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Quotations about Memory




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Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years


A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono


Every man's memory is his private literature.  ~Aldous Huxley


God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.  ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922


Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food.  ~Austin O'Malley


Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.  ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal


We do not remember days; we remember moments.  ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand


There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.  ~Josh Billings


Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.  ~Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"


It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.  ~P.D. James


And even if you were in some prison, the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses - would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories?  ~Rainer Maria Rilke


The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.  ~Jean de Boufflers


One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.
~Emily Dickinson, "Time and Eternity"


I have memories - but only a fool stores his past in the future.  ~David Gerrold


A happy childhood can't be cured.  Mine'll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose.  ~Hortense Calisher, Queenie, 1971


Everybody needs his memories.  They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.  ~Saul Bellow


Memory itself is an internal rumour.  ~George Santayana, The Life of Reason


A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it.  It leaves behind no fossils, except perhaps in fiction.  ~Carol Shields


It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us.  A year impairs, a luster obliterates.  There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment - but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?  ~Lord Byron


What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.  ~Cynthia Ozick


The past is never dead, it is not even past.  ~William Faulkner


The existence of forgetting has never been proved:  We only know that some things don't come to mind when we want them.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche


Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories.  Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.  ~Thomas Fuller


Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
~T.S. Eliot


Memory is what tells a man that his wife's birthday was yesterday.  ~Mario Rocco


To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
~Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground


In memory's telephoto lens, far objects are magnified.  ~John Updike


Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.  ~Seneca


Life is a rough biography.  Memories smooth out the edges.  ~Dante G. Roque


Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town.  Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.  ~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses


I am a miser of my memories of you
And will not spend them.
~Witter Bynner, "Coins"


The man with a clear conscience probably has a poor memory.  ~Author Unknown


The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind.  ~Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973


The two offices of memory are collection and distribution.  ~Samuel Johnson


The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels:  it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.  ~Salvador Dali


Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.  ~Michel de Montaigne


The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood.  It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected.  ~Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991


She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes.  ~Frank Deford


The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche


Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.  ~From the movie An Affair to Remember


It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


I'm always fascinated by the way memory diffuses fact.  ~Diane Sawyer


To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.  ~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender


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