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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: February 25, 2010

"That’s because rumination is largely rooted in working memory, a kind of mental scratchpad that allows us to 'work' with all the information stuck in consciousness."

— Lehrer, Jonah

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Date: 2011

"In contrast, '50 First Dates' utilizes Hawaii as a kind of blank slate, a place emptied of political turmoil and a perfect metaphor for the state of mind produced by the erasure of memory."

— Halberstam, Jack [Judith] (b. 1961)

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Date: September 5, 2011

"He [Derek Parfit] pictures his thinking self as a government minister sitting behind a large desk, who writes a question on a piece of paper and puts it in his out-tray. The minister then sits idly at the desk, twiddling his thumbs, while in some back room civil servants labor furiously, come up...

— MacFarquhar, Larissa

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Date: October 31, 2011

"The interpreter [the left-brain narrating system] creates the illusion of a meaningful script, as well as a coherent self."

— Carey, Benedict (b. 1960)

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Date: 2011

"A yellow-brown glob would slide down the metal, and Tommie would shut her eyes, the bees and white heads of flowers nodding in the warm daylight and the silhouette of Gary’s baseball cap written across the inside of her skull."

— Nadzam, Bonnie

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Date: April 15, 2012

"If the child's mind was a tabula rasa — a clean slate upon which, as Mao Zedong once put it, 'the most beautiful characters could be written' -- then a person's character and mind-set would not be immutable and God-given, but shaped and honed in the environment."

— Smits, Rick

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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

"Plato and Aristotle saw memories as thoughts inscribed on wax tablets that could be erased easily and used again."

— Specter, Michael (b. 1955)

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Date: May 19, 2014

"Memory 'works a little bit more like a Wikipedia page,' Loftus said in a recent speech. 'You can go in there and change it, but so can other people.'"

— 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.