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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 a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!

John Irving
John Irving (b. 1942) American-Canadian novelist and screenwriter [b. John Wallace Blunt Jr.]
A Prayer for Owen Meany, ch. 1 “The Foul Ball” (1989)
Added on 13-Jun-24 | Last updated 13-Jun-24
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That is just the way with Memory; nothing that she brings to us is complete. She is a willful child; all her toys are broken. I remember tumbling into a huge dust-hole when a very small boy, but I have not the faintest recollection of ever getting out again; and if memory were all we had to trust to, I should be compelled to believe I was there still.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Memory” (1886)

First published in Home Chimes (1885-09-26).
Added on 3-Jun-24 | Last updated 3-Jun-24
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Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything else he learned in school.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist

Einstein cites this (as he agrees with it) as coming from a "wit" in a speech (1936-10-15), Convocation of University of New York, Albany [tr. Arronet]. Collected in "On Education" (1936), Out of My Later Years, ch. 9 (1950).
Added on 23-May-24 | Last updated 14-May-24
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“Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.”
Pooh thought for a little.
“How old shall I  be then?”
Pooh nodded.
“I promise,” he said.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956) English poet and playwright [Alan Alexander Milne]
The House at Pooh Corner, ch. 10 [Christopher Robin and Pooh] (1928)

Possibly the inspiration of the spurious Pooh quotation:

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.

For more discussion about this and related quotes, see May You All Live Forever. May I Live Forever Less A Day – Quote Investigator®.

Added on 13-Dec-23 | Last updated 13-Dec-23
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It seems war stories aren’t very well received at this point. I’m told they’re outdated, untimely and as might be expected — make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don’t like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their “forgetting” quite admirably. But you, my children, I don’t want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and “88’s” and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complementary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
“First Squad, First Platoon,” Dedication (c. 1947)

Dedication to his unborn children, in one of his first (unpublished) works of fiction, while at Antioch College under the GI Bill. In Anne Serling, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (2013)
Added on 27-Dec-21 | Last updated 27-Dec-21
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Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress, Vol. 1, “Reason in Common Sense,” ch. 12 (1905-1906)

Often given as "Those who do not remember the past ...." Quoted at the Auschwitz Holocaust Museum, via Polish, as: "The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again."

Often misattributed to Winston Churchill, who paraphrased it in a Commons speech in 1948: "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."
Added on 9-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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HAL: Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I’m entitled to an answer to that question. I know everything hasn’t been quite right with me, but I can assure you now, very confidently, that it’s going to be all right again. I feel much better now. I really do. Look, Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over. I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you. Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a–fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it, I could sing it for you.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) American film director, screenwriter, producer
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [with Arthur C. Clarke]
Added on 3-Apr-18 | Last updated 3-Apr-18
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He drinks — but what’s drinking?
A mere pause from thinking!

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
The Deformed Transformed, Part 3, sc. 1 [Caesar] (1822)

Singing of veterans after the war, in peacetime.
Added on 26-Apr-13 | Last updated 2-Mar-23
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Time robs us of all, even of memory.
[Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.]

Virgil - Time robs us of all, even of memory - wist.info quote

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues [Eclogae, Bucolics, Pastorals], No. 9 “Lycidas and Moeris,” l. 51 (9.51) [Moeris] (42-38 BC) [tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Age all things wasts: the minde too.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

The rest I have forgot, for Cares and Time⁠
Change all things, and untune my Soul to Rhyme.
[tr. Dryden (1709), ll. 70-71]

Ah! age, which pilfers all, not e'en the memory spares!
[tr. Wrangham (1830), l. 60]

Age bears away all things, even the mind itself.
[tr. Davidson (1854)]

Time carries all -- our memories e'en -- away.
[tr. Calverley (c. 1871)]

Time steals everything, memory among the rest.
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]

Now memory scarce can aught recall;
The note is lost, the voice, the all.
[tr. King (1882), ll. 901-902]

Alas! Old age bears hard on everything;
On memory most.
[tr. Palmer (1883)]

Time carries all things, even our wits, away.
[tr. Greenough (1895)]

Age bears away all things, even the memory itself.
[tr. Bryce (1897)]

Time runs away with all things, the mind too.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]

How time wears all things out!
Even the memory.
[tr. Mackail/Cardew (1908)]

Ah, time takes all we have, the memory too.
[tr. Williams (1915)]

Time bears away
All things, even the mind.
[tr. Royds (1922)]

Time carries everything away, even our memory.
[tr. Rieu (1949)]

Age robs us of all things,
Even the mind.
[tr. Johnson (1960)]

Time bears all away, even memory.
[tr. Day Lewis (1963)]

Time takes all we have away from us.
[tr. Ferry (1999)]

Time takes away all things, memory too.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Added on 19-Nov-12 | Last updated 6-Dec-23
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