It is not rare to write of an inhuman creature. Lafontaine wrote fables with an animal protagonist, in Andersen’s Picture Book without Pictures the moon tells the story, and God by Hiromi Kawakami, a recent novel in Japan, was called attention some years ago. Nowadays, accepting Disney or Doraemon, it is not wonder for us that inhuman creatures are walking to and fro and speaking the same language as ours. Rather, dealing with such objects, what we should have them tell is more important to consider.
In “The Rememberer” Ben experiences reverse evolution. “I” says, “one day he was my lover and the next he was some kind of ape. It's been a month and now he's a sea turtle.” He dissappearing, so everybody calls him, but she cannot explain the situation to tell a lie. Then, they stop. No one but “I” cares for him indeed.
Following the title, this is the story about rememberance. He dissappears in a moment from their rememberance. We do recognise a rapid stream of the time in modern times. Moreover, he, reversing a stream of the time, “is shedding a million years a day.” It seemed a metaphor to express how rapid our age has been progressing.
“Last day I saw him human, he was sad about the world.
This was not unusual. He was always sad about the world. It was a large reason why I loved him. We'd sit together and be sad and think about being sad and sometimes discuss sadness.”
“We think far too much” says he. As a consequence, he ‘evolves’ into creatures unable to think. Adapting to the condition, gaining the necesssaries but cutting off the unnecessaries. If it is a process of evolution of creature, we have to admit that his abandoning thoughts is a part of our progress. To think is also to remember, that is, he chooses to stop remembering.
“I” asks Ben, finally becoming a sea turtle, “do you remember me? Do you remember?” if she forgot him, the traces of his existence would disappeared from the world. After releasing him to the sea, she checks whether her telephone number is listed on a phone book lest he cannot remember, and she wanders outside. We live in the age when lots of things are to be lost unless we do remember as such.