Alison Bechdel · 232 pages
Rating: (94.7K votes)
“I suppose that a lifetime spent hiding one's erotic truth could have a cumulative renunciatory effect. Sexual shame is in itself a kind of death.”
“It was not a triumphal return. Home, as I had known it, was gone.”
“It was a vicious cycle, though. The more gratification we found in our own geniuses, the more isolated we grew.”
“Then there were those famous wings. Was Daedalus really stricken with grief when Icarus fell into the sea? Or just disappointed by the design failure?”
“I still found literary criticism to be a suspect activity”
“I'd been upstaged, demoted from protagonist in my own drama to comic relief in my parents' tragedy”
“At first I was glad for the help. My freshmen English class, "Mythology and Archetypal Experience," confounded me.
I didn't understand why we couldn't just read books without forcing contorted interpretations on then”
“It's imprecise and insufficient, defining the homosexual as a person whose gender expression is at odds with his or her sex.”
“What would happen if we spoke the truth?”
“If there was ever a bigger pansy than my father, it was Marcel Proust.”
“My father once nearly came to blows with a female dinner guest about whether a particular patch of embroidery was fuchsia or magenta.
But the infinite gradations of color in a fine sunset - from salmon to canary to midnight blue - left him wordless.”
“Feminism is the theory. Lesbianism is the practice.”
“My homosexuality remained at that point purely theoretical, an untested hypothesis. But it was a hypothesise so thorough and so convincing I saw no reason not to share it immediately.”
“It's said, after all, that people reach middle age the day they realize they're never going to read Remembrance of Things Past.”
“Again, the troubling gap between word and meaning. My feeble language skills could not bear the weight of such a laden experience.”
“But how could he admire Joyce’s lengthy, libidinal ‘yes’ so fervently and end up saying ‘no’ to his own life? I suppose that a lifetime spent hiding one’s erotic truth could have a cumulative renunciatory effect.
Sexual shame is in itself a kind of death.”
“Gatsby's self-willed metamorphosis from farm boy to prince is many ways identical to my father's. Like Gatsby, my father fueled this transformation with the "colossal vitality of his illusion". Unlike Gatsby he did this on a school teacher's salary.”
“The sudden approximation of my dull, provincial life to a New Yorker cartoon was exhilarating.”
“My research was stimulating but solitary”
“How Horrid" has a slightly facetious tone that strikes me as Wildean. It appears to embrace the actual horror--puberty, public disgrace--then at the last second nimbly sidesteps it, laughing.”
“Maybe it was the converse of the way amputees feel pain in a missing limb. He really was there all those years, a flesh-and-blood presence streaming off the wallpaper, digging up the dogwoods, polishing the finials... smelling of sawdust and sweat and designer cologne. But I ached as if he were already gone.”
“Perhaps I identify too well with my father's illicit awe. A trace of this seems caught in the photo, just as a trace of Roy has been caught on the light-sensitive paper...It's a curiously ineffectual attempt at censorship. Why cross out the year and not the month? Why, for that matter, leave the photo in the envelope at all?
In an act of prestidigitation typical of the way my father juggled his public appearance and private reality, the evidence is simultaneously hidden and revealed.”
“Sexual shame is in itself a kind of death.”
“...did that require such a leap of the imagination? Perhaps affectation can be so thoroughgoing, so authentic in its details, that it stops being pretense… and becomes, for all practical purposes, real.”
“You too know that all my eyes see, all I touch with myself, from any distance, is Diego. The caress of fabrics, the color of colors, the wires, the nerves, the pencils, the leaves, the dust, the cells, the war and the sun, everything experienced in the minutes of the non-clocks and the non-calendars and the empty non-glances, is him.”
“She’s flying free,” Q whispered, freezing me. He raised his head to look at a sparrow that landed on the mesh by his hand. “She’s leaving soon and I don’t think I’ll survive it.”
“She was upset about something and all I wanted to do was get her naked and play connect the dots.”
“He wanted to wear sweatpants, because “they tear easier.” I asked him if he wanted me to get him some male stripper jeans so he could avoid looking like a Russian gangster from pre-Shift movies, after which he got all offended and put on a pair of regular jeans instead.”
“Women need to remember that if nature has made them plain, grace can make them beautiful, and if nature has made them beautiful, good deeds can add to their beauty. Grace will make you beautiful and will attract truly godly men to you. Make godliness and inward beauty your priority.”
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