30 Best Memory Quotes - Inspirational and Thought Provoking

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We've assembled a collection our favorite quotes on memories, remembering, and forgetting. We hope that you enjoy these legacy quotes as much as we do!
mark twain quote

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. ― Mark Twain

Virginia Woolf quote

I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past. ― Virginia Woolf

Friedrich Nietzsche quote

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Marcus Tullius Cicero quote

The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living. The love you gave in life keeps people alive beyond their time. Anyone who was given love will always live on in another's heart. ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Kazuo Ishiguro quote

Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading. ― Kazuo Ishiguru

Marcel Proust quote

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. ― Marcel Proust

Jacqueline Woodson quote

I know now that what is tragic isn’t the moment. It is the memory. ― Jacqueline Woodson

TS Eliot quote

Footfalls echo in the memory down the passage we did not take towards the door we never opened into the rose garden. My words echo thus, in your mind ― T.S. Eliot

Haruki Murakami quote

Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories. ― Haruki Murakami

Guy de Maupassant quote

Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist. ― Guy de Maupassant

Gail Tsukiyama quote

Sometimes you can’t let go of the past without facing it again. ― Gail Tsukiyama

mark twain quote

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory. ― Mark Twain

antonio porchia quote

One lives in the hope of becoming a memory. ― Antonio Porchia

Cesare Pavese quote

We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten ― Cesare Pavese

edgar allan poe quote

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. ― Edgar Allan Poe

Marcel Proust quote

So we don't believe that life is beautiful because we don't recall it but if we get a whiff of a long-forgotten smell we are suddenly intoxicated and similarly we think we no longer love the dead because we don't remember them but if by chance we come across an old glove we burst into tears. ― Marcel Proust

Alexandra Bracken quote

Ghosts don't haunt people--their memories do. ― Alexandra Bracken

John Steinbeck quote

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer -- and what trees and seasons smelled like -- how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich. ― John Steinbeck

Mark Lawrence quote

Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him. Chip away a memory at a time and you destroy him as surely as if you hammered nail after nail through his skull. ― Mark Lawrence

Friedrich Nietzsche quote

Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Vladimir Nabokov quote

I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes ― Vladimir Nabokov

William James quote

Most people, probably, are in doubt about certain matters ascribed to their past. They may have seen them, may have said them, done them, or they may only have dreamed or imagined they did so. ― William James

Haruki Murakami quote

Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene, I hardly paid it any mind. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that eighteen years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn't give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. It was the age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. The scenery was the last thing on my mind. ― Haruki Murakami

Daphne du Maurier quote

If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again. ― Daphne du Maurier

Marcel Proust quote

So we don't believe that life is beautiful because we don't recall it but if we get a whiff of a long-forgotten smell we are suddenly intoxicated and similarly we think we no longer love the dead because we don't remember them but if by chance we come across an old glove we burst into tears. ― Marcel Proust

Han Kang quote

Some memories never heal. Rather than fading with the passage of time, those memories become the only things that are left behind when all else is abraded. The world darkens, like electric bulbs going out one by one. ― Han Kang

Aldous Huxley quote

Every man's memory is his private literature. ― Aldous Huxley

Salman Rushdie quote

Memory's truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own. ― Salman Rushdie

Haruki Murakami quote

No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories. ― Haruki Murakami

David M Eagleman quote

There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time. ― David M. Eagleman

Bram Stroker quote

Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker ― Bram Stroker

Tan Twan Eng quote

Memory is like patches of sunlight in an overcast valley, shifting with the movement of the clouds. Now and then the light will fall on a particular point in time, illuminating it for a moment before the wind seals up the gap, and the world is in shadows again. ― Tan Twan Eng

Gabriel Garcia Marquez quote

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it. ― Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Haruki Murakami quote

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart. ― Haruki Murakami

Interested in more? Read our article on the importance of preserving your memories. Check out example entries from the most famous diarists. See our list of the best journaling prompts to inspire creativity.