John Crowley - Memory Quotes
4 Sourced Quotes
Lately Marge's memory had grown weak, which is to say that it no longer contained the past time on deposit there, it was not strong enough to keep shut up the moments, the mornings and evenings, of her long life, its seals broke, and her memories ran together mingling, indistinguishable from the present. Her memory had grown incontinent with age.
Prosper's earliest memory was of hearing the enormous Hoover starting up somewhere in the house, brand-new then possibly, anyway unknown to him, an inexplicable noise at once a roar and shriek and coming closer; moving away; closer again, and evidently seeking him out where he lay in bed. Then to find the great gray floor-sucker thing entering his room, manipulated by his grim-faced mother, therefore not dangerous at all, maybe.
There is a philosophical, or metaphysical position that can be taken–maybe its a scientific hypothesis–that the past cannot in fact exist. Everything that can possibly exist exists now. Things now may be expressive of some conceivable or describable past state of affairs, yes: but that's different from saying this this former state actually somehow exists in the form of "the past". Even in our memory[...]there is no past: no scenes preserved with all their sights and sounds. Merely fleeting states of mind, myriad points assembled for a moment to make a new picture (but "picture" is wrong too, too full, too fixed) of what we think are former states of things: things that once were, or may have been the case.
Just as a lamp waved in darkness creates a figure of light in the air, which remains for as long as the lamp repeats its motion exactly, so the universe retains its shape by repetition: the universe is Time's body. And how will we perceive this body? And how operate on it? Not by the means we perceive extension, relation, color, form — the qualities of Space. … No: but by the means we perceive duration and repetition and change: by Memory.