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Thomas Jefferson
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Here are quotations about memory and its loss:


  • "Memories of the past remain in the past, but as you make new memories in the present and walk towards the future, the past is still simply, the best. ~ Mark Aaron A. Corrales "
  • "Original thought...often goes with a bad memory. An overstuffed brain has less need to work things out for itself. ~ Charles Handy "
  • "The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten." ~ Carol Shields
  • "A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it. It leaves behind no fossils, except perhaps in fiction." ~ Carol Shields
  • "A happy childhood can't be cured. Mine'll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose." ~ Queenie (1971) by Hortense Calisher
  • "All gone. Zelazny was one of the first times I looked at something I had had familiarity with to find the spot where the memory should have been empty, replaced by a scrawled 'Moved South for the Fishing' sign. Calculus was another loss. It was quite upsetting to reach for a skill and find nothing." ~ James Nicoll (2004)
  • "A man's real possesion is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor. ~ Alexander Smith, Dreamthorp
  • "A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." ~ Edward de Bono
  • "... and what you are left with is a premonition of the way your life will fade behind you, like a book you have read too quickly, leaving a dwindling trail of images and emotions until all you can remember is a name." ~ Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
  • "A strong memory is commonly coupled with infirm judgement." ~ Montaigne, Essays
  • "Every man's memory is his private literature." ~ Aldous Huxley
  • "Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door." ~ Saul Bellow
  • "Footfalls echo in the memory
    Down the passage which we did not take
    Towards the door we never opened into the rose-garden. ~ T.S. Eliot
  • "God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." ~ Courage (1922) by J. M. Barrie
  • "If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered." ~ Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia
  • "I have memories - but only a fool stores his past in the future." ~ David Gerrold
  • "I'm always fascinated by the way memory diffuses fact." ~ Diane Sawyer
  • "In memory everything seems to happen to music." ~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Managerie
  • "In memory's telephoto lens, far objects are magnified." ~ John Updike
  • "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
  • "It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life." ~ P.D. James
  • "It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time." ~ Barbara Kingsolver
  • "Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart." ~ Thomas Fuller
  • "Memories are like stones, time and distance erode them like acid." ~ Ugo Betti, Goat Island
  • "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." ~ Atlanta Journal ~ Pierce Harris
  • "Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food." ~ Austin O'Malley
  • "Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." ~ The Wonder Years
  • "Memory is what tells a man that his wife's birthday was yesterday." ~ Mario Rocco
  • "It's extraordinary How little we do remember. It's almost as if Memory is not considered useful by nature'. ~Doris Lessing
  • "Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it." ~ Michel de Montaigne
  • "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." ~ A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
  • Nothing is more fatal to happiness than the remembrance of happiness. Andre Gide
  • "Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence." ~ Sholem Asch, The Nazarene
  • "Reminiscences make one feel so deliciously aged and sad." ~ George Bernard Shaw, The Irrational Knot
  • "She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes." ~ Frank Deford
  • "That's the funny thing about memories, we are not what we remember of ourselves. We are what people say we are. They project upon us their convictions. We are nothing but blank screens." ~ Trevor Goodchild
  • "Memories are very precious to people's lives. They give us the opportunity to prove to ourselves that we exist, and if we lose them, we have an unrelenting fear of uncertainty. You must listen to me, the humans that are living here and now in the present are made of more than just memories of the past. I myself don't even know who I am; I don't have a single solitary memory about myself, but I don't believe anyone took them from me. I most likely erased them of my own free will. I was the one who made that choice, I made it for myself; so I can live in the present and the future, because I must go on believing there is a me! Angel! I know that I will never lose the you that is now a part of my memories. The you that met me and the conviction you had in what you felt you needed to do. The you that loved yourself more than anyone else ever could. I'll never forget this woman named Angel who once loved herself, yet was filled with such a doubt. You must stop denying your own existence; you have to live as a human being." ~ Roger Smith, The Big O
  • "The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • "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 Dalí
  • "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
  • "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." ~ Scent in Your Garden (1991) by Stephen Lacey
  • "There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory." ~ Josh Billings
  • "The two offices of memory are collection and distribution." ~ Samuel Johnson
  • "Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember." ~ Seneca
  • "We seem but to linger in manhood to tell the dreams of our childhood, and they vanish out of memory ere we learn the language." ~ Thoreau
  • "We have all forgot more than we remember." ~ Thomas Fuller - Gnomologia
  • "What we remember from childhood we remember forever—permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen." ~ Cynthia Ozick
  • "Women and elephants never forget." ~ Dorothy Parker, Ballads of Unfortunate Animals
  • "You can close your eyes to reality, but not to memories." ~ Stanislaw Lec
  • "I want to live with all of my memories, even if they're sad memories. I believe that if I stay strong, someday I'll overcome the pain, and then I'll be glad that I have those memories. I believe that there are no memories that are okay to forget." ~ Momiji Sohma, Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  • "Reg, as he insisted on being called, had a memory that he himself had once compared to the Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly in that it was colorful, flitted prettily hither and thither, and was now, alas, almost completely extinct." - Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
  • "Can I be your memory?" - Sugarcult, their song Memory
  • "What isn't remembered never happened. Memory is merely a record. You just need to re-write that record." ~ Japanese writing in final episode - Serial Experiments Lain


  • "It is sad how one dark moment can live forever burned in the back of ones mind." ~ Anonymous
  • "The man with a clear conscience probably has a poor memory." ~ Oscar Wilde
  • "We are defined by our memories and by our past. So who are we if we have no memory and no past?" ~ Anonymous
  • Memories will fade.
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