Posted by Anders on September 15, 2003
In Reply to: We may be through with the past... posted by GPP on September 15, 2003
: : : : : Help! In the movie Magnolia, there is a line that says "And the book says, 'We may be through with the past, but the past isn't through with us.'" Which book? Does anyone have any idea where this phrase might have come from? Please post or email me. Thanks!
: : : : I checked a couple of quote books. No luck yet.
: : : Me too. Google returns gobs of hits for the quote, but they're all from the movie, or rip-offs from it. However, one reviewer says:
: : : "Putting posey lines like "the book says, we may be through with the past, but the past isn't through with us" repeatedly through the movie is a naked attempt to sound important and really offers nothing to the movie (though some people like it when a great movie announces that it's a great movie. Less work for them)." This reviewer leaves the impression it was simply made up by the screenwriter/director/producer Paul Thomas Anderson.
: : : The quote itself is an obvious ripoff from William Faulkner's "The past isn't dead; it isn't even past."
: : For whatever it may be worth,
: : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175880/quotes
: : gives the line as spoken by Jimmy Gator as: "The book says, we might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."
: Wow--speaking of misquotes:
: "The past is never dead; it's not even past."
: - Gavin Stevens to Temple Drake Stevens, 'Requiem for a Nun', Act I Scene iii
: You'd never know either of these from counting Google hits.
: (Of course the Anderson 'Magnolia' statement means something a little different from Faulkner's.)
Believing that "The Book" would have to be the Bible, I found several sources on the net linking it to Exodus, e.g.:
Early on, game-show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall) mutters, "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'" That phrase--the first borrowing from Exodus--is echoed three times, and is the driving force behind "Magnolia."