11+ quotes from An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

Quotes from An Equal Music

Vikram Seth ·  383 pages

Rating: (8.1K votes)


“Is it not love that knows how to make smooth things rough and rough things smooth?”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“What is the difference between my life and my love? One gets me low, the other lets me go.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“Music, such music, is a sufficient gift. Why ask for happiness; why hope not to grieve? It is enough, it is to be blessed enough, to live from day to day and to hear such music-not too much, or the soul could not sustain it-from time to time.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“But I was her first love, as she was mine. Nor have I ever been in love since. But then I have never fallen out of love with her – with her, I suppose, as she then was, or as I grew afterwards to realize or imagine she had been. What is she now, who is she now? Am I with such inane fidelity fixated on someone who could have utterly changed (but could she have? could she really have changed so much?), who could have grown to hate me for leaving her, who could have forgotten me or learned deliberately to expunge me from her mind. How many seconds or weeks after seeing me…did I survive her thoughts?”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“In a clear brook
With joyful haste
The whimsical trout
Shot past me like an arrow

I play the line of the song, I play the leaps and plunges of the right hand of the piano, I am the trout, the angler, the brook, the observer.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“In the painting I saw, in the books I read, I recalled her, for she her had in many ways been the making of me.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“Strange to be a man and never grow big with child. To feel a part of you opening, and a part of you leaving, and howling as if it were not a part of you.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“The past is the past, and he can't make amends, only hope that the gain will outlast the damage.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“Let the smoky Käll sustain himself on Mars, and Yuko lay rue on Beethoven’s grave. Let the lord of the manor of Rochdale clap his coffin into a canoe and disport himself on the waters. Let Zsa-Zsa sleep on a pillow of haddock in Maria’s cello case. Let Mrs Wessen live to see her thousandth moon. Let Ysobel unknit her forehead. Let not poor Virginie weep. Let all and no things come to pass, for how will I pass these days?”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“Well, what do you think? Avanti?"
"Avanti," cries everyone, and, after a few quick re-tunings of our instruments, and re-initialisings of our hearts, we enter the slow theme-and-variations movement.
How good it is to pay this quintet, to play it, not to work at it - to play for our own joy, with no need to convey anything to anyone outside our ring of recreation, with no expectation of a future stage, of the too-immediate sop of applause. The quintet exists without us yet cannot exist without us. It sings to us, we sing into it, and somehow, through these little black and white insects clustering along five thin lines, the man who deafly transfigured what he so many years earlier had hearingly composed speaks into us across land and water and ten generations, and fills us here with sadness, here with amazed delight.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


“I walk across the park to her flat. It is over-heated and there is a great deal of pink. This used not to unnerve me. Now when I step into the bathroom I recoil.
Pink bath, pink basin, pink toilet, pink bidet, pink tiles, pink wallpaper, pink rug. Brushes, soap, tooth brush, silk flowers, toilet paper: all pink. Even the little foot-operated waste-bin is pale pink. I know this little waste-bin well. Every time I sleep here I wonder what I am doing with my time and hers. She is sixteen years younger than I am. She is not the woman with whom I want to share my life. But, having begun, what we have continues. She wants it to, and I go along with it, through lust and loneliness, I suppose; and laziness, and lack of focus.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


About the author

Vikram Seth
Born place: in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India
Born date June 20, 1952
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