Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
History remembers Abe's towering intellect but forgets that, in those days, he was more towering than intellectual. Like his father, he had a natural gift for words. But when it came to writing them down correctly, he remained a victim of his limited schooling. Mentor Graham would help to correct this, and prove a key force in Lincoln's ability to express himself eloquently later in life. (5.48)
Since we know how Abe will go down in history, it's kind of fun to see all the little choices and chances that got him there. He gets storytelling from his dad, and book learning from William Mentor Graham, and he gets vampire hunting from Henry. We can see that—but Abe and the people around him cannot. They don't have a historical sense of who Abe will turn out to be, so they don't see him the way we do. He's just another Joe.
I have given too much of myself already. Henceforth, I shall hunt only when it is convenient for me to do so, and only because it honors the memory of my angel mother... only because it honors Ann's memory. (7.10)
We're mostly interested in history and the past in this book, but there's some role for memory, too, because it's memories that really drive Abe. Sure, he's got some political and ideological motivations—let's get rid of slavery, shall we?—but his personal motivator is the memory of his mother and of Ann. Those memories shape the future (in this book), by galvanizing Abe against the vamps that killed his loved ones. So is it just lucky that killing vamps also aligns with his political and ideological motivations (since those vamps are pro-slavery)?
Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. —Abraham Lincoln, in a message to Congress December 1st, 1862 (11.1)
People may not see Abe as a historical figure when he's a boy; but by the time the Civil War has broken out, Abe has probably figured out that this is a Big Moment in history—the kind people will take tests on later. So while it's often difficult to know what will happen, per se, it's not too hard to know that whatever does happen, it'll be a Big Deal.