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“I begin to realize that my memory is a great catacomb, and that below my actual standing-ground there is layer after layer of historical ashes.
Is the life of mind something like that of great trees of immemorial growth? Is the living layer of consciousness super-imposed upon hundreds of dead layers? Dead? No doubt this is too much to say, but still, when memory is slack the past becomes almost as though it had never been. To remember that we did know once is not a sign of possession but a sign of loss; it is like the number of an engraving which is no longer on its nail, the title of a volume no longer to be found on its shelf. My mind is the empty frame of a thousand vanished images.”
– Henri-Frédéric Amiel, The Journal Intimé of Henri-Frédéric Amiel

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