Isak Dinesen · 462 pages
Rating: (9K votes)
“When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.”
“Circumstances can have a motive force by which they bring about events without aid of human imagination or apprehension. On such occasions you yourself keep in touch with what is going on by attentively following it from moment to moment, like a blind person who is being led, and who places one foot in front of the other cautiously but unwittingly. Things are happening to you, and you feel them happening, but except for this one fact, you have no connection with them, and no key to the cause or meaning of them. [...] - a passage outside the range of imagination, but within the range of experience.”
“If I know a song of Africa,—I thought,—of the Giraffe, and the African new moon lying on her back, of the ploughs in the fields, and the sweaty faces of the coffee-pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Would the air over the plain quiver with a colour that I had had on, or the children invent a game in which my name was, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or would the eagles of Ngong look out for me? I”
“When I heard this I became very sad, but I thought that now I would indeed have to take him with me so that the Virgin herself could enlighten him.”
“And I had by now become used to the idea of witchcraft, it seemed a reasonable thing, so many things are about, at night, in Africa.”
“I have read or been told that in a book of etiquette of the seventeenth century the very first rule forbids you to tell your dreams to other people, since they cannot possibly be of interest to them.”
“A rose trapped inside a fist.”
“ولدنا لنعاني لأننا ولدنا في العالم الثالث . المكان و الزمان مفروضان علينا . ما من شيء يمكن فعله سوى التحلي بالصبر”
“Historically, ignorance has been a form of grace for the good woman; education was denied women to keep them morally good. The elevation of a woman requires that she have this innocence, this purity, this chastity: she must not know the world, which men embody. The worship of a woman or a female religious symbol is often the unmediated worship of chastity. The virgin is the great religious symbol of female good, the female who is by nature (in her body) good, who embodies the good. The awe and honor accorded the chaste female by men are frequently pointed to to show that men do not hate or degrade women, that men worship, adore, and admire women. The morally superior nature of women is honored mostly in the abstract, and women are worshiped mostly in the abstract. The worship is worship of a symbol— a symbol manipulated to justify the uses to which fallen women are put. The morally good woman is put on a pedestal—a small, precarious, raised stage, often mined, on which she stands for as long as she can—until she falls off or jumps or it goes boom.”
“Si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime
si je t'aime, prends garde à toi!”
“I was thinking about the cow thing. About how hanging on to an ex-boyfriend is like chewing your cud until somebody drops a fresh bale of hay in front of you. Or something like that.”
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