Memory is a faculty of the mind that deals with the virtual rather than the real, the known (or felt) rather than the given. This explains its literary prominence over a period of history during which a high premium has been placed on subjective impression, when writers relaying personal experience have been concerned less with representational accuracy than with the problems of expressiveness. Whatever claims may have been made to the contrary (often under official pressure of some kind), 1 the main purpose of imaginative literature from the eighteenth century onwards has not been to show a real universe; we should scarcely call it imaginative literature if it had been. Its aim, rather, has primarily been to persuade the reader by presenting him with reasonable resemblances, and the means to that end has been perception and memory (each presupposing the other), followed by projection.