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Light in August

Light in August

by William Faulkner

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The dark was filled with the voices, myriad, out of all time that he had known, as though all the past was a flat pattern. And going on, tomorrow night, all the tomorrows, to be a part of the flat pattern, going on. He thought of that with quiet astonishment: going on, myriad, familiar, since all that had ever been was the same as all that was to be, since tomorrow to-be and had-been would be the same. (12.45)

Christmas sees his life as a pattern that he cannot escape and is doomed to repeat.

Quote #2

It was as if he couldn't get religion and that galloping cavalry and his dead grandfather shot from the galloping horse untangled from each other, even in the pulpit. And that he could not untangle them in his private life, at home either, perhaps. (3.7)

Hightower is unable to emerge from the shadow of his familial past.

Quote #3

Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. (6.1)

Memory, although more subjective than knowledge, is often more real than objective knowledge because of how enduring and how pervasive it is. This is a key theme of the novel.

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