Marginalia, no.31

It’s enough to throw you into despair: to read everything, and remember nothing!  Because you do remember nothing.  You may strain as much as you like: everything escapes.  Here and there a few tatters remain, fragile as those puffs of smoke left over after a train has passed.

~ Jules Renard, Journal

Collecting quotations out of books, then, may be likened to bottling little puffs of steam.  It’s a hedge against forgetfulness, but not very effective.  I periodically resolve to exercise my memory (poor atrophied organ) by committing this or that to its shelves, but outsourcing to paper is too economical a temptation.

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