“The cover of “The Middle Years” was duly meretricious, the smell of the fresh pages the very odour of sanctity; but for the moment he went no further- he had become conscious of a strange alienation. He had forgotten what his book was about.” (James 337)
Last sentence can allude to how we can forget pieces of our own life, especially if we are suffering in the present. First sentence relates to how we can look back on fond memories but forget the painful parts.
James, H. (1893). The Middle Years. 335-355.