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Notable Quotable: Patrick Modiano on memory and the writer

"Today I get the sense that memory is much less sure of itself, engaged as it is in a constant struggle against amnesia and oblivion. This layer, this mass of oblivion that obscures everything, means we can only pick up fragments of the past, disconnected traces, fleeting and almost ungraspable human destinies.

"Yet it has to be the vocation of the novelist, when faced with this large blank page of oblivion, to make a few faded words visible again, like lost icebergs adrift on the surface of the ocean." -- Patrick Modiano 

Read the entire text of 2014 Nobel Laureate in Literature Patrick Modiano's December 7, 2014 Nobel lecture here.

Excerpt © THE NOBEL FOUNDATION 2014. Translation by James Hardiker, Semantix.

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