic writing pad for Freud, a vast storehouse in inner space for St Augustine, a theatre or palace in which items to be remembered were located and could be recovered at will for a hermeneutic tradition that stretched from the ancient Greeks to Giordano Bruno. Douwe Draaisma has written a superb history of such metaphors of memory." — Steven Rose, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"This attractive book offers an illustrated intellectual history of theories of memory. An unusually successful interdisciplinary enterprise. If psychology is a discipline with the most porous of collective memories, Douwe Draaisma’s engaging and accessible book preserves, transmits, and actively uses some of its most unusual and important historical traces." — John Sutton, Times Literary Supplement


Metaphors of Memory

What is memory? It is at the same time ephemeral, unreliable and essential to everything we do. Without memory we lose our sense of identity and reason, even our ability to perform simple physical tasks – yet it is elusive and difficult to define. Throughout the ages, philosophers and psychologists have used metaphors as a way of understanding memory. Draaisma’s fascinating book takes the reader on a tour of these metaphors of memory from ancient times to the present day. Metaphors of memory are often derived from technological artefacts that are developed to store information, ranging from the wax tablet to the computer.

Our picture and understanding of memory appears to be largely determined by technological change. Crossing continents and disciplines, Draaisma’s book is a compelling history of ideas about the mind that explores the way these metaphors have been used. Accessible and thought provoking, Metaphors of memory should be read by anyone who is interested in memory and the mind.




Een laboratorium voor de ziel

isbn 978 90 6554 4902

copies sold

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cover of Een laboratorium voor de ziel




De dromenwever

isbn 978 90 6554 0607

224 pages, with 5 (black and white) illustrations

10000 copies sold

For more information, please contact Patrick Everard

cover of De dromenwever

"One of the most original, enlightning and entertaining books of recent times." — Frankfurter Rundschau

"Draaisma is a lively and skilled writer, sensitive to nuance, irony, and context." — Andrew Scull, Times Literary Supplement


The Dreamweaver

Some parts of our brain need to stand guard while we are asleep. They start to spin strange yarns. You need to retake an exam you passed a long time ago. You run towards trains that you fail to catch. You meet people who are no longer alive. All of a sudden you are standing naked between colleagues. Most of these stories evaporate when you wake up, but the questions remain. Why do we take bizarre situations completely for granted in our dreams? Where does the sensation of flying in dreams come from? Do prophetic dreams exist? What is the origin of erotic dreams, or lucid dreams? Do we dream in black-and-white or in colour? What do the dreams of blind people look like? And of course the toughest question of all: do dreams mean anything? Do they tell us something about the dreamer? What have psychology and neurology clarified about our nocturnal life in the last half-century?

With The Dreamweaver Douwe Draaisma once again enters the human ring of wild stories, rearing nightmares and hair-raising mental acrobatics. Resolutely he roams through the dream landscapes of gliding, blind and lucid visionaries; facts about erotic, portentous and exam dreams are effortlessly separated from far-fetched fictions. Draaisma also investigates and analyzes the heart of the autobiographical dreamlife with scientific precision and pertinence, but always keeps his eyes open for the narrative power of dreams and dreamers. What we always wanted to know about dreams has now been described in The Dreamweaver.




Translations

omslag Draaisma Als mijn geheugen me niet bedriegt - Vom seltsamen Eigenleben unserer Erinnerung
isbn 9783869711348
omslag Draaisma De dromenwever
isbn 9783869711010
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Wie das Gedächtnis im Alter funktioniert
isbn 9783869710051
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - O fenomenie pamięci wieku dojrzałego
isbn 9788375361797
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Geheugen, tiid & âlderdom
isbn 9789085660316
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Nostalgia, ricordi, dimenticanza
isbn 9788861593053
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Memory, Time and Ageing
isbn 9780300205398
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Memory, time and ageing
isbn 9788962630398
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Memory, time and ageing
isbn 9780300182866
omslag Draaisma De heimweefabriek - Pamćenje, vrijeme, starost
isbn 9789533035697
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Az emlékezet egyik lehetséges története
isbn 9789639326330
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Zihinle ilgili fikirlerin tarihi
isbn 9789753426176
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Eine Geschichte des Gedächtnisses
isbn 9783896782038
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Una historia de la mente
isbn 9788420679266
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Historia pamięci
isbn 9788361182320
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Uma história das idéias sobre a mente
isbn 9788574602561
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine
isbn 9788020409195
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - A history of ideas about the mind
isbn 9780521650243
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - A history of ideas about the mind
isbn 9787536057531
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Memory, Time and Ageing
isbn 9788962631395
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Memory, Time and Ageing
isbn 9784892427282
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine - Memory, Time and Ageing
isbn 9788990048691
omslag Draaisma De metaforenmachine
isbn 9782081212381
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9789750823244
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9788962631357
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9780521509664
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9787547304808
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9789773191849
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9784062180078
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten - Alzheimer, Parkinson und Co. Von den Wegbereitern der Gehirnforschung und ihren Fällen
isbn 9783821858128
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten - Alzheimer, Parkinson und Co. Von den Wegbereitern der Gehirnforschung und ihren Fällen
isbn 9783492253383
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9789636930387
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten
isbn 9782021106084
omslag Draaisma Ontregelde geesten - Historie chorych i dzieje chorób
isbn 9788306031164
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek
isbn 9789636934545
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek - Warum Träume so schnell verloren gehen und Erinnerungen sich ständig veränderen
isbn 9783869710617
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek
isbn 9788962631388
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek - Myths, Perils and Compensations
isbn 9780300207286
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek
isbn 9788361182870
omslag Draaisma Vergeetboek - Rüyalarımızı Neden Hemen Unuturuz, Anılarımız Neden Sürekli Değişir?
isbn 9789750833755
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - O pamięci autobiograficznej
isbn 9788306030037
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Om den selvbiografiske hukommelse
isbn 9788770909839
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt
isbn 9789639548015
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Ensimmäisistä muistoista unohtamisen usvaan
isbn 9789517967525
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Come la memoria disegna il nostro passato
isbn 9788831783163
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Cómo la memoria rediseña nuestro pasado
isbn 9788420643243
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Cómo la memoria rediseña nuestro pasado
isbn 9788420649603
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Sobre a memória autobiográfica
isbn 9789896410681
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt
isbn 9782082105378
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - O autobiografické paměti
isbn 9788020018069
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Von den Rätseln unserer Erinnerung
isbn 9783492300094
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Von den Rätseln unserer Erinnerung
isbn 9783821807225
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Von den Rätseln unserer Erinnerung
isbn 9783492244923
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9789000000000
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9784062133210
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9789000000001
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9789865956318
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9787550229716
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9780521834247
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9780521691994
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9781107646261
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9788990048523
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - How memory shapes our past
isbn 9787532854622
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Belleğimiz geçmişimizi nasıl şekillendirir?
isbn 9789753426886
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - O autobiografskom pamćenju
isbn 9789533030159
omslag Draaisma Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt - Kako sećanja uobličavaju našu prošlost
isbn 9788674733981