Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.
A memory is a prolonged perception. If perceptions are transfigured at the outset, they become abstract remembrances. They are the result of a conscious choice that denies fantasy, and they pass through consciousness, neither leaving an imprint nor disappearing.
Jindrich Štyrský and Toyen, Artificielisme
The study of dreams is particularly difficult, for we cannot examine dreams directly, we can only speak of the memory of dreams. And it is possible that the memory of dreams does not correspond exactly to the dreams themselves.
If we think of the dream as a work of fiction — and I think it is — it may be that we continue to spin tales when we wake and later when we recount them.
Jorge Luis Borges, Nightmares from Seven Nights, translation by Eliot Weinberger
Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre.
It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.
Walter Benjamin - Excavation and Memory, 1932
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When the starry sky, a vista of open seas or a stained glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses, there are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things that I see, hear, or think. The “sublime” object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be.