“Lists are a form of power.”
“...it is not possible to create the opposite of what one has always known, simply because the opposite is believed to be desired. Human beings need what they already know, even horrors.”
“There was a moment during this time, when his face was on hers, cheek on cheek, brow on brow, heavy skull on skull, through soft skin and softer flesh. He thought: skulls separate people. In this one sense, I could say, they would say, I lose myself in her. But in that bone box, she thinks and thinks, as I think in mine, things the other won't hear, can't hear, though we go on like this for sixty years. What does she think I am? He had no idea. He had no idea what she was.”
“A metamorphosis... The shining butterfly of the soul from the pupa of the body. Larva, pupa, imago. An image of art.”
“Those words . . . national and portrait. They were both to do with identity: the identity of a culture (place, language and history), the identity of an individual human being as an object for mimetic representation.”
“Contemporary' was in those days  synonymous with 'modern' as it had not been before and is not now .”
“God, I love you," I whisper, and come crashing back into my body with a suddenness that makes me gasp. I don't know what's more shocking--that I've called on the god I don't believe in, or that the lie I told felt so much like the truth.”
“Now that I thought of it, perhaps whacking the burglar wasn’t quite…necessary.
It occurred to me that he said “Hi.” I thought he did, anyway. He said hi. Do burglars usually
greet their victims? Hi. I’d like to rob your house. Does that work for you?”
“Yggdrasil, despite its mass, did not appear completely solid. He could see through it at times, and it pulsed from corporeal to transient, fading in and out as though it could not decide if it wanted to exist or not. He”
“There are moments in your life when the big pieces slide and shift. Sometimes the big changes dong happen gradually but all at once. That's how it was for us. That was the day we discovered that friends can do things for you that your parents can't.”
“When he got to the shoe putting-on stage he called Hosain again. Putting on and taking off his own shoes and boots were activities at which he drew the line if there was a man available to perform these services. He had learned to draw the line in Muzzafirabad where his first CO, Colonel Gawstone, advised him never to stoop if he could help it. The climate wasn't right for it. Mrs. Gawstone had stooped to pick up a glove and keeled right over and never got up. They had buried her the next day.”
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