Susan Vreeland · 434 pages
Rating: (6.5K votes)
“I've come to think that if doing something simple or silly can give a person pleasure, then, by God, do it”
“He had a thought that amused him. "Figures, still life, landscape, AND an animal! Zola, eat your hat!" he bellowed.”
“At this stage of life, he'd better just lean into love, because if he fell, he feared he might break a hip.”
“If you want to preach, young man, you ought to wear some kind of clerical costume so people would be warned. In my mind, there are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them. I hate le misérabilisme. I’m in the shining business, not the darkening business.”
“She plucked a raspberry. Sweet juice, sweet pleasure. Within the tangle of tendrils, inside a blossom, a tiny bead was kisses and blessed by the sun, from which it took in light and warmth and heaven's rain imbued with the richness of the soil of France. All of the elements of the river world helped that bead to expand and multiply into sheer casings for sweet pulp, wedge together in a knobby globe until it released its juice in her mouth”
“One more thing. She wears Patchouli. Every tart in Montmartre wears it. Place Pigalle reeks of it. If she wants to carry out her pose as an aristocrat, she ought to refine her tastes.”
“life we can’t control, she thought. We must accept the cork we are and stay afl, and bob gaily when we can. She”
“How does one end a moment like this? It would kill her to feel him pull away. She had to be first. In a moment. One moment more. Yes. Now”
“Sometimes I'd see my father, walking past my building on his way to another nowhere. I could have given him a key, offered a piece of my floor. A futon. A bed. But I never did. If I let him inside I would become him, the line between us would blur, my own slow-motion car wreck would speed up. The slogan on the side of a moving company truck read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING PLACES--modified by a vandal or a disgruntled employee to read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING DOWN. If I went to the drowning man the drowning man would pull me under. I couldn't be his life raft.”
“I'm sorry that you're still hurting.”
“It is possible to be a fan of reality TV, talent shows and bubblegum pop and still have a brain. You will also see that a great many people know perfectly well how silly and camp and trivial their fandom is. They do not check in their minds when they enter a fan site. Judgement is not necessarily fled to brutish beasts, and men have not quite lost their reason. Which is all a way of questioning whether pop-culture hero worship is really so psychically damaging, so erosive of cognitive faculties, so corrupting of the soul of mankind as we are so often told.”
“The parallels to modern physics [with mysticism] appear not only in the Vedas of Hinduism, in the I Ching, or in the Buddhist sutras, but also in the fragments of Heraclitus, in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, or in the teachings of the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan.”
“What kind of a dork uses a lame stage name anyway? And why Shade? Because he wears sunglasses all the time?"
"Yeah, he has to wear them. He has vision problems.."
Melanie's stomach dropped and she covered her big, blabbering mouth with one hand. "He does? Shit. Now I feel bad."
The guy chuckled. "I'm just fucking with you. He wears them because he enjoys looking like a douche twenty-four seven.”
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