jamais vu
n. The illusion or impression of never having experienced something that has actually been experienced many times before.
There's a condition in epilepsy called jamais vu which means, literally, "never seen." It's the opposite of deja vu; what happens here is that, when the sufferer comes round after a seizure, the whole world is new. He or she has, or so it seems, never seen any of it before.
—Lucretia Stewart, “The Reunion,” The Independent, October 30, 1999
1986 (earliest)
Interwoven into this lively narrative is a recurring question. If someone is changing our reality from moment to moment, how do we know it?

Young Williams, poring over a road map, asks himself this very question: "Wasn't there another city besides Tulsa in Oklahoma? Wasn't there another state between Oklahoma and Mexico? He couldn't be sure, and the longer he looked at the map, the righter it looked."

And that is, of course, the best way to tell when someone has been tampering with your reality. It's the sense of jamais vu that Williams experiences; that feeling of "never having seen" something that by all logic you should know very well — the opposite of deja vu.
—Jesus Salvador Trevino, “Talking Man by Terry Bisson,” Los Angeles Times, November 09, 1986
Filed Under