8 Remarkable Quotes from Anthony Doerr's Memory Wall

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Anthony Doerr Memory Wall Quote Road Taken

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“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.” Luis Brunuel, My Last Sigh

I have no idea who Luis Brunuel is, although based on this quote, I should probably look him up. His quote from My Last Sigh is the perfect dedication to frame Anthony Doerr’s book of short stories entitled Memory Wall.  

I’ve been particularly grateful for memory these past few months. Sheltering in place for so long makes us miss travel all the more. I’ve always tried to be aware and grateful for the opportunity and means to travel. And now, more than ever, I realize that it’s those memories that feed my soul. 

Before travel, though, books were my windows to the world. And they still are. What I read is woven with where I go, so much so that I often can’t think about one without the other. 

Lately, my mind transports me to an old, brown beach house on St George Island. It’s not glamorous by any stretch, but I miss that stilted structure where when you walk its cork floors, you can feel a gentle swaying. It’s a place where the mosquitoes are as big as golf balls, but it’s also where on moonless nights, you can lie flat on the beach, look skyward, and see shooting stars arc through the Milky Way. 

It’s also here where I snuggled under a nautical-themed quilt each evening and read Doerr’s Memory Wall. The island, the house, and the book are now inextricably intertwined. 

8 Remarkable Quotes from Anthony Doerr’s Memory Wall 


1. “Living less in this world than in some synthesized Technicolor past where forgotten moments come trundling up through cables.” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

2. “To say a person is a happy person or an unhappy person is ridiculous. We are a thousand different kinds of people every hour.” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

3. “What is memory anyway? How can it be such a frail, perishable thing?” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

4. “It’s the rarest thing…that gets preserved, that does not get erased, broken down, transformed.” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

5. “Where do memories go once we’ve lost our ability to summon them?” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

6. “What is a seed if not the purest kind of memory, a link to every generation that has gone before it?” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

7. “She feels as if pieces of her are barely held together — if she lets up for a moment, she will fly apart.” Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall

8. “You bury your childhood here and there. It waits for you, all your life, to come back and dig it up.” Anthony Doerr, Memory

Ready to read?



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