Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
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Song of Solomon Memory and the Past Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

Names that had meaning. No wonder Pilate put hers in her ear. When you know your name, you should hang on to it, for unless it is noted down and remembered, it will die when you do. Like the street he lived on, recorded as Mains Avenue, but called Not Doctor Street by the Negroes in memory of his grandfather, who was the first colored man of consequence in that city. (2.15.329)

A memory is only a memory when it is remembered. This may seem obvious, but there is no such thing as a dead memory. A memory is inherently alive. If it dies, because no one is around to invoke it, a memory just ceases to exist. In a book that doesn’t present possibilities of heaven or of an afterlife, memory is where permanence and perpetuation dwells.

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