Coping the quote
30+ quotes from Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Quotes from Dept. of Speculation

Jenny Offill ·  180 pages

Rating: (26.6K votes)


“But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“If I had to sum up what he did to me, I’d say it was this: he made me sing along to all the bad songs on the radio. Both when he loved me and when he didn't.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“She thinks before she acts. Or more properly, she thinks instead of acts. A character flaw, not a virtue.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Three things no one has ever said about me:

You make it look so easy.

You are very mysterious.

You need to take yourself more seriously.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“My plan was to never get married. I was going to be an art monster instead. Women almost never become art monsters because art monsters only concern themselves with art, never mundane things. Nabokov didn't even fold his own umbrella. Vera licked his stamps for him.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“A thought experiment courtesy of the Stoics. If you are tired of everything you possess, imagine that you have lost all these things.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Also she signed away the right to self-destruct years ago. The fine print on the birth certificate, her friend calls it.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“And that phrase - 'sleeping like a baby.' Some blonde said it blithely on the subway the other day. I wanted to lie down next to her and scream for five hours in her ear.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“This is another way in which he is an admirable person. If he notices something is broken, he will try to fix it. He won’t just think about how unbearable it is that things keep breaking, that you can never fucking outrun entropy.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“A few nights later, I secretly hope that I might be a genius. Why else can no amount of sleeping pills fell my brain? But in the morning my daughter asks me what a cloud is and I cannot say.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Some women make it look so easy, the way they cast ambition off like an expensive coat that no longer fits.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“The only love that feels like love is the doomed kind. (Fun fact.)”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Advice for wives circa 1896: The indiscriminate reading of novels is one of the most injurious habits to which a married woman can be subject. Besides the false views of human nature it will impart … it produces an indifference to the performance of domestic duties, and contempt for ordinary realities.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“How had she become one of those people who wears yoga pants all day? She used to make fun of those people. With their happiness maps and their gratitude journals and their bags made out of recycled tire treads. But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“But my agent has a theory. She says every marriage is jerry-rigged. Even the ones that look reasonable from the outside are held together inside with chewing gum and wire and string.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“There is still such crookedness in my heart. I had thought loving two people so much would straighten it.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“It is important if someone asks you to remember one of your happiest times to consider not only the question but also the questioner. If the question is asked by someone you love, it is fair to assume that this person hopes to feature in this recollection he has called forth.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Anger looked like fireworks. Love was an indistinct blur.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“When God is a father, he is said to be elsewhere. When God is a mother, she is said to be everywhere.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and X years in a life. Solve for X.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“The baby’s eyes were dark, almost black, and when I nursed her in the middle of the night, she’d stare at me with a stunned, shipwrecked look as if my body were the island she’d washed up on.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Of course it is difficult. You are creating a creature with a soul, my friend says.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“What did you do today, you’d say when you got home from work, and I’d try my best to craft an anecdote for you out of nothing.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“What Rilke said: Surely all art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“When she tells people she might move to the country, they say, But aren’t you afraid you’re going to get lonely? Get?”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“The reason to have a home is to keep certain people in and everyone else out. A home has a perimeter. But sometimes our perimeter was breached by neighbors, by Girl Scouts, by Jehovah’s Witnesses. I never liked to hear the doorbell ring. None of the people I liked ever turned up that way.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“Her neighbor’s husband fell in love with a girl who served coffee to him every morning. She was twenty-three and wanted to be a dancer or a poet or a physical therapist. When he left his family, his wife said, “Does it matter to you how foolish you look? That all our friends find you ridiculous?” He stood in the doorway, his coat in his hand. “No,” he said. The wife watched her neighbor get fat over the next year. The Germans have a word for that. Kummerspeck. Literally, grief bacon.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“There is a story about a prisoner at Alcatraz who spent his nights in solitary confinement dropping a button on the floor then trying to find it again in the dark. Each night, in this manner, he passed the hours until dawn. I do not have a button. In all other respects, my nights are the same.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


“My husband gets a new job.... The pay is better. It has benefits. How is it, people ask. "Not bad," he says with a shrug. "Only vaguely soul-crushing.”
― Jenny Offill, quote from Dept. of Speculation


About the author

Jenny Offill
Born place: Massachusetts, The United States
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