memory Quotes

78 of the best book quotes about memory
“It was kind of scary. One day we were living in a law-abiding community and the next day the city and the community had both dissolved, with every person for himself. It struck me that Father and I had probably walked by this house, feeling as safe as we could feel in a demon street, many times, and now here we were hiding behind what was left of it, trying to keep from getting shot.”
“They needed more clues about the code. They needed memories. So he was going to get stung by a Griever. Go through the Changing. On purpose”
“They laughed much harder than the memory was funny because it felt good to laugh.”
“For a long time Jonathan forgot about the world that he had come from, that place where the Flock lived with its eyes tightly shut to the joy of flight, using its wings as means to the end of finding and fighting for food. But now and then, just for a moment, he remembered.”
“Even the anatomy of a river was laid bare. Not far downstream was a dry channel where the river had run once, and part of the way to come to know a thing is through its death. But years ago I had known the river when it flowed through this now dry channel, so I could enliven its stony remains with the waters of memory.”
Eldest, that’s what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving. He was here before the kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside.
“He also discovered that when he touched certain parts of the brain, he triggered long-lost childhood memories or dreamlike scenes—which implied that higher mental activities were also mapped in the brain.”
“REM sleep has also been shown to be particularly important for enhancing our ability to retain emotional memories and for allowing the hippocampus to turn short-term memories of the day before into long-term ones (i.e., it helps make memories more permanent, leading to structural change in the brain).”
“Only androids show up with false memory systems; it’s been found ineffective in humans.”
What had once seemed shallow and tedious now loomed in memory like paradise.
“Your music was beautiful, man, the most beautiful I have ever heard, and such singing we will never hear again.”
“Geel Piet, who had no tribe, whose blood was the mixture of all the people of Southern Africa—the white tribe, the Bushman, the Hottentot, the Cape Malay, and the black tribal blood of Africa itself—was celebrated in death by all the tribes. He was the new man of Southern Africa, the result of the hundred years of torture, treachery, racism, and slaughter in the name of one color or another.”
“In addition, no one today remembered why the war had come about or who, if anyone, had won. The dust which had contaminated most of the planet’s surface had originated in no country, and no one, even the wartime enemy, had planned on it.”
“This is a first, I think. Or is it? ”
“Henry is glancing around us, worrying that readers, co-workers are noticing us, searching his memory, realizing that some future self of his has met this radiantly happy girl standing in front of him.”
“And this astoundingly beautiful amber-haired tall slim girl turns around and looks at me as though I am her personal Jesus. My stomach lurches. Obviously she knows me, and I don’t know her. Lord only knows what I have said, done, or promised to this luminous creature.”
“I am conducting conversations with Henry as though he were here with me, as though he could see through my eyes, think with my brain.”
“It is only memory that holds me here. Time, let me vanish. Then what we separate by our very presence can come together.”
“Changed, I headed back through the mud. I was drenched; anybody could see it was time to come in out of the rain.”
“It’s funny how memory erodes. If all I had to work from where my childhood memories, my knowledge of my mother would be faded and soft, with a few sharp moments standing out.”
“Everything at Devon slowly changed and slowly harmonized with what had gone before. So it was logical to hope that since the buildings and the Deans and the curriculum could achieve this, I could achieve, perhaps unknowingly already had achieved, this growth and harmony myself.”
“Everything I found in books that pleased me I retained in my memory, consciously or unconsciously, and adapted it.”
“More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood.”
“What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air.”
“Clarissa had a theory in those days ... that since our apparitions, the part of us which appears, are so momentary compared with the other, the unseen part of us, which spreads wide, the unseen might survive, be recovered somehow attached to this person or that, or even haunting certain places after death ... perhaps—perhaps.”
“Memory is, of course, a trickster.”
“As the child’s mind was growing into knowledge, his mind was growing into memory.”
“The memory fades, and I’m left hanging on to the ghosts of his words.”
“I am the Chosen One. I have to kill him. I need that memory.”
“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
“Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!”
Standing there I wondered how much of what we had felt on the bridge was just hunger. I asked my wife and she said, ‘I don’t know, Tatie. There are so many sorts of hunger. In the spring there are more. But that’s gone now. Memory is hunger.‘”
“A Christian with a good memory avoids repeating old sins, knows the easiest way through complex situations, and instead of starting over each day continues what was begun in Adam.”
“When he almost imperceptibly takes a half step backwards into the hall...he notices, from the corner of his eye, the photo of Sonja on the wall. The red dress. The bus trip to Spain when she was pregnant. He asked her so many times to take that bloody photo down, but she refused. She said it was ‘a memory worth as much as any other.‘”
″‘And look at those other steps—the broad, shallow ones—going up to that doorway. It must have been the door into the great hall.’ ‘Ages ago, by the look of it,’ said Edmund.”
″‘It is hard for you, little one,’ said Aslan. ‘But things never happen the same way twice. It has been hard for us all in Narnia before now.‘”
“Not really. I remember what I would not, and forget what I should not. Forgive me.”
“Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.”
“Each memory was brought to life before me and within me. I could not avoid them. Neither could I rationalize, explain away. I could only re-experience with total cognizance, unprotected by pretense.”
“It seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day.”
“Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.”
“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!”
“With every side of every tape, an old memory gets turned upside down. A reputation twists into something I don’t recognize.”
Not far downstream was a dry channel where the river had run once, and part of the way to come to know a thing is through its death. But years ago I had known the river when it flowed through this now dry channel, so I could enliven its stony remains with the waters of memory.
“Once someone dreams a dream, it can’t just drop out of existence. But if the dreamer can’t remember it, what becomes of it? It lives on in Fantastica, deep under earth. There are forgotten dreams stored in many layers. The deeper one digs, the closer they are. All Fantastica rests on a foundation of forgotten dreams.”
“The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.”
″(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes below the wall And walked among the lowest of the dead.)”
“April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.”
“Do You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember Nothing?”″
“In the mountains, there you feel free. I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.”
“O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”
“No – I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shook so that she couldn’t hit the right keys! The first time we gave a speed test, she broke down completely – was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash room! After that morning she never showed up anymore. We phoned the house but never got any answer.”
“When I had that attack of pleurosis - he asked me what was the matter when I came back. I said pleurosis he thought that I said Blue Roses! So that’s what he always called me after that. Whenever he saw me, he’d holler, ‘Hello, Blue Roses!”
“The image of the Haitian revolution, and the inflated memory of its excesses — echoed not just in Cuba, but in the United States and Latin America as well — was to hover over Cuba throughout the nineteenth century and beyond, a permanent intimation of what might happen to the white population if faulty political or administrative decisions were made.”
Yoga Sutra I.5–6: Vrttayah pancatayyah klistaklistah pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smrtayah Translation: There are five functions or activities of the mind, which can either cause us problems or not. They are: correct perception, misunderstanding, imagination, deep sleep, and memory.
“Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
“Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart.”
“Thought and Memory, my ravens, fly every day the whole world over. Each day I fear that Thought might not return, but I fear more for Memory.”
“The memory was like a knife cutting into him. Slicing deep into him with hate. The Secret.”
“If all we are allowed is hours, minutes, I want to be able to etch each of them on to my memory with exquisite clarity so that I can recall them at moments like this, when my very soul feels blackened.”
“In the vaults of our hearts and brains, danger waits. All the chambers are not lovely, light and high. There are holes in the floor of the mind, like those in a medieval dungeon floor - the stinking oubliettes, named for forgetting, bottle-shaped cells in solid rock with the trapdoor in the top. Nothing escapes from them quietly to ease us. A quake, some betrayal by our safeguards, and sparks of memory fire the noxious gases - things trapped for years fly free, ready to explode in pain and drive us to dangerous behavior...”
“I do not think the impression was very important at the moment, but it soon became important in memory. As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden.”
“Anger is a memory never forgotten. You only tame it.”
“But little by little they had nibbled up most of the nuts and berries, the straw was gone, and the corn was only a memory. It was cold in the wall and no one felt like chatting.”
“And the better in memory to fix the path of the children’s last retreat, they call that place Pied Piper Street, where anyone playing a pipe or drum was driven back the way he’d come; nor did they allow an inn or tavern to spill forth joy on a street so solemn.”
“I saw the very face which had visited me in my childhood at night, which remained so fixed in my memory, and on which I had for so many years often ruminated with horror...”
“if you don’t sleep the very first night after learning, you lose the chance to consolidate those memories, even if you get lots of “catch-up” sleep thereafter. In terms of memory, then, sleep is not like the bank. You cannot accumulate a debt and hope to pay it off at a later point in time. Sleep for memory consolidation is an all-or-nothing event.”
“Alfanhui would have been unable to say whether there was a dark solitude in his eyes and an unfathomable silence in his ears because the music and the colors came from that other place from which concrete knowledge never comes, a place abandoned on the very first day behind the farthermost wall of memory where that other memory is born;”
Finally, though, he finds his star, his courage and his ocean self.
“We had defended ourselves since memory against everything and everybody, considered all speech a code to be broken by us, and all gestures subject to careful analysis; we had become headstrong, devious, and arrogant. Nobody paid us any attention, so we paid very good attention to ourselves. Our limitations were not known to us—not then.”
“Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memory made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life.”
“Somewhere in my brain each laugh, tear and lullaby becomes memory.”
“The wind,′ said Danina, her eyes bright with memory. ‘He sang me his song.’ ‘The wind does not sing,’ said her father. ‘Only men and birds sing.’ ‘This was no bird,’ said his daughter.”
“The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds. Memory as it grows fainter loosens them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we want to be duped and which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we dupe other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself, and when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.”
“My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of wartime.”
“And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, is that if something happened to one of us--excuse me for saying this--but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory.”
“All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory. Am I wrong? Am I way off base? Because I want you to set me straight if you think I’m wrong. I want to know. I mean, I don’t know anything, and I’m the first one to admit it.”

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