“No one who has studied Western history can cling to the belief that the Nazis invented genocide.”
“A muddy little stream, a village grown unfamiliar with time and trees. I turn around and retrace my way up Main Street and park and have a Coke in the confectionery store. It is run by a Greek, as it used to be, but whether the same Greek or another I would not know. He does not recognize me, nor I him. Only the smell of his place is familiar, syrupy with old delights, as if the ghost of my first banana split had come close to breathe on me.”
“The Cypress Hills massacre,...one of the final outrages of the literally lawless West...came...along that practical and symbolic divide, between the Canadian system of monopoly trading and the American system of competition, whiskey, bullets, exploitation, and extermination.”
“In general the assumption of all of us, child or adult, was that this was a new country and that a new country had no history. History was something that applied to other places.”
“The ferocious virtues that had been necessary for survival on the American frontier were theirs: they were men who lived freely, wastefully, independently, and they lived by killing--animals as a rule, men if necessary.”
“What little strength he had left flowed out of him and was soaked up; his bones and veins and skin held nothing but tiredness and pain.”
“He still wore, in the warming barracks, a muskrat cap with earlaps. Under it his eyes were gray as agates, as sudden as an elbow in the solar plexus.”
“I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from.”
“It is a country to breed mystical people, egocentric people, perhaps poetic people. But not humble ones…Puny you may feel there, and vulnerable, but not unnoticed. This is a land to mark the sparrow’s fall”
“He won’t last the winter if we stay here, though,” Mousefur”
“judge not that ye be not judged”
“An intimate enemy, death, capricious and cruel, ultimately invincible.”
“Because it was the right thing?"
"Oh shit, I hope not."
"Afraid of becoming noble?" he asked, his eyes twinkling.
"That too. But basically, that's the worst reason I can think of for killing. 'That its the right thing to do'. You kill out of outrage or fury or to keep from dying or something like it, that's fine. Hell, kill them rather than bother with them - or be bothered by them. But if you're killing them because 'its the right thing to do', its only the right thing because you've done so many wrong things up until then to make that spot. It's not the right thing to do. It's the best of the last of your choices."
"That's the longest I've ever heard you talk at one time."
"That's because you never ask me about my hair.”
“I can tell you have a good heart…” I sighed, opening the door to the
outside. “…because the minute I met you, I wanted to fight for it.”
She was silent.
“That’s how you can tell when someone has a good heart.”
“When you want to start a war?” She laughed, clearly trying to lighten my
“Nah.” I sighed.
“When you want to be the one to make it beat.”
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