“Because I'm moved in writing to be irrepressible. Writing to you seems like some holy cause, cause there's not enough female irrepressibility written down. I've fused my silence and repression with the entire female gender's silence and repression. I think the sheer fact of women talking, being, paradoxical, inexplicable, flip, self-destructive but above all else public is the most revolutionary thing in the world.”
“Why does everybody think that women are debasing themselves when we expose the conditions of our own debasement? Why do women always have to come clean? The magnificence of Genet’s last great work, The Prisoner of Love, lies in his willingness to be wrong: a seedy old white guy jerking off on the rippling muscles of the Arabs and Black Panthers. Isn’t the greatest freedom in the world the freedom to be wrong?”
“Why do people think that we’re degraded when we’re examining positions of degradation, or examining the cycle of our own degradation?”
“You shrunk and bottled in a glass jar, you’re a portable saint. Knowing you is like knowing Jesus. There are billions of us and only one of you so I don’t expect much from you personally. There are no answers to my life. But I’m touched by you and fulfilled just by believing.”
“Friendship, as far as I'm concerned, is a delicate and rare thing that's built up over time and is predicated on mutual trust, mutual respect, reciprocal interests and share commitments. It's a relation that ultimately is lived out, at least as if it were chosen not taken for granted or assumed in advance. It's something that has to be renegotiated at every step, not demanded unconditionally.”
“No one...can live in this heightened state of reflective receptivity forever. Because this empathy's involuntary, there's terror here. Loss of control, a seepage. Becoming someone else or worse: becoming nothing but the vibratory field between two people.”
“It was April the season of blood oranges, emotion running like the stream behind my house upstate, turbulent and thawing. I thought about how fragile people get when they withdraw from anything, how they become bloody yolks protected only by the thinnest shell”
“Remembering what it felt like to be 20 overwhelmed by feeling and sensation, lost for words.”
“It's better than sex. Reading delivers on the promise that sex raises but hardly ever can fulfill -- getting larger cause you're entering another person's language, cadence, heart and mind.”
“Female monsters take things as personally as they really are. They study facts. Even if rejection makes them feel like the girl who's not invited to the party, they have to understand the reasons why.
... Every question, once it's formulated, is a paradigm, contains its own internal truth. We have to stop diverting ourselves with false questions. And I told Warren: I aim to be a female monster too.”
“The schizophrenic... will suddenly burst out with the most incredible details of your life, things that you would never imagine anyone could know and he will tell you in the most abrupt way truths that you believed to be absolutely secret," Félix said in an interview with Caroline Laure and Vittorio Marchetti (Chaosophy). Schizophrenics aren't sunk into themselves. Associatively, they're hyperactive. The world gets cremy like a library. And schizophrenics are the most generous of scholars because they're emotionally right there, they don't just formulate, observe. They're willing to become the situated person's expectations. "The schizophrenic has lightning access to you," Félix continued. "He internalizes all the links between you, makes them part of his subjective system." This is empathy to the highest power: the schizophrenic turns into a seer, then enacts that vision through his or her becoming. But when doen empathy turn into dissolution?”
“You were witnessing me become this crazy and cerebral girl, the kind of girl that you and your entire generation vilified. But doesn’t witnessing contain complicity? “You think too much,” is what they always said when their curiosity ran out.”
“According to Charles Olsen, the best poetry is a kind of schizophrenia. The poem does not "express" the poet's thoughts or feelings. It is "a transfer of energy between the poet and the reader".”
“They dug each other’s references and felt smarter in each other’s presence.”
“No matter how dispassionate or large a vision of the world a woman formulates, whenever it includes her own experience and emotion, the telescope's turned back on her. Because emotion's just so terrifying the world refuses to believe that it can be pursued as discipline, as form. Dear Dick, I want to make the world more interesting than my problems. Therefore, I have to make my problems social.”
“Oh Dick, you eroticise what you're not, secretly hoping that the other person knows what you're performing and that they're performing too.”
“The more she studied, the harder it became to speak or know anything with certainty.”
“Dear Dick, I’m wondering why every act that narrated female lived experience in the ’70s has been read only as “collaborative” and “feminist.”
“We grasp at symbols, talismans, triggers of association to what's forever gone.”
“You're aware there are things you once valued and were proud of in yourself, but they exist at a remove now, because they're overwhelmed by the question of whether they would be good and acceptable to him. Morality, ambition, desire, pleasure all take a backseat to, What would he think of this, and how shall I describe it to him? All you care about is maximizing his impression of you.”
“My entire state of being's changed because I'v become my sexuality: female, straight, wanting to love men, be fucked. Is there a way of living with this like a gay person, proudly? (p. 186)”
“Who gets to speak and why?, I wrote last week, is the only question.”
“No woman is an island-ess. We fall in love in hope of anchoring ourselves to someone else, to keep from falling.”
“Katherine, who tried so hard in London to be best friends with Virginia Woolf, who hated her, because Katherine was the kind of naif-imbecile that the literary men adored and championed at her expense.”
“I’m thinking of the quote you cite from Levi-Strauss—“a universe of information where the laws of savage thought reign once more.”
“But even so I can't stop writing even for a day--I'm doing it to save my life. These letters're the first time I've ever tried to talk about ideas because I need to, not just to amuse or entertain.”
“She hardly slept or ate, she forgot to comb her hair. The more she studied, the harder it became to speak or know anything with certainty. People were afraid of her; she forgot how to teach her classes. She became that word that people use to render difficult or driven women weightless: Gabi Teisch was "quirky.”
“As an artist she finds Dick's work hopelessly naive, yet she is a lover of certain kinds of bad art, art which offers a transparency into the hopes and desires of the person who made it. Bad art makes the viewer much more active. (Years later Chris would realise that her fondness for bad art is exactly like Jane Eyre's attraction to Rochester, a mean horse-faced junkie: bad characters invite invention.”
“It was written in the third person, the person most girls use when they want to talk about themselves but don’t think anyone will listen.”
“When you're living so intensely in your head there isn't any different between what you imagine and what actually takes place. Therefore, you're both omnipotent and powerless.”
“I believe that God hears our prayers, and cherishes them. I believe He answers by sending us His spirit, giving us strenght, and peace, and insight. I don't think He responds by turning away bullets and curing cancer. Though sometimes that does happen."
Harlene frowned. "In other words, sometimes, the answer is no?"
"No. Sometimes the answer is "This is life, in all its variety. Make your way through it with grace, and never forget that I love you.”
“Even when bad things happen, He can use them for good.”
“To live in a city, one must be larger than one's environment or enjoy belonging to the crowd.”
“The state of our civilization manifests itself both in the non-problems that terrify us beyond all reason - rising sea levels - and in the real problems we pay no heed to [population decline]...In reality, much of the planet will be uninhabited long before it's uninhabitable”
“Progressivism, liberalism, or whatever you want to call it has become an ideology of power. So long as liberals hold it, principles don’t matter. It also highlights the real fascist legacy of World War I and the New Deal: the notion that government action in the name of “good things” under the direction of “our people” is always and everywhere justified.”
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