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30+ quotes from Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Quotes from Middlesex

Jeffrey Eugenides ·  529 pages

Rating: (527.4K votes)


“Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused. Sitting on the porch, you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever. ”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“I live my own life and nurse my own wounds. It's not the best way to live. But it's the way I am.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“I was thinking how amazing it was that the world contained so many lives. Out in these streets people were embroiled in a thousand different matters, money problems, love problems, school problems. People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice-skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair-cut and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Everyone struggles against despair, but it always wins in the end. It has to. It's the thing that lets us say goodbye.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“There was nowhere I could go that wouldn't be you.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back to where you begin.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“She understood that her heart operated on its own instructions, that she had no control over it or, indeed, anything else.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“The mind self-edits. The mind airbrushes. It's a different thing to be inside a body than outside. From outside, you can look, inspect, compare. From inside there is no comparison.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Historical fact: People stopped being people in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joy-sticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“But in the end it wasn't up to me. The bigs things never are. Birth, I mean, and death. And love. And what love bequeaths to us before we're born.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“I was beginning to understand something about normality. Normality wasn't normal. It couldn't be. If normality were normal, everybody could leave it alone. They could sit back and let normality manifest itself. But people-and especially doctors- had doubts about normality. They weren't sure normality was up the job. And so they felt inclined to give it a boost.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“The only way we know it's true is that we both dreamed it. That's what reality is. It's a dream everyone has together.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“But maybe they understood more about life than I did. From an early age they knew what little value the world placed in books, and so didn't waste their time with them. Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing, I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“So do boys and men announce their intentions. They cover you like a sarcophagus lid. And call it love.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Regret, already sogging me down, burst its dam. It seeped into my legs, it pooled in my heart.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheads girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing to her color combination, the ginger snaps floating in the milk-white skin, the golden highlights in the strawberry hair. it was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words.
I don't believe in "sadness", "joy", or "regret".
Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that is oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“I went into the desert to forget about you. But the sand was the color of your hair. The desert sky was the color of your eyes. There was nowhere I could go that wouldn't be you.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“The Statue of Liberty's gender changed nothing. It was the same here as anywhere: men and their wars.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“It's often said that a traumatic experience early in life marks a person forever, pulls her out of line, saying, "Stay there. Don't move.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“You used to be able to tell a person's nationality by the face. Immigration ended that. Next you discerned nationality via the footwear. Globalization ended that.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“The television replaced the sound of conversation that was missing from my grandparents' lives.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“Planning is for the world's great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


“This can't be true but I remember it.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides, quote from Middlesex


About the author

Jeffrey Eugenides
Born place: in Detroit, Michigan, The United States
Born date March 8, 1960
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