Memory Quotes: “There’s no such thing as forgetting…”

Memory only slumbers—never dies. ~Thomas Paine (1737–1809) + Chambers’s Journal, 1868

[T]here is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind; a thousand accidents may, and will interpose a veil between our present consciousness and the secret inscriptions on the mind; accidents of the same sort will also rend away this veil; but alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains for ever; just as the stars seem to withdraw before the common light of day, whereas, in fact, we all know that it is the light which is drawn over them as a veil — and that they are waiting to be revealed, when the obscuring daylight shall have withdrawn. ~Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1821

The existence of forgetfulness has never been proved. All we know is that recollection may not be within our power. Up to the present we have filled that gap in our power with the word “forget,” just as if it were another addition to our list of faculties. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Morgenröte – Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile, 1881

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, A Prayer for Owen Meany, 1989