“When you realize someone is trying to hurt you, it hurts less."
"Unless you love them.”
“I never had, or wished for, power over you. That isn't true, of course. I wanted the greatest power of all. but not advantage, or authority.”
“Dora sat on a corner of the spread rug, longing to be assigned some task so she could resent it.”
“But, with unintelligible nostalgia for a life she had never lived, knew that all would have been subtly and profoundly different had her husband greatly loved her.”
“Her eyes were enlarged and faded with discovering what, by common human agreement, is better undivulged.”
“She was coming to look on men and women as fellow-survivors: well-dissemblers of their woes, who, with few signals of grief, had contained, assimilated, or put to use their own destruction. Of those who had endured the worst, not all behaved nobly or consistently. but all, involuntarily, became part of some deeper assertion of life.”
“He had seen how people came a cropper by giving way to impulse. It was to his judiciousness, at every turn, that he owed the fact that nothing terrible had ever happened to him.”
“The sweetness that all longed for night and day. Some tragedy might be idly guessed at--loss or illness. She had the luminosity of those about to die.”
“At the other end of the room the three old men discussed infirmities; exchanging symptoms in undertones as boys might speak of lust.”
“Paul said, 'You always had some contempt for me.'
'And love too.'
'Yes.' A flicker over her stare was the facial equivalent of a shrug. 'Now you have a wife to give you both.”
“Caro was coming round to the fact of unhappiness: to a realization that Dora created unhappiness and the she was bound to Dora.”
“They lived under supervision, a life without men. Dora knew no men. You could scarcely see how she might meet one, let alone come to know.”
“Dark had meant Dora, had meant words and events sordid with self. Struggling to the light from Dora's darkness, Caro had acquired conscience and equilibrium like a profound, laborious education. Exercise of principle would always require more from her than from persons nurtured in it, for she had learned it by application of will. Caro would never do the right thing without knowing it, as some could.”
“I see that you are highly defensive." . . .
Caro said, "I withhold my analysis of your own attitude.”
“He was familiar enough with pleasure to know it might become jaded or reluctant; but joy was literally foreign to him, a word he would never easily pronounce, an exhilaration that had some other reckless nationality. For this reason, Caro's wholeness in love, her happiness in it, made her exotic.”
“Even Grace still imagined there might be words, the words that could reach Dora and that had so far, unaccountably, not been hit upon. Only Caro recognized that Dora's condition was exactly that: a condition, an irrational state requiring professional, or divine, intervention.”
“I wasn't convinced a shop girl would know the word 'Oedipal.”
“Did you love Paul Ivory?"
"I suppose it ended badly."
"You must have been very unhappy."
"I died, and Adam resurrected me.”
“Caro sat without speaking, turning toward him her look that was neither sullen nor expectant but soberly attentive; and, once, a glance in which tenderness and apprehension were great and indivisible, giving unbearable, excessive immediacy to the living of these moments. Paul had seen that look before, when they first lay down together at the inn beyond Avebury Circle.”
“She was coming to look on men and women as fellow survivors; well-dissemblers of their woes, who, with few signals of grief, had contained, assimilated, or just put to use their own destruction. Of those who had endured the worst, not all behaved nobly or consistently. But all, involuntarily, became part of a deeper assertion to life.
Though the dissolution of love created no heroes, the process itself required some heroism. There was the risk that endurance might appear enough of an achievement. That risk had come up before.”
“He had the complexion, lightly webbed, of outdoor living and indoor drinking, and was a high, handsome man who might have been cruel.”
“if fallacious reasoning always led to absurd conclusions, it would be found out at once and corrected. But once an easy, shortcut mode of reasoning has led to a few correct results, almost everybody accepts it; those who try to warn against it are not listened to.”
“That day must come when men will understand that freedom and daily bread enough to satisfy all are unthinkable and can never be had together, as men will never be able to fairly divide the two among themselves. And they will also learn that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, miserable nonentities born wicked and rebellious.”
“Responding to bereavement by trying to make a difference is certainly both understandable and admirable, but it doesn't give you good reason to raise money for one specific cause of death rather than any other. If that person had died in different circumstances it would have been no less tragic. What we care about when we lose someone close to us is that they suffered or died, not that they died from a specific cause. By all means, the sadness we feel at the loss of a loved one should be harnessed in order to make the world a better place. But we should focus that motivation on preventing death and improving lives per se, rather than preventing death and improving lives in one very specific way. Any other decision would be unfair on those we could have helped more.”
“Many people feed others who can’t feed them, while they completely fail to nourish those who really desire to feed them.”
“If I have friends how come I always feel alone?”
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