28+ quotes from The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

Quotes from The Imperfectionists

Tom Rachman ·  272 pages

Rating: (43K votes)


“What I really fear is time. That's the devil: whipping us on when we'd rather loll, so the present sprints by, impossible to grasp, and all is suddenly past, a past that won't hold still, that slides into these inauthentic tales. My past- it doesn't feel real in the slightest. The person who inhabited it is not me. It's as if the present me is constantly dissolving. There's that line from Heraclitus: 'No man steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.' That's quite right. We enjoy this illusion of continuity, and we call it memory. Which explains, perhaps, why our worst fear isn't the end of life but the end of memories.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“You know, there's that silly saying 'We're born alone and we die alone' -it's nonsense. We're surrounded at birth and surrounded at death. It is in between that we're alone.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“You can’t dread what you can’t experience. The only death we experience is that of other people. That’s as bad as it gets. And that’s bad enough, surely.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“If history has taught us anything, Arthur muses, it is that men with mustaches must never achieve positions of power.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“literally: This word should be deleted. All too often, actions described as “literally” did not happen at all. As in, “He literally jumped out of his skin.” No, he did not. Though if he literally had, I’d suggest raising the element and proposing the piece for page one. Inserting “literally” willy-nilly reinforces the notion that breathless nitwits lurk within this newsroom. Eliminate on sight—the usage, not the nitwits. The nitwits are to be captured”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“She is a wonderful nerd, and he hopes this won't change.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“I have to wonder if you're not being slightly naive here. I mean, are you saying that you want nothing for people? You have no motives? Everybody has motives. Name the person, the circumstances, I'll name the motive. Even saints have motives -- to feel like saints, probably. ... But still, the point of any relationship is obtaining something from another person.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“...looking back, has this journalism experience been a nightmare for you?'
'Not entirely.'
'Did you enjoy any of it?'
'I liked going to the library,' he says. 'I think I prefer books to people -- primary sources scare me.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Here is a fact: nothing in all civilization has been as productive as ludicrous ambition. Whatever its ills, nothing has created more. Cathedrals, sonatas, encyclopedias: love of God was not behind them, nor love of life. But the love of man to be worshiped by man.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“They had holes to fill on every page and jammed in any vaguely newsworthy string of words provided it didn't include expletives, which they were apparently saving for their own use around the office.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Journalism is a bunch of dorks pretending to be alpha males.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Nothing epitomizes the futility of human striving quite like aspartame.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“She doesn't remember the twentieth century. Isn't that terrifying?”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“As touchy as cabaret performers and as stubborn as factory machinists....”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“I got myself into a tangle. I tied myself in knots. I built and I built–heaven knows I have done that well. Those skyscrapers, full of tenants, floor after floor, and not a single room containing you.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“One becomes more of a shit as one gets older.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“...news' is often a polite way of saying 'editor's whim.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Good reporting and good behavior are mutually exclusive.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“She has been dreading tomorrow ever since it happened the first time.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Anything that's worth anything is complicated.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“So why do you kiss someone?" she asks. "To give pleasure or to take it?”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“There's a line from Heraclitus: No man steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Basically, financial reporting is this sinking hole at the centre of journalism. You start by swimming around it until finally, reluctantly, you can't fight the pull anymore and you get sucked down the drain into the biz pages.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“You have to understand, Annika, that I have pretty much resigned myself to spinsterhood since, I don't know, since approximately my entire life. But just because I act chirpy about it doesn't mean that I'm chirpy about it. You have Menzies. Me? I dread weekends. How depressing is that? I wish I didn't have vacation time-I have no idea what to do with it. I don't have anyone to go anywhere with. Look at me-I'm practically forty and I still resemble Pippi Longstocking.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“Don't people drown their sorrows in things like scotch? Not strawberry whatever-it's-called.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“She hasn't known many Southerners. That twang and aw-shucks about him--it's sort of exotic.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“She is a wonderful nerd, and he hopes this won't change. He'd be distressed if she were cool-- it'd be as if his flesh and blood had grown up to be purple...
...She has been looking for a pseudonym, not for any purpose but because it took her fancy. "What about Zeus?" she asks.
"Taken, I'm afraid. Though he's been gone long enough that there'd be little room for confusion..."
...Then she swoops back, plunges her fingers into his, and looks up, nostrils swelling with mischief.
"What?"
"Frog."
"I forbid it," he says. "Frog is a boy's name.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


“The greatest influence over content was necessity--they had holes to fill on every page and jammed in any vaguely newsworthy string of words, provided it didn't include expletives, which they were apparently saving for their own use around the office.”
― Tom Rachman, quote from The Imperfectionists


About the author

Tom Rachman
Born place: London, The United Kingdom
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