There's not a lot of room for un-ironic emotion in contemporary culture. I think that irony is an important tool in dealing with the world as we find it. It's a tool of protection, but it can also be a tool of incision to get to some truth. But along the way maybe we've lost some of what I think of as the power of straightforward emotion and earnestness and seriousness.
According to Maslow, I was stuck on the second level of the pyramid, unable to feel secure in my health and therefore unable to reach for love and respect and art and whatever else, which is, utter horseshit: The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness. Maslow's pyramid seemed to imply I was less human than other people, and most people seemed to agree with him.
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I never really understood that massive collaboration involving hundreds of people is what makes movies possible, and it's also why I would agree that curiosity is not the most important human trait; the urge to collaborate is. Heck . . . only we have the ability to cooperate to make like online communities and space telescopes and imaginariums and movies. So the great thrill of this whole experience [my novel being made into a movie] for me was . .. .seeing humanity do what it's best at, which ultimately is not competing but cooperating.
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In these pages, and in my memories, she reminds me that a short life can also be a good and rich life, that it is possible to live with depression without being consumed by it, and that meaning in life is found together, in family and friendship that transcends and survives all manner of suffering. As the poet wrote in the Bible's Song of Solomon, 'Love is strong as death.' Or perhaps even stronger.
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This fear bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead.
Finally, I decided that the proper strategy was to stare back. Boys do not have a monopoly on the Staring Business, after all. So I looked him over and soon it was a staring contest. After a while the boy smiled, and then finally his blue eyes glanced away. When he looked back at me, I flicked my eyebrows up to say, I win. He shrugged
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Whether the author intended a symbolic resonance to exist in her book is irrelevant. All that matters is whether it's there. Because the book does not exist for the benefit of the author, the book exists for the benefit of YOU. If we as readers can have a bigger and richer experience with the world as a result of reading a symbol and that symbol wasn't intended by the author, WE STILL WIN.
I was blind and heart broken and didn't want to do anything and Gus burst into my room and shouted, "I have wonderful news!" And I was like, "I don't really want to hear wonderful news right now," and Gus said, "This is wonderful news you want to hear," and I asked him, "Fine, what is it?" and he said, "You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!
Nothing (at least that can be done by humans) immortalizes anyone. The Fault in Our Stars will hopefully have a long and wonderful life, but it will eventually go out of print, and eventually the last person ever to read it will die, and then the characters will no longer live in any consciousness.Also, that is okay. That is good, actually. That is how it should be. One of the things the characters in this novel have to grapple with is the reality of temporaryness. What Gus in particular must reconcile himself to is that being temporary does not mean being unimportant or meaningless.
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You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was. . . Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Pete Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children.
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She didn't understand why it was happening," he said. "I had to tell her she would die. Her social worker said I had to tell her. I had to tell her she would die, so I told her she was going to heaven. She asked if I would be there, and I said that I would not, not yet. But eventually, she said, and I promised that yes, of course, very soon. And I told her that in the meantime we had great family up there that would take care of her. And she asked me when I would be there, and I told her soon. Twenty-two years ago.
Gus: "It tastes like..." Me: "Food." Gus: "Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately...?" Me: "It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down around your canal-side dinner table." Gus: "Nicely phrased." Gus's father: "Our children are weird." My dad: "Nicely phrased."
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There were five others before they got to him. He smiled a little when his turn came. His voice was low, smoky, and dead sexy. "My name is Augustus Waters," he said. "I'm seventeen. I had a little touch of osteosarcoma a year and a half ago, but I'm just here today at Isaac's request." "And how are you feeling?" asked Patrick. "Oh, I'm grand." Augustus Waters smiled with a corner of his mouth. "I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.
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Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, / The muttering retreats / Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels / And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: / Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question.../ Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' / Let us go and make our visit"' 'I'm in love with you,' he said quietly.
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I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.
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As Alaska zipped through something obvious about linear equations, stoner/baller Hank Walsten said, "Wait, wait. I don't get it." "That's because you have eight functioning brain cells." "Studies show that Marijuana is better for your health than those cigarettes," Hank said. Alaska swallowed a mouthful of fries, took a drag on her cigarette, and blew a smoke at Hank. "I may die young," she said. "But at least I'll die smart. Now, back to tangents.
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All of us, poor & rich alike, have been conditioned by our upbringings. Impoverished men & women may become lulled into a state of "learned helplessness" without hope to change their lives. Likewise, the wealthy can walk in a state of "learned blindness" ignoring the desperation of the local & global poor.
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One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.
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How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" In reality, "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" were probably not Simon Bolivar's last words (although he did, historically, say them). His last words may have been "Jose! Bring the luggage. They do not want us here." The significant source for "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" is also Alaska's source, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The General in his Labyrinth.
I feel like my life is so scattered right now. Like it's all the small pieces of paper and someone's turned on the fan. But, talking to you makes me feel like the fan's been turned off for a little bit. Like things could actually make sense. You completely unscatter me, and I appreciate that so much.
It seems to me that the great pleasure of human life is not in having an opinion, but rather in learning all the ways you are wrong, and all the nuances you failed to account for, and all the truths that turned out to be not as simple as you once believed. And it seems to me that one of the central pleasures of attending school is that you get to read with really well-informed people who can help welcome you into a complex world stuffed with rich and maddening ambiguity.
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And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future""you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.
Getting a life' is something only a complete idiot could believe. Like you can just drive to a store and get a life. See it in its shiny box and look inside the plastic window and catch a glimpse of yourself in a new life and say, 'Wow, I look much happier "" I think this is the life I need to get!', take it to the counter, ring it up, put it on your credit card. If getting a life was that easy, we'd be one blissed-out race.
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I enjoy writing about people falling in love, probably because I think the first time you fall in love is the first time that you have to figure out how you're going to orient your life. What are you going to value? What's going to be most important to you? And I think that's really interesting to write about.
Sexuality is important, but it's certainly not the most interesting or important thing happening to you right now. We live in a world that tells us that there are only two important things. One is the acquisition of goods and the other is either the acquisition or avoidance of sex, but it turns out that the question of who's a virgin and who's a virgout is not the most interesting question.
We are engaged here in the most important pusuit in history. The search for meaning. What is What is the nature of being a person? What is the best way to go about being a person?How did we come to be, and wha will become of us when we are no longer? In short: What are the rules this game, and how might we best play it?
I think one of the most important differences between us is that you are excellent at living in a way that is commensurate with your values, whereas I am not. For instance, I didn't recycle until I watched An Inconvenient Truth and I'm still sort of iffy on it. And also, I didn't vote in 2000, even though I could have voted in Florida *hits self on head repeatedly* Ahh George Bush! It's all my fault! God! So stupid! *sigh* Let's change the subject. Also, we have vastly different happy dances.
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And I don't really have anyone upon whom I want to rain down my wrath," I said, because in truth I didn't. I always felt like you had to be important to have enemies. Example: Historically, Germany has had more enemies than Luxembourg, Margo Roth Spiegelman was Germany. And Great Britain. And the United States. And czarist Russia. Me, I'm Luxembourg. Just sitting around, tending sheep, and yodeling.
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One of the reasons that metaphor and symbolism are important in books is because they are also important to life. Like, for example say you're in high school and you're a boy and you say to a girl: "Do you like anyone right now?" - that's not the question you're asking. The question you're asking is, "do you like me right now."
People, I thought, wanted security. They couldn't bear the idea of death being a big black nothing, couldn't bear the thought of their loved ones not existing, and couldn't even imagine themselves not existing. I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn't bear not to.
Well, while you were in the bathroom, I sat down at this picnic table here in Bumblefug, Kentucky, and noticed that someone had carved that GOD HATES FAG, which, aside from being a grammatical nightmare, is absolutely ridiculous. So I'm changing it to 'God Hates Baguettes.' It's tough to disagree with that. Everybody hates baguettes.
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Rabe'a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seen running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, 'I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.
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People, I thought, wanted security. They couldn't bare the idea of death being a big black nothing, couldn't bear the thought of their loved ones not existing, and couldn't even imagine themselves not existing. I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn't bear not to.
More than anything, I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can't due to deadness, and then I leaned forward, my forehead against the back of Takumi's headrest, and I cried, whimpering, and I didn't even feel sadness so much as pain.