Here Penny McCarthy is talking about her memories of his father working with other famous scientists on DNA studies decades ago:

My father worked alongside Watson and Crick in the 1960s. He has stories about the discovery of the double helix, stories about scientists who plunder other scientists’ research, stories about Crick and his flirtation with my mother, stories about parties and ladies jumping out of cakes for Crick’s birthday, stories about Watson always tripping over his shoelaces. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s my father worked on DNA so as a child my life sort of fitted in around this obsession. In our house his clones lived in the fridge and in searching for the butter you always ran the risk of knocking them over. For me the letters D, N, A are the fragments of an overheard conversation, incompletely understood.

(Penny McCarthy)

Does when she says "For me the letters D, N, A are the fragments of an overheard conversation, incompletely understood." imply that:

  1. She unintentionally listened to the conversations between her father and his colleagues on DNA related subjects without completely understanding what they were actually talking about. And whenever she hears the word DNA the first thing she remembers is those conversations?


  2. Is it a metaphor for the fact that subjects related to DNA are nonsense for her today?

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Drew, Mitch, tchrist, Vilmar Oct 5 '15 at 11:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Can you take some cues from the formatting I did on your earlier question and apply them here? Speaking strictly visually, the impression this question gives is being an impenetrable, inaccessible wall of text. – Dan Bron Oct 3 '15 at 15:18
  • Don't Know Answers. – user140086 Oct 3 '15 at 15:18
  • @Dan Bron Does it look OK now? – user127733 Oct 3 '15 at 15:32
  • @user127733 Definitely better. I'd also suggest you enumerate your two possible interpretations, as you did before, to make them stand out better. – Dan Bron Oct 3 '15 at 15:34
  • 1
    @Dan Bron :) I am just learning! The +1 was really encouraging! I appreciate it :D – user127733 Oct 3 '15 at 15:37

I will provide my own interpretation, which is always a hazardous activity.

The analysis of DNA was, as the writer puts it, an obsession of her father, to the point that samples cluttered the family refrigerator. As a child, she had no idea of what obsessed her father, but she knew that it did.

So her childhood memories include snippets of information about the interaction of her father and the subject of DNA, which she likens to an overheard conversation. She knew that the subject was important to her father, but she could make no sense of what her father talked about - "fragments of an overheard conversation".

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