Ágota Kristóf · 480 pages
Rating: (6K votes)
“I answer that I try to write true stories but that at a given point the story becomes unbearable because of it’s very truth, and then I have to change it. I tell her that I try to tell my story but all of a sudden I can’t-I don’t have the courage, it hurts too much. And so I embellish everything and describe things not as they happened but the way I wished they happened.
She says, “Yes, there are lives sadder than the saddest of books.” I say, “Yes. No book, no matter how sad, can be as sad as a life.”
“You don't want to fight the enemy anymore?"
"I don't want to fight anyone. I have no enemies. I want to go home.”
“You will forget. Life is like that. Everything goes in time. Memories blur, pain diminishes. I remember my wife as one remembers a bird or a flower”
“Seen nothing? Idiot! We have all the work and all the worry: children to feed, wounds to tend. Once the war is over, you men are all heroes. The dead: heroes. The survivors: heroes. The maimed: heroes. That’s why you invented war. It’s your war. You wanted it, so get on with it – heroes, my ass!”
“On our way home we throw the apples, the biscuits, the chocolate and the coins in the tall grass by the roadside. It is impossible to throw away the stroking on our hair”
“As soon as you begin to think, you can no longer love life”
“And death hasn’t come. It never does come when you call it. It enjoys torturing us. I’ve been calling for it for years and it pays me no attention”
“No book, no matter how sad, can be as sad as a life.”
“Every one of us commits a fatal mistake sometime in his life. When we realize it, the damage is already done”
“Yes, sir. Blackmail…Yes. It’s deplorable that we’ve been forced to this”
“People are cruel. They like to kill. It’s the war that has taught them that. And there are explosives lying around everywhere”
“Le parole che definiscono i sentimenti sono molto vaghe; è meglio evitare il loro impiego e attenersi alle descrizioni degli oggetti, degli esseri umani e di se stessi, vale a dire alla descrizione fedele dei fatti.”
“My walls no longer protect me. They never protected me. Their solidity is mere illusion, their whiteness is stained”
“It is impossible to throw away the stroking on our hair.”
“So che morirò, Peter, ma non capisco. Al posto di un solo cadavere, quello di mia sorella, ce ne sarà un secondo, il mio. Ma chi ha bisogno di un secondo cadavere? Dio certamente no, Lui non sa che farsene dei nostri corpi. La società? Ci guadagnerebbe un libro o dei libri se mi lasciasse vivere, invece di guadagnarci un cadavere in più che non gioverà a nessuno.”
“I miei figli non giocano.
Si preparano ad attraversare la vita.
Io la vita l'ho attraversata e non ho trovato nulla.”
“– Then why are you begging?
– To find out what effect it has and to observe people’s reaction”
“I don't think. I can't allow myself the luxury. I've lived with fear since I was a child.”
“Later, with time, we no longer need a shawl over our eyes or grass in our ears. The one playing the blind man simply turns his gaze inward, and the deaf one shuts his ears to all sounds”
“Un uomo dice: -Tu chiudi il becco! Le donne non sanno niente della guerra. La donna dice: -Non sanno niente? Coglione! Abbiamo tutto il lavoro, tutte le preoccupazioni: i bambini da sfamare. i feriti da curare. Voi, una volta finita la guerra siete tutti degli eroi. Morti: eroi. Sopravvissuti: eroi. Mutilati: eroi. E' per questo che avete inventato la guerra, voi uomini. e' la vostra guerra. L'avete voluta voi. fatela allora, eroi dei miei stivali!”
“Crying is no use, you know. We never cry, even though we aren’t men yet, like you”
“It’s hardly matters whether it’s true or false. The point is the slander. People love scandal”
“Я убежден, Лукас, что всякое человеческое существо рождается, чтобы написать книгу, и ни для чего другого.”
“Un uomo dice:
- Tu chiudi il becco! Le donne non sanno niente della guerra.
La donna dice:
- Non sanno niente? Coglione! Abbiamo tutto il lavoro, tutte le preoccupazioni: i bambini da sfamare, i feriti da curare. Voi, una volta finita la guerra siete tutti degli eroi. Morti: eroi. Sopravvissuti: eroi. Mutilati: eroi. E' per questo che avete inventato la guerra, voi uomini. E' la vostra guerra. L'avete voluta voi, fatela allora, eroi dei miei stivali!”
- Non sei mai triste?
- No, perché una cosa mi consola sempre di un'altra.
“The frontier has been rebuilt. It is now impassable. Our country is surrounded by barbed wire; we are completely cut off from the rest of the world”
“It is easier to give than to receive, is that it? Pride is a sin, Father”
“The people have already atoned
For the past and the future”
“Would you like to become my wife?"
"Imbecile! What a question. It's my greatest dream!!!”
“Billy tries to imagine the vast systems that support these athletes. They are among the best-cared for creatures in the history of the planet, beneficiaries of the best nutrition, the latest technologies, the finest medical care, they live at the very pinnacle of American innovation and abundance, which inspires an extraordinary thought - send them to fight the war! Send them just as they are this moment, well rested, suited up, psyched for brutal combat, send the entire NFL! Attack with all our bears and raiders, our ferocious redskins, our jets, eagles, falcons, chiefs, patriots, cowboys - how could a bunch of skinny hajjis in man-skits and sandals stand a chance against these all-Americans? Resistance is futile, oh Arab foes. Surrender now and save yourself a world of hurt, for our mighty football players cannot be stopped, they are so huge, so strong, so fearsomely ripped that mere bombs and bullets bounce off their bones of steel. Submit, lest our awesome NFL show you straight to the flaming gates of hell!”
“je kunt alles doorstaan zei Phoebe, zelfs als het vertrouwen geschonden is, als het maar eerlijk wordt bekend. je wordt dan levenspartners op een andere manier, maar je kunt nog wel partners blijven. maar liegen- liegen is een goedkope manier van macht uitoefenen over de ander. wie liegt, kijkt toe terwijl de ander handelt op basis van onvolledige informatie- met andere woorden zichzelf vernedert. ... het is toch eeuwig hetzelfde verhaal. de man verliest de hartstocht voor de huwelikspartner, zonder dat kan hij niet leven. de vrouw is pragmatisch. de vrouw is realistisch. zeker de hartstocht is geluwd, maar zij is tevreden met de lichamelijke genegenheid, gewoon samen met hem in bed liggen, hij in haar armen, zij in de zijne. maar voor hem is dat niet genoeg. hij is een man die niet zonder leven kan”
“I will say only that all a writer has to work with is the material he has gathered as the result of his own endeavor and observations, and he cannot be denied the right to use it. Condemn, but not deny.”
“To those readers who feel that I didn't know any better, I assert that I did ... but the temptation was simply too great to resist.”
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