„That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox…“

—  Stanisław Lem, book Solaris

Source: Solaris (1961), Ch. 14: "The Old Mimoid", p. 204 [elipsis in original]

Last update June 4, 2020. History
Stanisław Lem photo
Stanisław Lem74
Polish science fiction author 1921 - 2006

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„We cannot forget what had happened and history should not repeat itself.“

—  Ba Jin Chinese novelist 1904 - 2005

As quoted in Pioneers of Modern China : Understanding the Inscrutable Chinese (2005) by Khoon Choy Lee
Context: Nobody would say the cowshed was heaven and nobody would say the inhuman torture of so many victims be called a revolution of the proletariat. … A museum should be established to remind China of the follies and disasters that had fallen from 1966 to 1976. We cannot forget what had happened and history should not repeat itself.

„History repeats itself: historians repeat each other.“

—  Philip Guedalla British historical writer 1889 - 1944

" Some Historians http://books.google.com/books?id=E0luAAAAMAAJ&q=%22History+repeats+itself+historians+repeat+each+other%22&pg=PA20#v=onepage," Supers & Supermen: Studies in Politics, History and Letters (1920)

Emma Donoghue photo
Marilyn Manson photo

„My pain's not ashamed to repeat itself“

—  Marilyn Manson American rock musician and actor 1969

Larry Niven photo
Clarence Darrow photo

„History repeats itself. That's one of the things wrong with history.“

—  Clarence Darrow American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union 1857 - 1938

As quoted in Peter's Quotations: Ideas For Our Time (1977) edited by Laurence J. Peter, p. 248

Mark Twain photo

„History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Origins unclear. Earliest known match in print comes from 1970, in a collection called “Neo Poems” by Canadian artist John Robert Colombo, who recalled reading it sometime in the 1960s. Twain did say "History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends." in the 1874 edition of “The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-Day”. A thematic precursor, "History May Not Repeat, But It Looks Alike", appears in a 1941 article by Chicago Tribune in Illinois. (Source: Quote Investigator https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/01/12/history-rhymes/)
Misattributed

Mark Twain photo

„It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940) edited by Bernard DeVoto

Edwin Lefèvre photo

„History repeats itself all the time on Wall Street.“

—  Edwin Lefèvre, book Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Source: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923), Chapter XVIII, p. 217

Gertrude Stein photo

„It is the soothing thing about history that it does repeat itself.“

—  Gertrude Stein American art collector and experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays 1874 - 1946

Wars I Have Seen (1945)

Alan Lightman photo
Arthur C. Clarke photo

„History, it has been said, never repeats itself but historical situations recur.“

—  Arthur C. Clarke British science fiction writer, science writer, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host 1917 - 2008

Earthlight, p. 347
2000s and posthumous publications

Ptahhotep photo

„To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary. Please, this is not some Pollyanna optimism that is blind to the reality of evil, but rather like a fine radar system that is tuned in to the true, the good, and the beautiful.“

—  Brennan Manning writer, American Roman Catholic priest and United States Marine 1934 - 2013

The Furious Longing of God https://books.google.com/books?id=n17xNZ-aCj0C&pg=PA82&dq=%22To+affirm+a+person+is+to+see+the+good%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi6n8OW-JTkAhVJ2FkKHQN4AEIQ6AEwAnoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=%22To%20affirm%20a%20person%20is%20to%20see%20the%20good%22&f=false (2009), pp. 82–83
2000s

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„Well, it's just a sense of personal satisfaction. Just like taking a good photograph or painting a picture or playing a good golf game or something, it's the thing in itself that justifies it.“

—  William H. Rehnquist Chief Justice of the United States 1924 - 2005

On writing.
Booknotes http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/index_print.asp?ProgramID=1107 television interview (July 5, 1992)

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„We never escape our past. It is mirrored in our present. It repeats itself in our future.“

—  Morris West Australian writer 1916 - 1999

Marius Melville in Ch. 17
Cassidy (1986)

Harper Lee photo

„Yet though time is cyclic, it is not repetitive; there is no other time within which it can repeat itself.“

—  Olaf Stapledon, book Last and First Men

Source: Last and First Men (1930), Chapter XV: The Last Men; Section 4, “Cosmology” (p. 229)

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