“Given enough time, you could convince yourself that loneliness was something better, that it was solitude, the ideal condition for reflection, even a kind of freedom.
Once you were thus convinced, you were foolish to open the door and let anyone in, not all the way in. You risked the hard-won equilibrium, that tranquility that you called peace”
“Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it. You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are. When the facts are too sharp, you can craft a cheerful version of the situation and cover the facts the way that you can covered a battered old four-slice toaster with a knitted cozy featuring images of kittens.”
“A scar is not always a flaw. Sometimes a scar may be redemption inscribed in the flesh, a memorial to something endured, to something lost.”
“There are people who want everybody dead. When you get over being surprised about that, you have a high amazement threshold.”
“These days, people spent too much time striving to understand their feelings - and then ended up with none that were genuine.”
“He, too, had been glassed-in for a long time, by choice. Now and then he had lifted a hammer to shatter through to something, but he had never struck the blow because he didn't know what he wanted on the other side of the glass.”
“When a knot gets to tight, you can always cut the rope”
“By their subtle reversal of all images, mirrors seemed to be windows to another world in opposistion to this one, a world where everything appeared familiar but was infact profoundly different”
“Maybe it was this: The name of a person marked for murder is just a name, but the face makes real the cost of violence, for if we have the nerve to look, we can see in any face our own vulnerability.”
“The killer walked with a light step that could be achieved only by someone not weighed down with a conscience, and went out into the night's embrace.”
“Gradually, however, she revealed a frustration with the willful ignorance that is an abiding human trait, an indignation at the cruelty that people visit upon one another. She might see the world as hopeless, but she believed it did not have to remain that way.”
“Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by a frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go.”
“Sudden falls can come to societies that know too little history or that have furnished their minds with easy one-note propaganda in place of the true complexity and terrible beauty of the storied past.”
“Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door. Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name.”
“When I ask Kim what a capitalist is, he tells me it is someone who is from the city. He says the Khmer Rouge government views science, technology, and anything mechanical as evil and therefore must be destroyed. The Angkar says the ownership of cars and electronics such as watches, clocks, and televisions created a deep class division between the rich and the poor. This allowed the urban rich to flaunt their wealth while the rural poor struggled to feed and clothe their families. These devices have been imported from foreign countries and thus are contaminated. Imports are defined as evil because they allowed foreign countries a way to invade Cambodia, not just physically but also culturally. So now these goods are abolished. Only trucks are allowed to operate, to relocate people and carry weapons to silence any voices of dissent against the Angkar.”
“Child. That was a terrible thing to say to anyone who was almost thirteen.”
“Comme un fou se croit Dieu, nous nous croyons mortels.”
“Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, And we are for the Dark. (Act 5, Scene 2)”
“It’s not the world that’s cruel. It’s the people in it.”
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