I once read a short story about a man (a journalist?) visiting a prison inmate. He was incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, and it was a case of mistaken identity or insufficient alibi. The conviction hinged on the fact that he could not prove that he was really himself because he could not remember the location of a country he had been to. The story ended with the journalist leaving the prison making a note to himself to remember things so as to not be in such a situation himself.

Please identify the story. I must have read it a decade ago, but the story itself was probably very old (a century old or more, think O.Henry/Maupassant/Hawthorne…). I read the story in English, but it could have been a translation.

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    Do you remember any other details? Was it a short story? Approximately how many years is "years ago"? Any idea how old the story might have been at the time and what format you read it in (online, separate book, anthology)? Did you read it in English? – Martin Ender Feb 27 '17 at 9:50
  • Added the few additional things I could remember. – Raziman T V Feb 27 '17 at 9:53
  • @RazimanTV Could it be "Tout à l'Ego" by Tonino Benacquista? The story, set in 1994, was first published in 1998 so it could fit the "I must have read it a decade ago" part, but certainly not the "a century old or more" part. – VicAche Feb 27 '17 at 19:44
  • @RazimanTV Opening quote: "Do you know what you where doing, on July the 17th, 1994, between 10 and 11pm? No? Me neither. Nobody knows this." – VicAche Feb 27 '17 at 19:52
  • Unlikely, I am hearing the name of the author for the first time. – Raziman T V Feb 27 '17 at 20:14

You might be remembering a chapter (commonly excerpted as a short story and often translated into English) called "The Prisoner," from Alexander Dumas's /The Man in the Iron Mask/ (itself a section of a longer work written in the 1840s, /The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later/). "The Prisoner" is available in an English translation via Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2759/2759-h/2759-h.htm#link2HCH0001). The "interviewer" is a priest, not a journalist, but the prisoner's situation sounds very similar (memory problems, doesn't know why he is imprisoned, etc.).

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  • Thank you, but this is not it. Definitely more recent than Dumas! – Raziman T V Jun 14 '19 at 6:35

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