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<P>
Past
P
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★ Past

Past: see Present & Future & Time & History & Evolution & Memory & Remember & Mind & Literature & Diary & Museum

William Faulkner - Agathon - George Orwell & 1984 - Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads TV - L P Hartley - Eugene ONeill - John Dryden - Richard Dawkins - Percy Bysshe Shelley - Mysterious Skin 2004 - Total Recall 2012 - Star Trek: The Next Generation TV - Oscar Wilde - The Great Gatsby 2013 - Edmund Burke - Thomas Hardy - Anton Chekhov - Stevie Smith - George Santayana - Peter Ackroyd - Aravind Adiga - Douglas Adams - Rab C Nesbitt TV - Penn & Teller TV - William Shakespeare - Ecclesiastes 3:15 - Carl Sagan TV - Mark Twain - Stephen Hawking TV - Kip Thorne - Michio Kaku - Richard Gott - Ronald Mallett - Isaac Asimov TV - Horizon TV - The Universe TV - Brian Cox TV - Morgan Freeman TV - Robert Tressell - Samuel Butler - Winston Churchill - Adam Curtis TV - Gomorrah TV - Tom Hopkins - Dana Arnold - History's Greatest Myths TV -             

 

 

 

The past is not dead.  It isn’t even past.  William Faulkner

 

 

No man is himself, he is the sum of his past.  There is no such thing really as was because the past is.  It is a part of every man, every woman, and every moment.  William Faulkner, Faulkner in the University, 1959

 

 

Even a god cannot change the past.  Agathon 445 B.C.

 

 

The past is a curious thing.  It’s with you all the time.  I suppose an hour never passes without you’re thinking of things that happened ten or twenty years ago.  And yet most of the time it’s got no reality; it’s just a set of facts you learned like a lot of stuff in the history books.  Then, some chance or sound or smell, especially smell, sets you going.  And the past doesn’t merely come back to you: you are actually in the past.  George Orwell, cited Arena: George Orwell I: Such Were the Joys, BBC 1983

 

 

‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’  George Orwell, 1984

 

The past, he reflected had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed.  ibid.

 

At all times the Party is in possession of absolute truth, and clearly the absolute can never have been different from what it is now.  It will be seen that the control of the past depends above all on the training of memory.  ibid.

 

 

Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.  In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.  All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.  1984 (1984) starring John Hurt & Richard Burton & Suzanna Hamilton & Cyril Cusack & Gregor Fisher & James Walker & David Cann & Anthony Benson & Peter Frye & Roger Lloyd-Pack & Rupert Baderman et al, director Michael Radford

 

 

Oh what happened to you?
Whatever happened to me?
What became of the people we used to be?
Tomorrows almost over, today went by so fast
Its the only thing to look forward to, the past.  Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, TV series theme

 

 

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.  L P Hartley, The Go-Between, 1953

 

 

The only living life is in the past and future … The present is an interlude … strange interlude in which we call on past and future to bear witness we are living.  Eugene O’Neill, Strange Interlude 1928

 

 

None would live past years again,

Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;

And, from the dregs of life, think to receive,

What the first sprightly running could not give.  John Dryden, 1631-1700, Aureng-Zebe

 

 

Not Heaven itself upon the past has power;

But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.  John Dryden

 

 

Information on how to handle the present so as to survive into the future is necessarily gleaned from the past.  Non-random survival of DNA in ancestral bodies is the obvious way in which information from the past is recorded for future use, and this is the route by which the primary database of DNA is built up.  But there are three further ways in which information about the past is archived in such a way that it can be used to improve future chances of survival.  There are the immune system, the nervous system, and culture.  Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth p406  

 

 

The world is weary of the past,

Oh, might it die or rest at last!  Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas, 1822

 

 

I wish there was some way for us to go back and undo the past but there wasn’t.  There’s nothing we can do.  Mysterious Skin 2004 starring Brady Corbet & Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Michelle Trachtenberg & Jeff Licon & Bill Sage & Mary Lynn Rajskub & Elisabeth Shue & Richard Riehle & Kelly Kruger et al, director Gregg Araki  

 

 

I’m talking about us following the same routine day after day year after year without questioning it.  Total Recall 2012 starring Colin Farrell & Kate Beckinsale & Jessica Biel & Bryan Cranston & Bokeem Woodbine & Bill Nighty & John Cho & Steve Byers & Ethan Hawke et al, director Len Wiseman, hero to Harry

 

The past is a construct of the mind.  ibid.  Matthias

 

 

Open you mind to the past – art, history, philosophy.  Star Trek: The Next Generation s2e17: Samaritan Snare s2e17, Picard to Crusher

 

 

No man is rich enough to buy back his past.  Oscar Wilde

 

 

I like men who have a future and women who have a past.  Oscar Wilde

 

 

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.  Oscar Wilde

 

 

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.  The Great Gatsby 2013 starring Leonardo di Caprio & Tobey McGuire & Carey Mulligan & Joel Edgerton & Isla Fisher & Jason Clarke & Elizabeth Debicki & Jack Thompson & Amitabh Bachchan et al, director Baz Luhrmann

 

 

You can never control the future by the past.  Edmund Burke

 

 

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,

And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,

Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,

‘He was a man who used to notice such things?’  Thomas Hardy, Afterwards, 1917

 

 

To begin to live in the present, we must first atone for our past and be finished with it, and we can only atone for it by suffering, by extraordinary, unceasing exertion.  Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

 

 

People who are always praising the past

And especially the times of faith as best

Ought to go and live in the Middle Ages

And be burnt at the stake as witches and sages.  Stevie Smith, The Past, 1957

 

 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905, variations & attributions

 

 

I don’t believe necessarily the past is in the past.  It’s eternal, it’s all around us.  Peter Ackroyd

 

 

If only a man could spit his past out so easily.  Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

 

 

8‘How can I tell,’ said the man, ‘that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?’  Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

 

 

It’s not the present that does you in, it’s the past.  Rab C Nesbitt s2e1: Country, BBC 1992

 

 

The fuckupedness of people who want to live in the past ... Blast from the past bullshit.  Penn & Teller, Bullshit! s6e10: Good Ol’ Days, Showtime 2008

 

 

Things that are past are done.  William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra I ii 90, Antony

 

 

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.  Ecclesiastes 3:15

 

 

You have to know the past to understand the present.  Carl Sagan

 

 

Whether such time travel can be done consistently with causes preceding effects, say, rather than following them: does Nature contrive it so that even with a time machine you can’t intervene to prevent your own conception, for example?  Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Journeys in Space and Time PBS 1979

 

 

It might be that time travel into the past is possible.  But they haven’t got to our Time yet ... Then there’s the possibility they’re here all right, and we don’t see them.  Carl Sagan, interview Horizon: The Time Lords, BBC 1996

 

 

For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.  Mark Twain       

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