The opening lines of a less well known novel, Mary Webb’s engaging Precious Bane.  She opens her foreword with a defence of the mute and invisible past before telling the story as a recollection by the protagonist. 

The past is only the present become invisible and mute; and because it is invisible and mute, its memoried glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are to-morrow’s past.

Yes, we are tomorrow’s past.  Let’s live well in the present. 

 

Source: Mary Webb, Foreword, Precious Bane (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981), p. 7

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