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I have been reading an article which reads as follows:

I remember them well: those heavy black books with their glossy gold lettering, all 32 of them... Anything I wanted to know ... my grandfather would look for in there, his prized set of Encyclopedia Britannica.

But such a memory will, from now on, remain just that.

What is the meaning of the last phrase? That it will remain a memory and printed Encyclopedia Britannica is no more?

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    The that refers back to such a memory. They mean to say that the memory will remain just a memory and nothing more.
    – Vlammuh
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:44
  • "That it will remain a memory and printed Encyclopedia Britannica is no more?" Yep.
    – Catija
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:44

2 Answers 2

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In this case, "Remain just that", refers to the memory itself. In essence what it is saying is,

But such a memory will, from now on, remain just that: a memory.

Now, in passing, it may seem quite obvious that a memory will remain a memory. After all, most immutable things remain those things. However, the writer has chosen these words to reinforce the finality of his experiences with his grandfather by saying that this memory will always be a memory and nothing more.

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This is telling the reader that now, the authors Grandfather is dead. It is a roundabout way of saying it, it does so by saying that this action, of consulting the Encylopedia with his Grandfather can not happen again, will remain a memory.

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