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Where in Exodus?

Posted by Masakim on September 15, 2003

In Reply to: Where in Exodus? 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,
: : : :
: : : : 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."

: : Best
: : Anders

: What is the verse in Exodus?

I can't find the verse in Exodus nor in The Book.

Here is another source:
In the spring of 1984, Colin, along with his new wife, Amanda (whose name, ironically, appears in some of Colin's earlier works as the girlfriend of a character named Tim), went to Africa to view the state of the population. Both Colin and Amanda were later guest singers on the much acclaimed, and still widely played, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" song by compilation group Band Aid. Colin's last work, which was written after his autobiography (which he wrote at age seventeen), "The Effects of the Past" was not published until after his death in 1988. This final novel chronicles the life of a young boy who is obsessed with traveling to Las Vegas, a wish which Colin himself held dear. Colin's last work has been quoted often, the most famous of which is the phrase, "we may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us", which was even quoted in the 1999 movie, 'Magnolia'. Colin's death in 1988 came as a shock to many, but not to his wife Amanda, as she was convicted of premeditated murder.
From "Random Accuracy" at