Capturing Memories Quotes

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What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
Karl Lagerfeld
You should always be taking pictures, if not with a camera then with your mind. Memories you capture on purpose are always more vivid than the ones you pick up by accident.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to be evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down....
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
You can't stop time. You can't capture light. You can only turn your face up and let it rain down.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him. Chip away a memory at a time and you destroy him as surely as if you hammered nail after nail through his skull.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
Language does this to our memories—simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. An oft-told story is like a photograph in a family album; eventually, it replaces the moment it was meant to capture.
Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
The happening and telling are very different things. This doesn’t mean that the story isn’t true, only that I honestly don’t know anymore if I really remember it or only remember how to tell it. Language does this to our memories, simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. An off-told story is like a photograph in a family album. Eventually it replaces the moment it was meant to capture.
Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
If we can still capture the enlightening sounds in the deep grooves of our memory, we may be sure we have not lived crippled in the deafened ripples of mental silence beyond the focus of attention.("Corporeal prison")
Erik Pevernagie
Memories you capture on purpose are always more vivid than the ones you pick up by accident.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Anna Quindlen (Loud and Clear)
A man is made of memories. It is all we are. Captured moments, the smell of a place, scenes played out time and again on a small stage. We are memories, strung on storylines--the tales we tell ourselves about ourselves, falling through our lives into tomorrow.
Mark Lawrence
He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces that ricochet around the room, capturing a million snapshots, a million moments in time. Flickering images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariously in dead space, a whirlwind of memories that slice through my soul.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
I stared into his handsome face and let those feelings overwhelm me and in that fleeting time I felt the ghost of our emotional connection. It was just a mere whisper, like a scent on the breeze that blows past you too quickly, bringing with it a memory of something you can’t quite grasp. I wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light, a flicker of something real, or something I fabricated, but it captured all of my attention.
Colleen Houck
Life is a movement, a constant movement in relationship; and thought, trying to capture that movement in terms of the past, as memory, is afraid of life.
J. Krishnamurti (Flight of the Eagle)
That brief walk was one of those moments he knew he'd remember and look back on, one of those moments that he'd try to capture in the stories he told. Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering. [p214]
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
If we could capture feelings like we capture pictures, none of us would ever leave our rooms. It would be so tempting to inhabit the good moments over and over again. But I don't want to be the kind of person who lives backwardly, who memorializes moments before she's finished living in them. So I plant my feet here on this hillside beside a boy who is undoing me, and I kiss him back like I mean it. And, God help me, with the sky wrapped around us in every direction, I do mean it.
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
An act of kindness may take only a moment of our time, but when captured in the heart the memory lives forever.
Molly Friedenfeld (The Book of Simple Human Truths)
I like how art captures not only the exterior, but also the feeling and the mood of the artist. Like a memory.
Astrid Scholte (Four Dead Queens)
I guess I just like the feeling of being able to capture memories. Dengan video, kita bisa menyimpan sesuatu yang berharga, yang mungkin nggak akan terulang lagi.
Winna Efendi (Truth or Dare)
There were so many of these moments that could never be captured accurately, even in the camcorder, only in the heart.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Now I'll Tell You Everything (Alice Book 25))
He captures memories because if he forgets them, it's as though they didn't happen.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
He had not stopped desiring her for a single instant. He found her in the dark bedrooms of captured towns, especially in the most abject ones, and he would make her materialize in the smell of dry blood on the bandages of the wounded, in the instantaneous terror of the danger of death, at all times and in all places. He had fled from her in an attempt to wipe out her memory, not only through distance but by means of a muddled fury that his companions at arms took to be boldness, but the more her image wallowed in the dunghill of the war, the more the war resembled Amaranta. That was how he suffered in exile, looking for a way of killing her with his own death...
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Sometimes moments in life are so perfect you want to freeze frame them; capture them within your soul forever so they never fade away—they burn themselves into your being until they’re a part of who you are.
Cassandra Giovanni (Flawed Perfection (Beautifully Flawed, #1))
Perfume is magic. It’s mystery. We recreate the smell of a flower. Of wood. Of grass. We capture the essence of life. Liquefy it. We store memories. We make dreams,” he told her once. “What we do is a wonder, an art, and we have a responsibility to do it well.
M.J. Rose (Seduction (Reincarnationist, #5))
They may be nothing more than scraps of paper, but they capture something profound. Light and wind and air, the tenderness or joy of the photographer, the bashfulness or pleasure of the subject. You have to guard these things forever in your heart. That’s why photographs are taken in the first place.
Yōko Ogawa (The Memory Police)
Memory is the grid of meaning we impose on the random and bewildering flux of the world. Memory is the line we pay out behind us as we travel through time--it is the clue, like Ariadne's, which means we do not lose our way. Memory is the lasso with which we capture the past and haul it from chaos towards us in nicely ordered sequences, like those of baroque keyboard music.
Angela Carter (Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories)
The memory of sacred moment is unforgettable.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Frozen in time, captured in memories, filled in passion, she melted in love before his eyes.
Luffina Lourduraj
When the surface of your soul begins to stir, I imagine you want to capture the sensation in writing.
Yōko Ogawa (The Memory Police)
Try to capture what you can't bear to be without
Rosie Thomas (Iris & Ruby)
He carried Paul inside and up the stairs. He gave him a drink of water and the orange chewable aspirin he like and sat with him on the bed, holding his hand...This was what he yearned to capture on film: these rare moments where the world seemed unified, coherent, everything contained in a single fleeting image. A spareness that held beauty and hope and motion - a kind of silvery poetry, just as the body was poetry in blood and flesh and bone.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
I wanted to capture what language ability tests could never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts.
Amy Tan (The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life)
I've always had a good memory a good head for facts although when something is behind you it changes when you try to capture it in words. The past is slippery that way. I know all about that. And even the present is hard to pin down. You think you know everything that's happening around you. But you can't always see clearly when you're standing right there in the picture.
Amanda Howells (The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Summer, #1))
A man is made of memories. It is all we are. Captured moments, the smell of a place, scenes played out time and again on a small stage. We are memories, strung on storylines—the tales we tell ourselves about ourselves, falling through our lives into tomorrow.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
I love capturing memories. Emotion that’s usually fleeting being frozen forever in time. The wisdom in the gaze of a person who’s lived a full life. The look in someone’s eyes when they realize they’re in love. The joy in their face when they’re laughing at a joke. Photographs help us remember things we’d otherwise forget.
Emily McIntire (Twisted (Never After, #4))
We spend our lives in the attempt to capture memory forever; to capture moments; to capture Time itself.
Melissa Thayer (The Stories We Don't Tell)
They’d reached the point of no return, and she wanted to throw herself into the fire until the flames melted away the years of ice that claimed her.
Katherine McIntyre (Captured Memories (Cupid's Café, #3))
Except those images weren’t exact captures of reality. No, the Camera Eye was also suffused with what photographers called the Golden Hour—the gilt-tinted hour following sunrise and preceding sunset, when the world was awash with russet rays and even the meanest streets were aglow as if in an Arthurian legend. Every moment spent with John was like that, reality beyond reality. Richer, realer, rawer than reality. These were the moments she remembered most.
Ray Smith (The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen)
I cannot decide whether it is an illness or a sin, the need to write things down and fix the flowing world in one rigid form. Bear believed writing dulled the spirit, stilled some holy breath. Smothered it. Words, when they’ve been captured and imprisoned on paper, become a barrier against the world, one best left unerected. Everything that happens is fluid, changeable. After they’ve passed, events are only as your memory makes them, and they shift shapes over time. Writing a thing down fixes it in place as surely as a rattlesnake skin stripped from the meat and stretched and tacked to a barn wall. Every bit as stationary, and every bit as false to the original thing. Flat and still and harmless. Bear recognized that all writing memorializes a momentary line of thought as if it were final. But I was always word-smitten.
Charles Frazier
Hail to St. Aegolius Our Alma Mater. Hail, our song we raise in praise of thee Long in the memory of every loyal owl Thy splendid banner emblazoned be. Now to thy golden talons Homage we're bringing. Guiding symbol of our hopes and fears Hark to the cries of eternal praises ringing Long may we triumph in the coming years. - The Owls of St. Aegolius
Kathryn Lasky (The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #1))
Sometimes, all you can take are memories But if you’re lucky enough to capture the moment, it lives forever, immortally fixed.
Keegan Allen (life.love.beauty)
One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, ‘our side,’ had captured a crucial word from the enemy . . . ‘Libertarians’ . . . had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over...
Murray N. Rothbard (The Betrayal Of The American Right)
And you’d correct him, but the thing is, you’re not sure you remember it a hundred percent accurately yourself. It turns out your memory isn’t the precise court stenographer you think it is, getting every word down just so. It’s more like the sketch artist way at the back of the courtroom who is doing his level best to capture images that no longer are.
Norm Macdonald (Based on a True Story)
Sometimes I fantasize about getting my hands on my library records. . . my recurring bookworm dream is to peruse my personal library history like it's a historical document. My bookshelves show me the books I've bought or been given. . . But my library books come into my house and go out again, leaving behind only memories and a jotted line in a journal (if I'm lucky). I long for a list that captures these ephemeral reads - all the books I've borrowed in a lifetime of reading, from last week's armful spanning back to when I was a seven-year-old kid with my first library card. I don't need many details - just the titles and dates would be fine - but oh, how I'd love to see them. Those records preserve what my memory has not. I remember the highlights of my grade-school checkouts, but much is lost to time. How I'd love to see the complete list of what I chose to read in second grade, or sixth, or tenth.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
If I could just capture each memory in a bottle the maybe you people would understand how much I've suffered, how much I've been through, but most importantly how far I have come.
Tommy Tran
The purpose of a camera is to capture memories, not replace them.
Abhijit Naskar (The Gospel of Technology)
If I could capture the rays of the sun in a can, I'd paint a canvas with it and have you look at my work until the memory of my work was burned in your mind and your retinas burned out.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
All she captures is a moment and what she calls it is a memory, Sometimes, it is assumptions that we use; all we need is a theory, Because you don’t know what is there in the future, And all you need is a vision to make a perfect picture. I feel that I have known you for a century, And whatever she calls is a memory.
Nishikant (The Papery Onions)
We live in a moment that’s so quickly taken, it’s like it was never even ours. Time is borrowed; you need to capture everything you can before it’s just a fleeting memory of someone you used to be. You say you’ll never change, you promise nothing will change what you have but those aren’t our choices. The world changes, circumstances change.
Ker Dukey (Empathy (Empathy, #1))
The very act of recall is like trying to photograph the sky. The infinite and ever-shifting colors of memory, its rippling light, cannot really be captured. Show someone who has never seen the sky a picture of the sky and you show them a picture of nothing. Still I have to try.
Rachel Lyon (Self-Portrait With Boy)
There’ll be moments in life, sweet pea, that stand out in your memories like a photograph. Scenes captured perfectly in your mind, frozen in time with each detail as colorful as it was that first time you saw it. ‘Flashbulb memories,’ some people call them,” she’d told me, her eyes crinkling up and nearly disappearing in a face etched with too many laugh lines to count. “Most people don’t recognize those moments as they happen. They look back fifty years later, and realize that those were the most important parts of their entire life. But at the time, they’re so busy looking ahead to what’s coming down the line or worrying about their future, they don’t enjoy their present. Don’t be like them, sweet pea. Don’t get so caught up in chasing your dreams that you forget to live them.
Julie Johnson (Say the Word)
She wrote somewhere that photographs create their own memories, and supplant the past. In her pictures there isn’t nostalgia for the fleeting moment, captured by chance with a camera. Rather, there’s a confession: this moment captured is not a moment stumbled upon and preserved but a moment stolen, plucked from the continuum of experience in order to be preserved.
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
I want to remember these nights always, she thought. I want to fix them forever in my memory. I want to lose nothing. When it’s done, when it’s decided and it’s over, I will write a memoir seeking to capture everything forever. When it’s happening it is too beautiful, too overwhelming, and you can feel it’s being lost with every breath you take.
Anne Rice (Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11))
It's a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate with the past, should exist only in memories glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photography forces us to see people before their future weighed down on them. Before they knew their endings.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
The instant before something comes into focus is more exciting than any sharp certainty. Photography, child, is about the passing of time. Capturing is the goal of literature. Timelessness is the task of music and painting. But a good photograph holds time just as a vase holds water. The water will evaporate and the vase becomes a memorial to it. What separates a snapshot from a masterpiece is that the latter is a metaphor of patience...
Miguel Syjuco (Ilustrado)
Ultimately, light is the energy field of strength and wisdom that follows us wherever we go and captures the brilliant memories of our souls.
Debra Roinestad
The dreams that surfaced upon meeting up with him again winked out of existence, stars darkening for good.
Katherine McIntyre (Captured Memories (Cupid's Café, #3))
A hundred times. If not more. She was stunned and stunned again by them, and her love for them. How much had been lost? Never made it into her memory, never been captured in a photograph?
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
Now he reduced his progress to the rhythm of his boots -- he walked across the land until he came to the sea. Everything that impeded him had to be outweighed, even if only by a fraction, by all that drove him on. In one pan of the scales, his wound, thirst, the blister, tiredness, the heat, the aching in his feet and legs, the Stukas, the distance, the Channel; in the other, I'll wait for you, and the memory of when she had said it, which he had come to treat like a sacred site. Also, the fear of capture. His most sensual memories -- their few minutes in the library, the kiss in Whitehall -- was bleached colorless through overuse. He knew by heart certain passages from her letters, he had revisited their tussle with the vase by the fountain, he remembered the warmth from her arm at the dinner when the twins went missing. These memories sustained him, but not so easily. Too often they reminded him of where he was when he last summoned them. They lay on the far side of a great divide in time, as significant as B.C. and A.D. Before prison, before war, before the sight of a corpse became a banality. But these heresies died when he read her last letter. He touched his breast pocket. It was a kind of genuflection. Still there. Here was something new on the scales. That he could be cleared had all the simplicity of love. Merely tasting the possibility reminded him of how much had narrowed and died. His taste for life, no less, all the old ambitions and pleasures. The prospect was of rebirth, a triumphant return.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Technology allowed us to share our photos with more people now than ever before, but where would these captured moments in time be in twenty years? On some outdated piece of hardware at the bottom of a landfill site? What happened to memories you couldn’t hold between your thumb and forefinger?
Linwood Barclay (A Tap on the Window)
I try to clutch onto those last moments in the place that I was born to, but I was so busy *living* them! How was I to know I'd have to capture everything I ever wanted to remember of Eire for the rest of my life?
Kate McCafferty (Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl)
Sometimes it seems his whole life revolves around watching and waiting. Waiting for the right moment, waiting for the right memory to capture. Hoping for that perfect minute where everything finally comes together.
Travis Thrasher (The Remaining)
How much had been lost? Never made it into her memory, never been captured in a photograph? Hadia closes the hard cover of her book, a snap of sound that reaches her, and she leans back a little as if she has accomplished something great and is now tired. Let this moment make it, she prays, let each of them remember it too.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
It has become something to her, that memory — something she can take out in dismal times and stare into like a crystal ball disclosing not presages but reminders. She holds it in her palm like a captured ladybug and thinks, Well ain’t I been some places, ain’t I partook in some glorious happenings wanderin my way between heaven and earth. And if I ain’t seen everything there is to see, it wasn’t for lack of lookin. Blind is the real dead.
Alden Bell (The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1))
He sought a way to preserve the past. John Hershel was one of the founders of a new form of time travel.... a means to capture light and memories. He actually coined a word for it... photography. When you think about it, photography is a form of time travel. This man is staring at us from across the centuries, a ghost preserved by light.
Carl Sagan
It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate with the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down, before they knew their endings.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
I should get rid of those boxes, full of all that junk. Burn them all – make a bonfire in the garden and burn the bloody lot of it. All the captured bits of me, the scraps and pictures and notes and letters, burn it all, burn the lot of it – every last trace of me. Every last bit of me – up in flames and gone for good. Forgotten and gone. Rid me of these memories... Yes, that’s something to do this afternoon. Get out into the garden, and burn the past... To ashes with.
Jonny Glynn (The Seven Days of Peter Crumb: A Novel)
Words, when they've been captured and imprisoned on paper, become a barrier against the world, one best left unerected. Everything that happens is fluid, changeable. After they've passed, events are only as your memory makes them, and they shift shapes over time. Writing a thing down fixes it in place as surely as a rattlesnake skin strippd from the meat and stretched and tacked to a barn wall. Every bit as stationary, and every bit as false to the original thing. Flat and still and harmless.
Charles Frazier
Without you having to do anything, the phone brackets the shot so that you can pretend to time travel, to pick the perfect instant when everyone is smiling. Skin is smoothed out; pores and small imperfections are erased. What used to take my father a day's work is now done in the blink of an eye, and far better. Do the people who take these photos believe them to be reality? Or have the digital paintings taken the place of reality in their memory? When they try to remember the captured moment, do they recall what they saw, or what the camera crafted for them?
Ken Liu (The Hidden Girl and Other Stories)
Words today burn at my lips to speak and smolder in ink on the page as I write. For I have captured our love in every shade. The sweet stroke of brush upon canvas, the exquisite memory of us. I long to paint you again and know you yet more with every new glance until no part of you is foreign to me.
Anna Larner (Love's Portrait)
She may forget. And one day, I may forget too. But for now, the memories are captured, like insects in amber, ready to survive for millions of years. My memories...are written in words and verses and fragments in this book, unable to be unwritten. And if it is forgotten, it can always be read again.
Rex Ogle (Abuela, Don't Forget Me)
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I'll tell you this much. Men think memories are like murals or statues or truth or whatever happened, never changes none. But that ain't so. They can capture the untruth of something, just as easy. They can change, especially as time leads to time. (...) To each man himself, his memories seems as solid and factual as a stone mosaic, an urn he could turn around and heft, a flower he could sniff. But when I go inside another, I don't see it or feel it like that. Everything is shimmery, shifting, like it's bathed in mist and shadow, like... like walking down the foggiest street you can think of, with everything looking not like itself at all.
Jeff Salyards (Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder's Arc, #1))
Sometimes I have a good idea, something I wish I could remember, and instead of writing it down, commit it to my memory only to disappear when I needed it. Write your ideas as they come, if you wait it will be too long and you may not recover it. It may get destroyed as it is to seed to and fro in the ever rushing river of our thoughts
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
He sought a way to preserve the past. John Hershel was one of the founders of a new form of time travel.... a means to capture light and memories. He actually coined a word for it... photography. When you think about it, photography is a form of time travel. This man is staring at us from across the centuries, a ghost preserved by light.
Anonymous
A tree inhales and stills air’s fibrillating breath, holding it in wood, like a kami. Each year’s growth rings jackets the previous, capturing in layered derma precise molecular signatures of the atmosphere timbered memories. Wood emerges from relationship with air, catalyzed by the flash of electrons through membranes. Atmosphere and plant make each other; plant as temporary crystallization of carbon, air as product of 400 million years of forest breath. Neither tree nor air has a narrative, a telos of its own, for neither is its own.
David George Haskell (The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors)
I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.' I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader,' but it died on my lips.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Please accept this fan with indulgence. If one of the ghosts that have alighted here after flitting through my memory made you weep long ago, while it was still partaking of life, then recognize that ghost without bitterness and remember that it is a mere shadow and that it will never make you suffer again. I could quite innocently capture these ghosts on the frail paper to which your hand will lend wings, for those ghosts are too unreal and too flimsy to cause any harm. . . .
Marcel Proust (Pleasures and Days)
This new concept of the "finest, highest achievement of art" had no sooner entered my mind than it located the imperfect enjoyment I had had at the theater, and added to it a little of what it lacked; this made such a heady mixture that I exclaimed, "What a great artiste she is!" It may be thought I was not altogether sincere. Think, however, of so many writers who, in a moment of dissatisfaction with a piece they have just written, may read a eulogy of the genius of Chateaubriand, or who may think of some other great artist whom they have dreamed of equaling, who hum to themselves a phrase of Beethoven for instance, comparing the sadness of it to the mood they have tried to capture in their prose, and are then so carried away by the perception of genius that they let it affect the way they read their own piece, no longer seeing it as they first saw it, but going so far as to hazard an act of faith in the value of it, by telling themselves "It's not bad you know!" without realizing that the sum total which determines their ultimate satisfaction includes the memory of Chateaubriand's brilliant pages, which they have assimilated to their own, but which, of course, they did not write. Think of all the men who go on believing in the love of a mistress in whom nothing is more flagrant than her infidelities; of all those torn between the hope of something beyond this life (such as the bereft widower who remembers a beloved wife, or the artist who indulges in dreams of posthumous fame, each of them looking forward to an afterlife which he knows is inconceivable) and the desire for a reassuring oblivion, when their better judgement reminds them of the faults they might otherwise have to expiate after death; or think of the travelers who are uplifted by the general beauty of a journey they have just completed, although during it their main impression, day after day, was that it was a chore--think of them before deciding whether, given the promiscuity of the ideas that lurk within us, a single one of those that affords us our greatest happiness has not begun life by parasitically attaching itself to a foreign idea with which it happened to come into contact, and by drawing from it much of the power of pleasing which it once lacked.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for prosperity, and as time moved forwards I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives. To watch my uncle pose my brother a maths problem, and at the same time to see him in a picture taken thirty-two years earlier; to watch my father scanning the newspaper and trying, with a half-smile, to catch the tail of a joke rippling across the crowded room, and at that very same moment to see a picture of him to me that my grandmother had framed and frozen these memories so that we could weave them into the present.When, in the tones ordinarily preserved for discussing the founding of a nation, my grandmother spoke of my grandfather who had died so young, and pointed at the frames on the tables and the walls, it seemed that she, like me, was pulled in two direction , wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection, savouring the ordinary life but still honouring the ideal. But even as I pondered these dilemmas-if you plucked a special moment from life and framed it, were you defying death, decay and the passage of time, or were you submitting to them? - I grew very bored with them.
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach. T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. . . . The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make. . . .I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Anna Quindlen (Loud and Clear)
By the untamed shores, by the unstill sea, By the mountains of memory, and the dreaming tree, At the edge of the places the moon still embraces, There deep in the damp of night's magic mind, May you unbury the dream, may the forsaken you find May you unearth the key setting memories free, May you capture the wind sailing your love to me, May you remember your light, may you remember your spark, May you remember to dance there alone in the dark, For there is only one of you this sweet life will ever know, And I crossed oceans of time to tell you so
Unknown
General Garrison assembled all of the men for a memorial service, and captured their feelings of sadness, fear, and resolve with the famous martial speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V: Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure since we wish not to die in that man’s company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed his blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together.
Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War)
But in writing fiction, the truth I seek is not a factual or scientific truth. It has to do with human nature, which is tied to my nature. It is about those things that are not apparent on the surface. When I set out to write a story, I am feeling my way through a question, often a moral one, and attempting to find a way to capture all its facets and conundrums. I don’t want an absolute answer. When writing fiction, I am trying to put down what feels true. Even though the story may not ostensibly be mine, it contains knowledge based on my personal history
Amy Tan (Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination)
This time of year, the purple blooms were busy with life- not just the bees, but butterflies and ladybugs, skippers and emerald-toned beetles, flitting hummingbirds and sapphire dragonflies. The sun-warmed sweet haze of the blossoms filled the air. "When I was a kid," said Isabel, "I used to capture butterflies, but I was afraid of the bees. I'm getting over that, though." The bees softly rose and hovered over the flowers, their steady hum oddly soothing. The quiet buzzing was the soundtrack of her girlhood summers. Even now, she could close her eyes and remember her walks with Bubbie, and how they would net a monarch or swallowtail butterfly, studying the creature in a big clear jar before setting it free again. They always set them free. As she watched the activity in the hedge, a memory floated up from the past- Bubbie, gently explaining to Isabel why they needed to open the jar. "No creature should ever be trapped against its will," she used to say. "It will ruin itself, just trying to escape." As a survivor of a concentration camp, Bubbie only ever spoke of the experience in the most oblique of terms.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
The world never slows down so that we can better grasp the story, so that we can form study groups and drill each other on the recent past until we have total retention. We have exactly one second to carve a memory of that second, to sort and file and prioritize in some attempt at preservation. But then the next second has arrived, the next breeze to distract us, the next plane slicing through the sky, the next funny skip from the next funny toddler, the next squirrel fracas, and the next falling leaf. Our imaginations are busy enough capturing now that it is easy to lose just then.
N.D. Wilson (Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent)
The roots of the slasher movie stretch back to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), based on Robert Bloch’s book of the same name. While Bloch stated many times that his book was based on the real-life crimes of Ed Gein, far more clippings were found in his files regarding Wisconsin’s infamous children’s entertainer and serial poisoner, Floyd Scriltch. When Hitchcock purchased the rights to Bloch’s book, he also optioned the life rights from the sole survivor of Scriltch’s infamous “Easter Bunny Massacre,” Amanda Cohen. Cohen was instrumental in the detection and capture of Scriltch and paid a heavy price for her bravery. This book is dedicated to her memory.
Grady Hendrix (The Final Girl Support Group)
Oh, Cole,” she said, “the jewelry box is lovely—” “It’s not for jewelry.” She gazed up at him, surprised by his somber tone. “Then what—” “It’s a memory box, Devon. Something in which to store all those memories you collect, so you’ll never lose a single one.” He paused, looking both tender and serious at once. “Unlike the wedding gift you gave me, this one comes with strings attached. If you accept it, I expect the next fifty years of your life in return to help fill it up.” Devon bit her lip to hide a wayward, trembling smile. “Only the next fifty?” He shrugged. “We can negotiate after that.” She nodded, swallowing past the tight knot in her throat. “That sounds like a pretty fair deal to me.
Victoria Lynne (Captured)
9. Your Photo Album Many people have a photo album. In it they keep memories of the happiest of times. There may be a photo of them playing by the beach when they were very young. There may be the picture with their proud parents at their graduation ceremony. There will be many shots of their wedding that captures their love at one of its highest points. And there will be holiday snapshots too. But you will never find in your album any photographs of miserable moments of your life. Absent is the photo of you outside the principal’s office at school. Missing is any photo of you studying hard late into the night for your exams. No one that I know has a picture of their divorce in their album, nor one of them in a hospital bed terribly sick, nor stuck in busy traffic on the way to work on a Monday morning! Such depressing shots never find their way into anyone’s photo album. Yet there is another photo album that we keep in our heads called our memory. In that album, we include so many negative photographs. There you find so many snapshots of insulting arguments, many pictures of the times when you were so badly let down, and several montages of the occasions where you were treated cruelly. There are surprisingly few photos in that album of happy moments. This is crazy! So let’s do a purge of the photo album in our head. Delete the uninspiring memories. Trash them. They do not belong in this album. In their place, put the same sort of memories that you have in a real photo album. Paste in the happiness of when you made up with your partner, when there was that unexpected moment of real kindness, or whenever the clouds parted and the sun shone with extraordinary beauty. Keep those photos in your memory. Then when you have a few spare moments, you will find yourself turning its pages with a smile, or even with laughter.
Ajahn Brahm (Don't Worry, Be Grumpy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment)
I CANNOT DECIDE WHETHER IT IS AN ILLNESS OR A SIN, THE NEED TO write things down and fix the flowing world in one rigid form. Bear believed writing dulled the spirit, stilled some holy breath. Smothered it. Words, when they’ve been captured and imprisoned on paper, become a barrier against the world, one best left unerected. Everything that happens is fluid, changeable. After they’ve passed, events are only as your memory makes them, and they shift shapes over time. Writing a thing down fixes it in place as surely as a rattlesnake skin stripped from the meat and stretched and tacked to a barn wall. Every bit as stationary, and every bit as false to the original thing. Flat and still and harmless. Bear recognized that all writing memorializes a momentary line of thought as if
Charles Frazier (Thirteen Moons)
What human language captures the dislocation, the acute insufficiency of being in the presence of the superorganism, the sinking, shrinking feeling at this display of industrial steel and light and might? It was as if nothing I’d ever done in my life prior to this counted. As if my past life was revealed to be a waste, a gesture in slow motion, because what I considered scarce and precious was in fact plentiful and cheap, and what I counted as rapid progress turned out to be glacially slow. The observer, that old record keeper, the chronicler of events, made his appearance in that taxi. The hands of my clock turned elastic while I imprinted these feelings in memory. You must remember this. It was all I had, all I’ve ever had, the only currency, the only proof that I was alive. Memory.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
The group of artists and scientists that had so far done least was the one that had attracted the greatest interest—and the greatest alarm. This was the team working on “total identification.” The history of the cinema gave the clue to their actions. First sound, then color, then stereoscopy, then Cinerama, had made the old “moving pictures” more and more like reality itself. Where was the end of the story? Surely, the final stage would be reached when the audience forgot it was an audience, and became part of the action. To achieve this would involve stimulation of all the senses, and perhaps hypnosis as well, but many believed it to be practical. When the goal was attained, there would be an enormous enrichment of human experience. A man could become—for a while, at least—any other person, and could take part in any conceivable adventure, real or imaginary. He could even be a plant or an animal, if it proved possible to capture and record the sense impressions of other living creatures. And when the “program” was over, he would have acquired a memory as vivid as any experience in his actual life—indeed, indistinguishable from reality itself. The prospect was dazzling. Many also found it terrifying, and hoped that the enterprise would fail. But they knew in their hearts that once science had declared a thing possible, there was no escape from its eventual realization…. This, then, was New Athens and some of its dreams. It hoped to become what the old Athens might have been had it possessed machines instead of slaves, science instead of superstition. But it was much too early yet to tell if the experiment would succeed.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
WRITER'S NIGHTMARE" "I felt a grip on my arm that shook my body, forcefully pulling me toward a tunnel of darkness.   The threat of consciousness stole my steady breath. For a moment I believed myself to be under siege; ripped from the sky in mid flight, my wings useless against the monstrous claws shredding my reality. I struggled to remain, to be left alone, aloft.  Reaching with wings that through the power of imagination were suddenly feathered arms, I grabbed at the air.  My hands clutched at something solid.  Wooden.  A desk.  My head spun as I held the furniture, suffering the illusion of falling.   "I was flying," I gasped, realizing suddenly that it had all been a dream. "My best fantasy ever." Lifting my head from its resting spot on the writing desk, I worked mentally to secure the fading images, hoping to capture their essence to memory before they faded away forever.  Bitterness tainted my heart against the hand that had jerked me into sensibility.  Why was I always so callously awakened while doing my best work?  Why not let me dream?
Richelle E. Goodrich
How the intelligent young do fight shy of the mention of God! It makes them feel both bored and superior.” I tried to explain: “Well, once you stop believing in an old gentleman with a beard … It’s only the word God, you know — it makes such a conventional noise.” “It’s merely shorthand for where we come from, where we’re going, and what it’s all about.” “And do religious people find out what it’s all about? Do they really get the answer to the riddle?” “They get just a whiff of an answer sometimes.” He smiled at me and I smiled back and we both drank our madeira. Then he went on: “I suppose church services make a conventional noise to you, too — and I rather understand it. Oh, they’re all right for the old hands and they make for sociability, but I sometimes think their main use is to help weather churches — like smoking pipes to colour them, you know. If any — well, unreligious person, needed consolation from religion, I’d advise him or her to sit in an empty church. Sit, not kneel. And listen, not pray. Prayer’s a very tricky business.” “Goodness, is it?” “Well, for inexperienced pray-ers it sometimes is. You see, they’re apt to think of God as a slot-machine. If nothing comes out they say ‘I knew dashed well it was empty’ — when the whole secret of prayer is knowing the machine’s full.” “But how can one know?” “By filling it oneself.” “With faith?” “With faith. I expect you find that another boring word. And I warn you this slot-machine metaphor is going to break down at any moment. But if ever you’re feeling very unhappy — which you obviously aren’t at present, after all the good fortune that’s come to your family recently — well, try sitting in an empty church.” “And listening for a whiff?” We both laughed and then he said that it was just as reasonable to talk of smelling or tasting God as of seeing or hearing Him. “If one ever has any luck, one will know with all one’s senses — and none of them. Probably as good a way as any of describing it is that we shall ‘come over all queer.’” “But haven’t you already?” He sighed and said the whiffs were few and far between. “But the memory of them everlasting,” he added softly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
When his father told him about his alarm at having forgotten even the most impressive happenings of his childhood, Aureliano explained his method to him […] with an inked brush he marked everything with its name: table, chair, clock, door, wall, bed, pan. He went to the corral and marked the animals and plants: cow, goat, pig, hen, cassava, caladium, banana. Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use. Then he was more explicit. The sign that he hung on the neck of the cow was an exemplary proof of the way in which the inhabitants of Macondo were prepared to fight against loss of memory: "This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk." Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters. (3.14)
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Grenouille sat on the logs, his legs outstretched and his back leaned against the wall of the shed. He had closed his eyes and did not stir. He saw nothing, he heard nothing, he felt nothing. He only smelt the aroma of the wood rising up around him to be captured under the bonnet of the eaves. He drank in the aroma, he drowned in it, impregnating himself through his innermost pores, until he became wood himself; he lay on the cord of wood like a wooden puppet, like Pinocchio, as if dead, until after a long while, perhaps a half-hour or more, he gagged up the word ‘wood’. He vomited the word up, as if he were filled with wood to his ears, as if buried in wood to his neck, as if his stomach, his gorge, his nose were spilling over with wood. And that brought him to himself, rescued him only moments before the overpowering presence of the wood, its aroma, was about to suffocate him. He shook himself, slid down off the logs, and tottered away as if on wooden legs. Days later he was still completely fuddled by the intense olfactory experience, and whenever the memory of it rose up too powerfully within him he would mutter imploringly, over and over, ‘Wood, wood.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Penguin Essentials))
I do love you.” He said it suddenly, raising his head so his black eyes could meet her startled green ones. “I mean it, Shea. I do not just need you, I love you. I know everything about you, I have been in your head, shared your memories, shared your dreams and your ideas. I know you think I need you and that is why I am with you, but it is much more than that. I love you.” He grinned unexpectedly, traced her lower lip with the tip of a finger. “What is more, I know you love me. You hide it from yourself, but I found it in a little corner, tucked away in your mind.” Shea stared up at the teasing smile on his face, then pushed at the solid wall of his chest. “You’re making that up.” Jacques moved off her, then reached down to pull her to her feet. His clothes were scattered everywhere, and he made no move to retrieve them. Shea’s shirt was still hanging open, and her jeans were down around her ankles. Blushing, she pulled them up. His hands stayed hers, preventing her from fastening them. “Do not bother, Shea. The pools are just ahead.” He walked a few feet, then looked back over his shoulder. “I did not make it up, and I know you are staring at my backside.” Shea tossed her mane of red hair so that it flew in all directions. “Any woman in her right mind would stare at your particular backside, so you don’t need to add that to your arrogant list of virtues. And stay out of my mind unless you’re invited.” She was staring, but she couldn’t help it. He was so beautifully masculine. Jacques reached behind him and captured her hand, lacing their fingers together. “But I find the most interesting things in your mind, my love. Things you do not have any intention of telling me.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
To Harry James Potter,’” he read, and Harry’s insides contracted with a sudden excitement, “‘I leave the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match at Hogwarts, as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill.’” As Scrimgeour pulled out the tiny, walnut-sized golden ball, its silver wings fluttered rather feebly, and Harry could not help feeling a definite sense of anticlimax. “Why did Dumbledore leave you this Snitch?” asked Scrimgeour. “No idea,” said Harry. “For the reasons you just read out, I supposed . . . to remind me what you can get if you . . . persevere and whatever it was.” “You think this a mere symbolic keepsake, then?” “I suppose so,” said Harry. “What else could it be?” “I’m asking the questions,” said Scrimgeour, shifting his chair a little closer to the sofa. Dusk was really falling outside now; the marquee beyond the windows towered ghostly white over the hedge. “I notice that your birthday cake is in the shape of a Snitch,” Scrimgeour said to Harry. “Why is that?” Hermione laughed derisively. “Oh, it can’t be a reference to the fact Harry’s a great Seeker, that’s way too obvious,” she said. “There must be a secret message from Dumbledore hidden in the icing!” “I don’t think there’s anything hidden in the icing,” said Scrimgeour, “but a Snitch would be a very good hiding place for a small object. You know why, I’m sure?” Harry shrugged. Hermione, however, answered: Harry thought that answering questions correctly was such a deeply ingrained habit she could not suppress the urge. “Because Snitches have flesh memories,” she said. “What?” said Harry and Ron together; both considered Hermione’s Quidditch knowledge negligible. “Correct,” said Scrimgeour. “A Snitch is not touched by bare skin before it is released, not even by the maker, who wears gloves. It carries an enchantment by which it can identify the first human to lay hands upon it, in case of a disputed capture. This Snitch”—he held up the tiny golden ball—“will remember your touch, Potter. It occurs to me that Dumbledore, who had prodigious magical skill, whatever his other faults, might have enchanted this Snitch so that it will open only for you.” Harry’s heart was beating rather fast. He was sure that Scrimgeour was right. How could he avoid taking the Snitch with his bare hand in front of the Minister? “You don’t say anything,” said Scrimgeour. “Perhaps you already know what the Snitch contains?” “No,” said Harry, still wondering how he could appear to touch the Snitch without really doing so. If only he knew Legilimency, really knew it, and could read Hermione’s mind; he could practically hear her brain whirring beside him. “Take it,” said Scrimgeour quietly. Harry met the Minister’s yellow eyes and knew he had no option but to obey. He held out his hand, and Scrimgeour leaned forward again and placed the Snitch, slowly and deliberately, into Harry’s palm. Nothing happened. As Harry’s fingers closed around the Snitch, its tired wings fluttered and were still. Scrimgeour, Ron, and Hermione continued to gaze avidly at the now partially concealed ball, as if still hoping it might transform in some way. “That was dramatic,” said Harry coolly. Both Ron and Hermione laughed. “That’s all, then, is it?” asked Hermione, making to prise herself off the sofa. “Not quite,” said Scrimgeour, who looked bad-tempered now. “Dumbledore left you a second bequest, Potter.” “What is it?” asked Harry, excitement rekindling. Scrimgeour did not bother to read from the will this time. “The sword of Godric Gryffindor,” he said. Hermione and Ron both stiffened. Harry looked around for a sign of the ruby-encrusted hilt, but Scrimgeour did not pull the sword from the leather pouch, which in any case looked much too small to contain it.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The Prime Minister, who was in close contact with the Queen and Prince Charles, captured the feelings of loss and despair when he spoke to the nation earlier in the day from his Sedgefield constituency. Speaking without notes, his voice breaking with emotion, he described Diana as a ‘wonderful and warm human being.’ ‘She touched the lives of so many others in Britain and throughout the world with joy and with comfort. How difficult things were for her from time to time, I’m sure we can only guess at. But people everywhere, not just here in Britain, kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her, they loved her, they regarded her as one of the people. She was the People’s Princess and that is how she will stay, how she will remain in all our hearts and memories for ever.’ While his was the first of many tributes which poured in from world figures, it perfectly captured the mood of the nation in a historic week which saw the British people, with sober intensity and angry dignity, place on trial the ancient regime, notably an elitist, exploitative and male-dominated mass media and an unresponsive monarchy. For a week Britain succumbed to flower power, the scent and sight of millions of bouquets a mute and telling testimony to the love people felt towards a woman who was scorned by the Establishment during her lifetime. So it was entirely appropriate when Buckingham Palace announced that her funeral would be ‘a unique service for a unique person’. The posies, the poems, the candles and the cards that were placed at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and elsewhere spoke volumes about the mood of the nation and the state of modern Britain. ‘The royal family never respected you, but the people did,’ said one message, as thousands of people, most of whom had never met her, made their way in quiet homage to Kensington Palace to express their grief, their sorrow, their guilt and their regret. Total strangers hugged and comforted each other, others waited patiently to lay their tributes, some prayed silently. When darkness fell, the gardens were bathed in an ethereal glow from the thousands of candles, becoming a place of dignified pilgrimage that Chaucer would have recognized. All were welcome and all came, a rainbow of coalition of young and old of every colour and nationality, East Enders and West Enders, refugees, the disabled, the lonely, the curious, and inevitably, droves of tourists. She was the one person in the land who could connect with those Britons who had been pushed to the edges of society as well as with those who governed it.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
The Memory Business Steven Sasson is a tall man with a lantern jaw. In 1973, he was a freshly minted graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His degree in electrical engineering led to a job with Kodak’s Apparatus Division research lab, where, a few months into his employment, Sasson’s supervisor, Gareth Lloyd, approached him with a “small” request. Fairchild Semiconductor had just invented the first “charge-coupled device” (or CCD)—an easy way to move an electronic charge around a transistor—and Kodak needed to know if these devices could be used for imaging.4 Could they ever. By 1975, working with a small team of talented technicians, Sasson used CCDs to create the world’s first digital still camera and digital recording device. Looking, as Fast Company once explained, “like a ’70s Polaroid crossed with a Speak-and-Spell,”5 the camera was the size of a toaster, weighed in at 8.5 pounds, had a resolution of 0.01 megapixel, and took up to thirty black-and-white digital images—a number chosen because it fell between twenty-four and thirty-six and was thus in alignment with the exposures available in Kodak’s roll film. It also stored shots on the only permanent storage device available back then—a cassette tape. Still, it was an astounding achievement and an incredible learning experience. Portrait of Steven Sasson with first digital camera, 2009 Source: Harvey Wang, From Darkroom to Daylight “When you demonstrate such a system,” Sasson later said, “that is, taking pictures without film and showing them on an electronic screen without printing them on paper, inside a company like Kodak in 1976, you have to get ready for a lot of questions. I thought people would ask me questions about the technology: How’d you do this? How’d you make that work? I didn’t get any of that. They asked me when it was going to be ready for prime time? When is it going to be realistic to use this? Why would anybody want to look at their pictures on an electronic screen?”6 In 1996, twenty years after this meeting took place, Kodak had 140,000 employees and a $28 billion market cap. They were effectively a category monopoly. In the United States, they controlled 90 percent of the film market and 85 percent of the camera market.7 But they had forgotten their business model. Kodak had started out in the chemistry and paper goods business, for sure, but they came to dominance by being in the convenience business. Even that doesn’t go far enough. There is still the question of what exactly Kodak was making more convenient. Was it just photography? Not even close. Photography was simply the medium of expression—but what was being expressed? The “Kodak Moment,” of course—our desire to document our lives, to capture the fleeting, to record the ephemeral. Kodak was in the business of recording memories. And what made recording memories more convenient than a digital camera? But that wasn’t how the Kodak Corporation of the late twentieth century saw it. They thought that the digital camera would undercut their chemical business and photographic paper business, essentially forcing the company into competing against itself. So they buried the technology. Nor did the executives understand how a low-resolution 0.01 megapixel image camera could hop on an exponential growth curve and eventually provide high-resolution images. So they ignored it. Instead of using their weighty position to corner the market, they were instead cornered by the market.
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World (Exponential Technology Series))