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One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.

Gaston Bachelard

A safe but sometimes chilly way of recalling the past is to force open a crammed drawer. If you are searching for anything in particular you don't find it, but something falls out at the back that is often more interesting.

J. M. Barrie

The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.

Wendell Berry

With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man's past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavours and the tinglings of a merited shame.

George Eliot

To what a degree the same past can leave different marks-and especially admit of different interpretations.

Andre Gide

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

L. P. Hartley

The past, with its pleasures, its rewards, its foolishness, its punishments, is there for each of us forever, and it should be.

Lillian Hellman

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell

One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.

Oscar Wilde