memory, memento

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In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.

Memory is a book starts with a young man who lost his memory. He lied in the hospital and tried to figure out what's going on. The protagonist Cole was short of money, so he went to a town nearby. He worked, with a vague plan to go back to New York. That was the place he thought he was from. The fact of losing memory led to a situation that he stuck to nowhere, but stuck somewhere. When he got used to the setting and safety, he even forgot to move on.
One day he was reminded by his own note, which might be written months ago. It's like to receive a letter you wrote to yourself long time ago. He determined to collect money going back to his old neighborhood. He got along with people he should know. He also discerned the absurdity that people  talked to his ID, who he was supposed to be, rather to him now and here. He was still stuck. He could not go back. He could not move forward. It'sworse than the situation before. He could not walk away from his root. As long as people are trying to crawl back to the old time, and old time never came back, they got stuck. This is the same thing. 
I wonder, which point reminds me of Mememto. When I read the book, some glimpse of this film crossed my mind; so again I watched it. The story is done by flashback. While more flashback scene is added up, the audience defines the protagonist and sees how far away he gets from what he wants. Memory is the clue, giving hint to next steps, providing meaning to the deeds. As the movie goes on, the abstract memory becomes pieces of paper, tattoo, photos, people use to encode.
In both works, the protagonists chase their past and future. Desolate it is Lenny's monologue. "How can I heal without a sense of time?" The chasing was timeless, and aimless in nature. The question actually links to our daily life, what I am doing, why I am here, what time it is. To see the nature, everyone is standing at the intersection of past and future,  bearing the lament to past and the desire for future simultaneously.
I am not sure if it is redemption. The author Donald E. Westlake gave the protagonist Cole freedom. At the end of the book, Cole threw away the notes he wrote before and decided to live a brand new life. In the film, freedom was granted as creation. The protagonist Lenny created his own memory. Lenny made up a statement which he intended to dominate a brand new chasing. Weird. But this applies to common walks. People subjectively encode and believe into something, and move on.