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Date: 1814, 1816, 1896

"But plant ideas like a printing-press; / Or, graven copper-plate, again to roll / The pristine stamp of proud Employer's Soul."

— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)

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Date: 1992

"Even more important to David than the very natural worry that his wife and his son might grow fond of one another was the intoxicating feeling that he had a blank consciousness to work with, and it gave him great pleasure to knead this yielding clay with his artistic thumbs."

— Edward St. Aubyn (b. 1960)

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Date: 2000

"He must get the whole thing clear, like a diagram hanging in the translucent space of his imagination, the blueprint of a missile that would lay waste to the Great Consciousness Debate."

— Edward St. Aubyn (b. 1960)

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Date: 2010

"The idea of sex with a woman, of 'having a lesbian lover,' was simply unthinkable, like living alone at the North Pole or deciding to become a lycanthrope. If the thought existed at all, it was a mote, a sweet nothing--a little 'feather on the breath of God,' barely sensed now and then, but most...

— Castle, Terry (b. 1953)

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Date: July 5, 2014

"And so, while in the past, we turned to Freud's mystic writing pad to think of memory as a palimpsest, burying material under layers of inscription, now we see a memory as a live wire sitting in the psyche waiting for a spark."

— Halberstam, Jack [Judith] (b. 1961)

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Date: May 19, 2014

"If misinformation can be incorporated so seamlessly into a person's recollection of an event, what becomes of the original memory? Is it completely overwritten, or merely adjusted somehow, layered with a new trace?"

— Specter, Michael (b. 1955)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.