Walter Van Tilburg Clark · 712 pages
Rating: (56 votes)
“Places, like people, have their beginnings and have also their endings.”
“Nothing imaginative ever happens to five people at once, because each is up to only one-fifth of his personal intelligence and perception. A crowd is never equal to the intelligence of any one of its members.”
“Just being is the main thing. Anything else is extra.”
“It is possible to insult Americans?”
“They are automatically insulted and enraged,” said the young composer. “They form splenetic organizations by the hundreds, and write letters to periodicals and congressmen. They gather in mobs and pay no attention. They hang people without trial and shoot citizens down with machine guns out of passing cars. They will despise you because you do not eat the same things they eat for breakfast. They even apply indifference.”
“He had such faith in me. It was so adorable. And so utterly stupid.”
“I remember what I must do even if that makes me the villain of my own story.”
“I need to know why I’m supposed to go through the rest of my life without being able to talk to her. Hug her. Hear her laugh. Watch the sunset with her. Watch her play her violin. Kiss her forehead. Tell her I love her. Hear her say it back. Why? Why?!”
“You idiot! You misbegotten son of a jinn’s meeting with a jackass, may the grave of your maternal grandmother be defiled by the dung of ten thousand syphilitic she-camels!”
“I'm consumed with curiosity because if I know Dirk, he probably sent his family a two-tine note—"I'm getting married. I'll be there in a week,"—and no further explanation whatsoever."
Skif laughed, and admitted that that was just about what Dirk had written, word for word.”
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