“A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.”
“It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.”
“The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. ”
“Was everyone else really as alive as she was?... If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance.”
“...falling in love could be achieved in a single word—a glance.”
“A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it.”
“Find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.”
“And though you think the world is at your feet, it can rise up and tread on you.”
“Wasn't writing a kind of soaring, an achievable form of flight, of fancy, of the imagination?”
“I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life. Cee”
“She lay in the dark and knew everything.”
“Finally he spoke the three simple words that no amount of bad art or bad faith can every quite cheapen. She repeated them, with exactly the same slight emphasis on the second word, as though she were the one to say them first. He had no religious belief, but it was impossible not to think of an invisible presence or witness in the room, and that these words spoken aloud were like signatures on an unseen contract.”
“The anticipation and dread he felt at seeing her was also a kind of sensual pleasure, and surrounding it, like an embrace, was a general elation--it might hurt, it was horribly inconvenient, no good might come of it, but he had found out for himself what it was to be in love, and it thrilled him.”
“Now and then, an inch below the water's surface, the muscles of his stomach tightened involuntarily as he recalled another detail. A drop of water on her upper arm. Wet. An embroidered flower, a simple daisy, sewn between the cups of her bra. Her breasts wide apart and small. On her back, a mole half covered by a strap. When she climbed out of the pond a glimpse of the triangular darkness her knickers were supposed to conceal. Wet. He saw it, he made himself see it again. The way her pelvic bones stretched the material clear of the skin, the deep curve of her waist, her startling whiteness. When she reached for her skirt, a carelessly raised foot revealed a patch of soil on each pad of her sweetly diminished toes. Another mole the size of a farthing on her thigh and something purplish on her calf--a strawberry mark, a scar. Not blemishes. Adornments.”
“There did not have to be a moral. She need only show separate minds, as alive as her own, struggling with the idea that other minds were equally alive. It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding, above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you. And only in a story could you enter these different minds and show how they had an equal value. That was the only moral a story need have.”
“How can a novelist achieve atonement when, with her absolute power of deciding outcomes, she is also God? There is no one, no entity or higher form that she can appeal to, or be reconciled with, or that can forgive her. There is nothing outside her. In her imagination she has set the limits and the terms. No atonement for God, or novelists, even if they are atheists. It was always an impossible task, and that was precisely the point. The attempt was all.”
“It was not generally realized that what children mostly wanted was to be left alone.”
“come back, come back to me”
“In my dreams I kiss your cunt, your sweet wet cunt. In my thoughts I make love to you all day long.”
“How guilt refined the methods of self-torture, threading the beads of detail into an eternal loop, a rosary to be fingered for a lifetime.”
“But what really happened? The answer is simple: the lovers survive and flourish.”
“He knew these last lines by heart and mouthed them now in the darkness. My reason for life. Not living, but life. That was the touch. And she was his reason for life, and why he must survive.”
“Dearest Cecilia, You’d be forgiven for thinking me mad, the way I acted this afternoon. The truth is I feel rather light headed and foolish in your presence, Cee, and I don’t think I can blame the heat.”
“That love which does not build a foundation on good sense is doomed.”
“And now she was back in the world, not one she could make, but the one that had made her, and she felt herself shrinking under the early evening sky. She was weary of being outdoors, but she was not ready to go in. Was that really all there was in life, indoors or out? Wasn't there somewhere else for people to go?”
“From this new and intimate perspective, she learned a simple, obvious thing she had always known, and everyone knew; that a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended.”
“At that moment, the urge to be writing was stronger than any notion she had of what she might write.”
“Not everything people did could be in a correct, logical order, especially when they were alone.”
“These were everyday sounds magnified by darkness. And darkness was nothing - it was not a substance, it was not a presence, it was no more than an absence of light.”
“Nothing that can be, can come between me and the full prospect of my hopes.”
“Light is every bit as challenging as dark. We can discover a great deal about ourselves by looking at beauty.”
“Absence makes the heart grow desperate.”
“His teachers, as a result, could shape the minds and values of their students without contradiction from children who might know something of what existed beyond the fence.”
“during his first year at the Eclectic that, by his second year, the school had promoted him from janitor to assistant professor.”
“Jay: Looks like you misspelled the Treaty of Versailles.
Sara: Yeah, well. My brother's natural ability for languages didn't rub off on me.
Jay: ...I'm not talking about Versailles. I have no idea if you spelled that right. I'm talking about the word 'treaty.”
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