Quote of the Day

In 1837, George Sand wrote:

We cannot tear out a single page of our lives, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.

I would qualify Sand’s observation by noting that many people are actually quite good at compartmentalizing their lives, going into denial, justifying, retelling, distorting, disassociating, sublimating, and “forgetting” aspects of their lives or the past. In short, many people are quite good at tearing pages from their lives—and even adding to their “book” pages of memory that actually never occurred—or putting “spins” on things that fundamentally change how life is experienced.

In other words, our lives are not just set before us, as books might be set before us. We have substantial control over the stories that we tell ourselves, and believe about ourselves (even if those stories are, from some other “objective” vantage, lies).

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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