James Baldwin ... in "Notes of a Native Son," says, in recording his father's life and his own relationship to his father, "All of my father's Biblical texts and songs, which I had decided were meaningless, were ranged before me at his death like empty bottles, waiting to hold the meaning which life would give them for me." And then his text fills those bottles. Like Simone de Beauvoir, he moves from the event to the image that it left. My route is the reverse: The image comes first and tells me what the "memory" is about.
--Toni Morrison, "The Site of Memory"