quotations about memory
Men's memories are uncertain and the past that was differs little from the past that was not.
CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian
There is no such thing as memory: the brain recalls just what the muscles grope for: no more, no less: and its resultant sum is usually incorrect and false and worthy only of the name of dream.
WILLIAM FAULKNER, Absalom, Absalom!
God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.
J. M. BARRIE, Courage
No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car.
AUGUST STRINDBERG, Miss Julie
There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.
HAROLD PINTER, Old Times
The past scampers like an alley cat through the present, leaving the paw prints of memories scattered helter-skelter.
CHARLES DE LINT, The Onion Girl
We don't forget.... Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.
ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Memories are nothing but the lash with which yesterday flogs tomorrow.
PHILIP MOELLER, The Roadhouse in Arden
Memory itself is an internal rumour; and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others, we have but a shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. The picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe.
GEORGE SANTAYANA, The Life of Reason
Remembering is a noble and necessary act. The call of memory, the call to memory, reaches us from the very dawn of history. No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible. It is incumbent upon us to remember the good we have received, and the evil we have suffered.
ELIE WIESEL, Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1986
Man's memory shapes
Its own Eden within.
JORGE LUIS BORGES, Dreamtigers
Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
SAUL BELLOW, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Memory believes before knowing remembers.
WILLIAM FAULKNER, Light in August
I am a miser of my memories of you
And will not spend them.
When they were anticipations
I spent them
And bought you with them,
But now I have exchanged you for memories,
And I will only pour them from one hand into the other
And back again.
WITTER BYNNER, "I Compute", The Beloved Stranger
In memory everything seems to happen to music.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, The Glass Menagerie
We are all looking for something of extraordinary importance whose nature we have forgotten; I am writing the memoirs of a man who has lost his memory.
EUGENE IONESCO, Present Past / Past Present
Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
Honeymooning, moonlighting, late for the Proms,
Our echoes die in that corridor and now
I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones
Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons.
SEAMUS HEANEY, The Underground
If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.
JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park
It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
LEWIS CARROLL, Alice Through the Looking Glass