The Years (Ernaux) Quotes

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In conversation around a holiday table, we will be nothing but a first name, increasingly faceless, until we vanish into the vast anonymity of a distant generation.
-- Annie Ernaux (Pages 1 - 48)

Importance: This quote from early on in the book seems to capture some of the author's intention behind the writing of this memoir: it is a fearsome thing to imagine being just the name of a predecessor, once one has passed away. As such, the preservation of one's life through words -- through a memoir -- can mitigate the effects of anonymity in distant generations, recording at least some aspects of the person one was before death made words and images 'disappear.'

On holiday afternoons after the war, amidst the interminable slowness of meals, it appeared out of nowhere and took shape, the time already begun, the one which the parents seemed to be staring at, eyes unfocused, when they forgot to answer...
-- Annie Ernaux (Pages 1 - 48)

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This section contains 1,507 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Years (Ernaux) Study Guide
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