I feel more a part of the wrestling community than I feel I belong to the community of arts and letters. Why? Because wrestling requires even more dedication than writing because wrestling represents the most difficult and rewarding objective that I have ever dedicated myself to; because wrestling and wrestling coaches are among the most disciplined and self-sacrificing people I have ever known.
I don't have to say to you or anyone in our WRESTLING community that we are a small world unto ourselves and there is often a big difference in how much we love and understand each other and how little we're understood or appreciated by people who spend their weekends watching basketball.
Here in St. Cloud's," Dr. Larch wrote, " I have been given the choice of playing God or leaving practically everything up to chance. It is my experience that practically everything is left up to chance much of the time; men who believe in good and evil, and who believe that good should win, should watch for those moments when it is possible to play God "" we should seize those moments. There won't be may
I have no respect for the right-to-life position. But when you legislate personal belief, you're in violation of freedom of religion. The Catholic Church may espouse its opinion on abortion to the members of its congregation. But they are in violation of separation of church and state when they try to proselytize their abortion politics on people who are not Catholics.
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What do Americans know about morality? They don't want their presidents to have penises but they don't mind if their presidents covertly arrange to support the Nicaraguan rebel forces after Congress has restricted such aid; they don't want their presidents to deceive their wives but they don't mind if their presidents deceive Congress- lie to the people and violate the people's constitution!
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A person's faith goes at its own pace. The trouble with church is the service. A service is conducted for a mass audience. Just when I start to like the hymn, everyone plops down to pray. Just when I start to hear the prayer, everyone pops up to sing. And what does the stupid sermon have to do with God? Who knows what God thinks of current events? Who cares?
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JUST BECAUSE A BUNCH OF ATHEISTS ARE BETTER WRITERS THAN THE GUYS WHO WROTE THE BIBLE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MAKE THEM RIGHT!" [Owen Meany] said crossly. "LOOK AT THOSE WEIRDO TV MIRACLE-WORKERS-THEY'RE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO BELIEVE IN MAGIC! BUT THE REAL MIRACLES AREN'T ANYTHING YOU CAN SEE-THEY'RE THINGS YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING. IF SOME PREACHER'S AN ASSHOLE, THAT'S NOT PROOF THAT GOD DOESN'T EXIST!
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He felt like hearing Mrs. Grogan's prayer again, and so he went to the girls' division a little early for his usual delivery of Jane Eyre. He eavesdropped in the hall on Mrs. Grogan's prayer; I must ask her if she'd mind saying it to the boys, he thought, then wondered if it would confuse the boys coming so quickly on the heels of, or just before, the Princes of Maine, Kings of New England benediction. I get confused myself sometimes, Dr. Larch knew. 'Grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, ' Mrs. Grogan was saying, 'and peace at the last.' Amen, thought Wilbur Larch, the saint of St. Cloud's, who was seventy-something, and an ether addict, and who felt that he'd come a long way and still had a long way to go.
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On his bedside table, between the reading lamp and the telephone, was his battered copy of David Copperfield. Homer didn't have to open the book to know how the story began. "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show," he recited from memory.
I have stood aside to see the phantoms of those days go by me. They are gone, and I resume the journey of my story.' (David Copperfield) 'But all that night he lay awake because the phantoms of those days were not gone. Like the tiny, terrible holes in the prophylactics, the phantoms of those days were not easy to detect-and their meaning was unknown-but they were there.
When an orphan is depressed, " wrote Wilbur Larch, "he is attracted to telling lies. A lie is at least a vigorous enterprise, it keeps you on your toes by making you suddenly responsible for what happens because of it. You must be alert to lie, and stay alert to keep your lie a secret. Orphans are not the masters of their fates; they are the last to believe you if you tell them that other people are also not in charge of theirs. When you lie, it makes you feel in charge of your life. Telling lies is very seductive to orphans. I know, " Dr. Larch wrote. "I know because I tell them, too. I love to lie. When you lie, you feel as if you have cheated fate-your own, and everybody else's.
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Here is the trap you are in... And it's not my trap-I haven't trapped you. Because abortions are illegal, women who need and want them have no choice in the matter, and you-because you know how to perform them-have no choice, either. What has been violated here is your freedom of choice, and every woman's freedom of choice, too. If abortion was legal, a woman would have a choice-and so would you. You could feel free not to do it because someone else would. But the way it is, you're trapped. Women are trapped. Women are victims, and so are you.
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This mannerism of what he'd seen of society struck Homer Wells quite forcefully; people, even nice people-because, surely, Wally was nice-would say a host of critical things about someone to whom they would then be perfectly pleasant. At. St. Cloud's, criticism was plainer-and harder, if not impossible, to conceal.
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YOUR BOREDOM IS YOUR PROBLEM, " said Owen Meany. "IT'S YOUR LACK OF IMAGINATION THAT BORES YOU. HARDY HAS THE WORLD FIGURED OUT. TESS IS DOOMED. FATE HAS IT IN FOR HER. SHE'S A VICTIM; IF YOU'RE A VICTIM, THE WORLD WILL USE YOU. WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO'S GOT SUCH A WORKED-OUT WAY OF SEEING THE WORLD BORE YOU? WHY SHOULDN'T YOU BE INTERESTED IN SOMEONE WHO'S WORKED OUT A WAY TO SEE THE WORLD? THAT'S WHAT MAKES WRITERS INTERESTING!
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Because who can describe the look that triggers the memory of loved ones? Who can anticipate the frown, the smile, or the misplaced lock of hair that sends a swift, undeniable signal from the past? Who can ever estimate the power of association, which is always strongest in moments of love and in memories of death?
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Six-Pack didn't despise George W. Bush to the degree that Ketchum did, but she thought the president was a smirking twerp and a dumbed-down daddy's boy, and she agreed with Ketchum's assessment that Bush would be as worthless as wet crap in even the smallest crisis. If a fight broke out between two small dogs, for example, Ketchum claimed that Bush would call the fire department and ask them to bring a hose; then the president would position himself at a safe distance from the dogfight, and wait for the firemen to show up. The part Pam liked best about this assessment was that Ketchum said the president would instantly look self-important, and would appear to be actively involved-that is, once the firefighters and their hose arrived, and provided there was anything remaining of the mess the two dogs might have made of each other in the interim.
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Once the state starts providing, it feels free to hand out the rules, too!" Larch blurted hastily... "In a better world... " she began patiently. "No, not in a better world!" he cried. "In this one-in this world. I take this world as a given. Talk to me about this world!"... "Oh, I can't always be right, " Larch said tiredly. "Yes, I know, " Nurse Caroline said sympathetically. "It's because even a good man can't always be right that we need a society, that we need certain rules-call them priorities, if you prefer, " she said... Always in the background of his mind, there was a newborn baby crying... And they were not crying to be born, he knew; they were crying because they were born.
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If you are careful, ' Garp wrote, 'if you use good ingredients, and you don't take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.
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When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time-the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes-when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever-there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
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Ever since the Christmas of '53, I have felt that the yuletide is a special hell for those families who have suffered any loss or who must admit to any imperfection; the so-called spirit of giving can be as greedy as receiving-Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who's not home.
Mother's intentions were always sound, never muddy; I don't imagine that she troubled herself to feel very guilty. But the Rev. Mr. Merrill was a man who took to wallowing in guilt; his remorse, after all, was all he had to cling to-especially after his scant courage left him, and he was forced to acknowledge that he would never be brave enough to abandon his miserable wife and children for my mother. He would continue to torture himself, of course, with the insistent and self-destructive notion that he loved my mother. I suppose that his "love" of my mother was as intellectually detached from feeling and action as his "belief" was also subject to his immense capacity for remote and unrealistic interpretation. My mother was a healthier animal; when he said he wouldn't leave his family for her, she simply put him out of her mind and went on singing. But as incapable as he was of a heartfelt response to a real situation, the Rev. Mr. Merrill was tirelessly capable of thinking; he pondered and brooded and surmised and second-guessed my mother to death.
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In our hearts... there must abide some pity for those people who have always felt themselves to be separate from even their most familiar surroundings, those people who either are foreigners or who suffer a singular point of view that makes them feel as if they're foreigners - even in their native lands. In our hearts... there also abides a certain suspicion that such people need to feel set apart from their society. But people who initiate loneliness are no less lonely than those who are suddenly surprised by loneliness, nor are they undeserving of our pity.
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She asserted that the best fictional detail was a chosen detail, not a remembered one - for fictional truth was not only the truth of observation, which was the truth of mere journalism. The best fictional detail was the detail that should have defined the character or the episode or the atmosphere. Fictional truth was what should have happened in a story - not necessarily what did happen or what had happened.
Novels were not arguments; a story worked, or it didn't, on its own merits. What did it matter if a detail was real or imagined? What mattered was that the detail seemed real, and that it was absolutely the best detail for the circumstance. That wasn't much of a theory, but it was all Ruth could truly commit herself to at the moment. It was time to retire that old lecture, and her penance was to endure the compliments of her former credo.
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In Ruth's view, they looked 'like a couple' because they seemed to possess some terrible secret between them - they appeared stricken with remorse when they saw her. Only a novelist could ever imagine such nonsense. (In part, it was because of her perverse ability to imagine anything that in this instance Ruth failed to imagine the obvious)
Here was the world-famous novelist with her penchant for detail; yet, in her observations of a prostitute with a customer, she had failed to come away with the most important detail of all. She could never identify the murderer; she could barely describe him. She'd made a point of not looking at him!
MAYBE YOU SHOULD BE AN ENGLISH MAJOR. AT LEAST, YOU GET TO READ STUFF THAT'S WRITTEN BY PEOPLE WHO CAN WRITE! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO BE AN ENGLISH MAJOR, YOU DON'T NEED ANY SPECIAL TALENT, YOU JUST HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SOMEONE WANTS YOU TO SEE - TO WHAT MAKES SOMEONE ANGRIEST, OR THE MOST EXCITED IN SOME OTHER WAY. IT'S SO EASY!; I THINK THAT'S WHY THERE ARE SO MANY ENGLISH MAJORS!
Unlike Alice, Garp was a real writer -not because he wrote more beautifully than she wrote but because he knew what every artist should know: as Garp put it, 'You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.' Even if these so-called endings and beginnings are illusions. Garp did not write faster than anyone else, or more; he simply always worked with the idea of completion in mind.
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