June 19, 2010

“Those who cannot remember the past...”


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
       George Santayana (1863-1952)
       Spanish-American philosopher, poet and novelist 
       In his book The Life of Reason, Volume I (1905) 
       This line was used by Walter Shirer as the epigraph of his book Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959)
       Often misquoted with the ending “doomed to repeat it.”


“A deliberately incorrect Google search (with search terms Santayana, ‘remember history’ and ‘doomed to repeat’), yielded 269 Web pages misquoting Santayana (‘Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it.’). Those who cannot remember quotations are condemned to paraphrase them.”
       A reference librarian who blogs as “denseatoms”
       On the NowPublic.com site


“Those who cannot forget the past are doomed to remember it.”
       Jane Ace (1897-1974)
       American comedienne, wife and comic partner of Goodman Ace
       One of her famous malaprops on the couple’s Easy Aces radio show (1930-1945)


“You know what they say. Those of us who fail history, doomed to repeat it in summer school.”
       Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar)
       In the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
       From the episode "After Life" (Season 6, Ep. 3), first aired Oct. 9, 2001


“Those who cannot forget the past are doomed to watch it — endlessly — in syndication.”
       Article on the fall TV season in TV Guide, 1985
       (Image by Chicago artist Stacia Yeapanis)

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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Read some books about misquotations (so you don’t repeat them)…

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