Personal History Quotes

Quotes tagged as "personal-history" Showing 1-30 of 38
Hugo Hamilton
“People say you're born innocent, but it's not true. You inherit all kinds of things that you can do nothing about. You inherit your identity, your history, like a birthmark that you can't wash off. ... We are born with our heads turned back, but my mother says we have to face into the future now. You have to earn your own innocence, she says. You have to grow up and become innocent.”
Hugo Hamilton, The Sailor in the Wardrobe

Joan Didion
“We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”
Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“Emotion is ‘recognition’. When treasured moments are identified in the jungle of our personal history during a visual or aural encounter, we capture magic sparks from our past, arousing flashes of insight and revealing an inner flare. These instants of recognition may kindle enthralling emotion and fulfilling inspiration. (“Those journeys of love”)”
Erik Pevernagie

“As it has the quality to transmit skills and knowledge, our personal history is a brilliant coach teaching us how to act and play along the meanders of life. While it inhabits our living it comes to be our fellow traveler shielding us from slippery slopes; and sometimes from ourselves. ("Going back to yesterday" )”
Erik Pevernagie

Neil Gaiman
“Names come and names go.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Anatole Broyard
“The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait."

(About Books; Recoiling, Rereading, Retelling, New York Times, February 22, 1987)”
Anatole Broyard

N.K. Jemisin
“There is a strange emptiness to life without myths.

I am African American — by which I mean, a descendant of slaves, rather than a descendant of immigrants who came here willingly and with lives more or less intact. My ancestors were the unwilling, unintact ones: children torn from parents, parents torn from elders, people torn from roots, stories torn from language. Past a certain point, my family’s history just… stops. As if there was nothing there.

I could do what others have done, and attempt to reconstruct this lost past. I could research genealogy and genetics, search for the traces of myself in moldering old sale documents and scanned images on microfiche. I could also do what members of other cultures lacking myths have done: steal. A little BS about Atlantis here, some appropriation of other cultures’ intellectual property there, and bam! Instant historically-justified superiority. Worked great for the Nazis, new and old. Even today, white people in my neck of the woods call themselves “Caucasian”, most of them little realizing that the term and its history are as constructed as anything sold in the fantasy section of a bookstore.

These are proven strategies, but I have no interest in them. They’ll tell me where I came from, but not what I really want to know: where I’m going. To figure that out, I make shit up.”
N.K. Jemisin

Mark Mustian
“Time stretches and calms, but still we reach, for we belonged then. We want to know. Sometimes that knowledge is painful, or inconvenient, or even damning. But it is essential. It exposes us for what we have been, and can be.”
Mark Mustian, The Gendarme

Wallace Stegner
“Before I can say I am, I was. Heraclitus and I, prophets of flux, know that the flux is composed of parts that imitate and repeat each other. Am or was, I am cumulative, too. I am everything I ever was, whatever you and Leah may think. I am much of what my parents and especially my grandparents were -- inherited stature, coloring, brains, bones (that part unfortunate), plus transmitted prejudices, culture, scruples, likings, moralities, and moral errors that I defend as if they were personal and not familial.”
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Siri Hustvedt
“There's a phenomenology of being sick, one that depends on temperament, personal history, and the culture which we live in.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves

James Baldwin
“We cannot escape our origins, however hard we try, those origins which contain the key -could we but find it- to all we later become”
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Barbara Kingsolver
“If chained is where you have been, your ams will always bear marks of the shackles. What you have to lose is your story, your own slant. You'll look at the scars on your arms and see mere ugliness, or you'll take great care to look away from them and see nothing. Either way, you have no words for the story of where you came from.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Svetlana Alexievich
“I believe that in each of us there is a small piece of history. In one half a page, in another two or three. Together we write the book of time. We each call out our own truth. The nightmare of nuances.”
Svetlana Alexievich, War's Unwomanly Face

Laurie Perez
“Now, what’s stirring in this murky sea of complexity and foolishness is an almost suffocating need to breathe fresh history.”
Laurie Perez, The Look of Amie Martine

“Perception of a self is not simply about actuality. Human beings’ identities are self-generating and people constantly revise and recreate the story of their being. Coming-into-being, not being, is the highest expression of reality. We only attain the fullest knowledge of a living thing including ourselves when we know what it was, understand what it now is, and understand what it can become. We do not know the truth of a living thing’s existence until we discern its entire history from development to demise.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Frank Herbert
“We do not teach history; we recreate the experience. We follow the chain of consequences - the tracks of the beast in its forest. Look behind our words and you see the broad sweep of social behavior that no historian has ever touched.”
Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

“Stored personal memories along with handed down collective memories of stories, legends, and history allows us to collate our interactions with a physical and social world and develop a personal code of survival. In essence, we all become self-styled sages, creating our own book of wisdom based upon our studied observations and practical knowledge gleaned from living and learning. What we quickly discover is that no textbook exist how to conduct our life, because the world has yet to produce a perfect person – an ideal observer – whom is capable of handing down a concrete exemplar of epistemic virtues. We each draw upon the guiding knowledge, theories, and advice available for us in order to explore the paradoxes, ironies, inconsistencies, and the absurdities encountered while living in a supernatural world. We mold our personal collection of information into a practical practicum how to live and die. Each day we define and redefine who we are, determine how we will react today, and chart our quest into an uncertain future.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“We live in the present with knowledge that the past is alive in us – our history speaks to us. The future represents an idea or expectations that influence our present state of mind.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

A.S. King
“There is something in the room with us. It's familiar. It's a feeling I've known my whole life but never talked about. It's an invisible man or monster under the bed.
History. That's what it is. History is in the room with us. You absorb it even if it's not happening right in front of you. You absorb the feeling of it. It's there even though it's not there. It's in your skin.”
A.S. King, Still Life with Tornado

Catherynne M. Valente
“Our parents tell us the story of our beginning and they have total control over it--they know they've changed it, and we know they've changed it, but we just let them. They massage the details to reflect who we are now, so that there will be a sense to it: you are this because that. We gave you a blanket with birdies on it and now you're a pilot, how lovely! All so that we think of ourselves as being in . . . not just a story, but a good story. One written in full command of their craft. Someone who abides by the contract with the audience, even if the audience is us. Everyone loves a system. Everyone relaxes.”
Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance

“Telling our personal story constitutes an act of consciousness that defines the ethical lining of a person’s constitution. Recounting personal stories promotes personal growth, spurs the performance of selfless deeds, and in doing so enhances the ability of the equitable eye of humanity to scroll rearward and forward. Every person must become familiar with our communal history of struggle, loss, redemption, and meaningfully contemplate the meaning behind our personal existence in order to draft a proper and prosperous future for succeeding generations. Accordingly, every person is responsible for sharing their story using the language of thought that best expresses their sanguine reminiscences. Without a record of pastimes, we will never know what were, what we now are, or what we might become by steadfastly and honorably struggling with mortal chores.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Penelope Lively
“We are all of us palimpsests; we carry the past around, it comes surging up whether or not we want it, it is an albatross, and a crutch.”
Penelope Lively, Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time

Kaylin McFarren
“She chuckled, and smiled, and realized that perhaps it was best not to share too much, at least not yet. Feeding slices of her life to her best friend over a long period of time could be the best way to keep him from choking.”
Kaylin McFarren, High Flying

Russell M. Nelson
“In addition to time with family, you can experience true delight on the Sabbath from family history work. Searching for and finding family members who have preceded you on earth—those who did not have an opportunity to accept the gospel while here—can bring immense joy.”
Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do

Marina Lewycka
“Why you have such bourgeois preoccupation with all personal history?'
'Because it's important... it defines... it helps us understand... because we can learn... Oh, I don't know.”
Marina Lewycka

Théun Mares
“Personal history is the self-image a man has acquired because of his view of the world - an image which he projects into the world around him.”
Théun Mares, Cry of the Eagle: The Toltec Teachings Volume 2

Théun Mares
“In order to erase his personal history the warrior must create around himself a fog in which nothing about him seems tangible. Only tangible people have personal history.”
Théun Mares, Cry of the Eagle: The Toltec Teachings Volume 2

Théun Mares
“Concepts such as age, place of birth and parentage can only have meaning within the context of personal history.”
Théun Mares, Cry of the Eagle: The Toltec Teachings Volume 2

Penelope Lively
“Jane--it's history, all this."

I say that I have always thought history to be of great relevance.”
Penelope Lively, The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

“Heart Rings

What stories would our bones tell
if they had rings like trees?
circles marking the times
when you felt loved
when you were in love
when you grieved
when you did something that
required every last ounce of your courage
when you were full of faith —
That is how our hearts work
a lone, rhythmic documentarian
chronicling your life in the shadow of your flesh
mysterious even to its owner
And someday we might learn
that it was drawing a map
for the soul to navigate the real final frontier”
Connor Judson Garrett, Become The Fool

« previous 1