“He couldn’t have chanted to himself a single sentence, couldn’t have turned with curiosity or confidence to any particular page.”
James, Henry. “The Middle Years.” H. James Complete Stories 1892-1898, The Library of America, 1996, page 337.
Dencombe is struggling with many losses, including but not limited to his life and his identity and his career as an author, which is incredibly important to him. This realization that he cannot remember a single detail of his revisions, for him especially, is something out of nightmares.