Oscar’s mind was a patchwork of swatches and layers, of

bits and pieces, slapped together until you could not see

the fault lines for the surface, nor the surface for

the patchwork. Oscar’s psyche was a vast repository of recollections,

perceptions and images. Since Freud we have been inclined to

suppose that in mental life nothing which has once been

formed can perish, that everything is somehow preserved and that

in suitable circumstances it can once more be brought to

light. Thus it was with Oscar. Nothing was ever really

demolished or dismantled down below, but everything remained impregnably secure.

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Paraphrases from False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory by André Aciman and Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud.

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