Memory is a faculty of the mind that deals with the virtual rather than the real, the known 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. Non-philosophers were happier to use memory as a guarantor of the self than Rene Descartes was to invoke remembrance as part of any serious cognitive process. Aristotle remarked that memory precedes art because it preserves the experience on which art is based; and in as much as it governs purposive behaviour, it may be said to give rise to experience. Michel de Montaigne's objections to intellectual memory resemble grievances against voluntary recollection in emphasizing the fact that simply identifying is inferior to building constructively on perception; but 'good' memory works creatively by interpreting.