Psychiatry. a distortion of memory in which fact and fancy are confused.
As fixed in my memory … as the flash of light that is followed by the thunder of pain when your shoulder is pulled out of its socket —Norman Mailer A breeze like the turning of a page brings back your face —John Ashbery [Memories] came back to run through his mind like a reel of color film —Carlos Baker (I am) clean forgotten, as a dead man out of mind —Book of Common Prayer Could be forgotten as quickly and painlessly as a doubting of Jesus or a fear of death from the measles —Peter Taylor [Memory] drifted into my mind like a bit of weed carried in a current and caught there, floating but fixed, refusing to be carried away —Katherine Anne Porter Eventually I thought about him [a once close friend] only once a week or so, as if he were a relative who had died years ago —Richard Burgin Faded memories worn as a buffalo head a nickel —A. D. Winans Felt old memories stir in him like dead leaves —Helen Hudson Fettered to a pack of useless memories like a living person to a corpse —Ouida Follow one after the next like cars out on the street, memories, there is just no stopping them —Tony Ardizzone For a person blessed with a memory as full of holes as an Iranscam scenario, life can be a continuous state of astonishment —Donald Henahan
- As bare of memories as a grain of sugar —Viña Delmar
Henahan uses this simile to introduce his comments about a revival of the musical, South Pacific. The editorial blurb writer used a simile from the musical’s lyrics, “As Corny as Kansas in August” to highlight the article. Forgotten as quickly as warm days in winter or cool days in summer —Ellen Glasgow Forgotten like a station passed through on a train —Elizabeth Spencer (Be) forgotten like spilt wine —Algernon Charles Swinburne Gather memories like dry twigs, thorns and thistles —Yehuda Amichai The ghosts of our remembrances throng around us like dead leaves whirled in the autumn wind —Jerome K. Jerome His memory could work like the slinging of a noose to catch a wild pony —Eudora Welty His memory lifted its skirts … and hurried convulsively, like an old lady picking her way barefoot across a shingly beach —Noël Coward His memory was something like his appendix, a vestigial repository —John Cheever (He never forgets a face.) His mind is like a video camera —Hie Nastase If only there could be an invention that bottled up memory, like a scent —Daphne du Maurier The image [of remembered scene] … is like a photograph on my memory —Richard Maynard An incident would suddenly crop up in her memory, like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle that seemed to have come from the wrong box —Mary McCarthy It isn’t a thing one forgets overnight, like losing a pencil —Mary Stewart It was as though an endless series of hangars had been shaken ajar in the air base of his memory and from each, like a young wasp emerging from its cell, arose the memory of a plane —Ralph Ellison Like a dull actor … I have forgot my part —William Shakespeare Memories are like books; a few live in our hearts through life, and the rest, like the bills we pay, are read, and then forgotten —Gerald Bendall Memories are like stones, time and distance erode them like acid —Ugo Betti Memories … began to play across the surface of his mind like movies on a screen —Richard McKenna Memories bursting in her mind like forsythia buds on the first warm day of the year —B. S. Johnson Memories [troublesome] … flitted like unexplained shadows across her happier thoughts —George Eliot Memories … floated like gossamer through her thoughts —Frank Swinnerton Memories … like worms eating into the flesh —William Golding Memories lurk like dustballs at the back of drawers —Jay Mclnerney Memories … no two sets exactly the same, like fingerprints —Daphne Merkin Memories of embarrassing things he had done and said, of mistakes he had made, buzzed and flitted in his mind like annoying little gnats —Dan Wakefield Memories of the bad covered the good, as snow covers grass in the fall —Ann Jasperson Memories … pierced by moments of brightness, like flashes of lightning —Yasunari Kawabata Memories [when a lot of people one knows die] return to life as grass grows on graves —Lael Tucker Wertenbaker Memories swept over her like a strong wind on dark waters —Carl Sandburg Memories turned up like bills you thought you’d never have to pay —Hugh Leonard
In Leonard’s play, Da. the memories turning up like bills are evoked as a character sorts through family memorabilia. Memory … as good as a bulldog’s handshake —Loren D. Estleman
In Estleman’s mystery novel, Every Brilliant Eye. the character with the bulldog-like memory is a policeman. Memory broke, like an old clock —Karl Shapiro Memory can be like a dream, cause and effect non-existent —Gordon Weaver Memory … crawling
to the surface like a fat worm after rain —Harvey Swados The memory … fell upon him like a weight of black water —Willa Cather The memory [of a man] glimmered in her thoughts like a bright thread in the pattern of a tapestry —Mazo De La Roche Memory is a rare ghost-raiser. Like a haunted house, its walls are ever echoing to unseen feet. (Through the broken casements we watch the flitting shadow of the dead, and the saddest shadows of them all are the shadows of our own dead selves) —Jerome K. Jerome Memory is as full of chimerical as forgetfulness, deceptive as any other work of the imagination —Madison Smart Bell Memory is like a noisy intruder being thrown out of the concert hall … he will hang on the door and continue to disturb the concert —Theodore Reik, Saturday Review. January 11, 1958 Memory, is like a purse, if it’s too full, it can’t be shut, and everything will drop out of it —Thomas Fuller Memory is like the moon … it has its new, its full, and its wane —Duchess of Newcastle
The word ‘hath’ has been modernized to ‘has.’ The memory is salty, like sweat, like the emissions of love-making, like the sea —Lael Tucker Wertenbaker Memory, like a drop that, night and day, falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away —Thomas Moore Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away —Oscar Wilde Memory, like a juggler, tosses its colored balls into the light, and again receives them into darkness —Conrad Aiken Memory … like an old musical box it will lie silent for long years; then a mere nothing, a jerk, a tremor, will start the spring, and from beneath its decent covering of dust it will talk to us of forgotten passion and desire —Thomas Burke A memory like a powerful microchip —Anon A memory like a telephone directory —William Mcllvanney A memory like flypaper —Nora Johnson Memory, like sleep, has powers which dreams obey —William Wordsworth Memory, like women, is usually unfaithful —Spanish proverb
Depending upon who’s talking, the comparison would be as appropriate if attributed to men. The memory of our lost friends is welcome to us like the bitter taste in wine that is very old —Michel de Montaigne The memory of past favors is like a rainbow, bright, vivid, and beautiful, but it soon fades away —Thomas Chandler Haliburton Memory [of something unpleasant] … pokes at him like a nightmare in the womb —T. Coraghessan Boyle Memory returned like fire —Frank Swinnerton Memory’s like an athlete; keep it in training; take it for cross-country runs —James Hilton The [unpleasant] memory … stuck like a fish-hook in her brain —Stefan Zweig Memory transparent as a dream you strain to recall —Harryette Mullen Memory unwound within me like a roll of film in which I played no part —Heinrich Böll A memory, very beautiful and delicate like a flavor or a perfume —Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Had a mind like a mainframe memory bank —William Beechcroft The moment hung like crystal in Meredith’s mind —Babs H. Deal My memory is like camphor. It evaporates with time —Dominique Lapierre My memory kicked in; one of those wonderful little mental jolts, like a quick electric shock when a plug’s gone bad —Sue Grafton My memory’s like a policeman, never there when you want it —Ronald Harwood
This line is spoken by the main character in Harwood’s play The Dresser . Picking over the shames and humiliations … like an invalid mulling over a plate of unwanted food —Harvey Swados Pulled up at it [gap in memory] as if his advance had been checked by a chasm in the pavement at his feet —Edith Wharton Recollections … collected like spit from an aging throat —Elizabeth Spencer Recollections dropped over him like a noose —Laurie Colwin Remembrance is a tripping stone in the path of hope —Kahlil Gibran Remembrance … tickles the end of his nose like the fingertips of a child —Hayden Carruth (I have) a retentive memory, a mind like flypaper to which facts stick —Desmond Begley Shameful memories grip me like an anchor —Delmore Schwartz She sank from his consciousness like one of those poor people encased in concrete who are heaved over the side and plummet to the bottom of the sea —William Styron Slipped out of her mind like a newspaper dropping from the hands of a sleepy woman —Erich Maria Remarque Some memories are like lucky charms, talismans, one shouldn’t tell about them or they’ll lose their power —Iris Murdoch Stung by memories thick as wasps about a nest invaded —Edna St. Vincent Millay There are many moments I cannot forget, moments like radiant flowers in all colors and hues —Jaroslav Seifert Tries to remember like a deaf man remembering an opera he heard eleven years before —Lyn Lifshin As unremembered as bird shadows on the grass —Henry Bellamann Unremembered as old rain —Edna St. Vincent Millay The world, like an accomplished hostess, pays most attention to those whom it will soonest forget —John Churton Collins
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