I was always very curious as a young man about why older writers who I met seemed so indifferent to what was going on, whereas I, in my 20s, was reading everything. Everything seemed important. But they were only interested in the writers they admired when they were young, and I didn't understand it then, but now, now I understand it.
Every life is inexplicable, I kept telling myself. No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling. To say that so and so was born here and went there, that he did this and did that, that he married this woman and had these children, that he lived, that he died, that he left behind these books or this battle or that bridge "" none of that tells us very much.
That's all I've ever dreamed of, Mr. Bones. To make the world a better place. To bring some beauty to the drab humdrum corners of the soul. You can do it with a toaster, you can do it with a poem, you can do it by reaching out your hand to a stranger. It doesn't matter what form it takes. To leave the world a little better than you found it. That's the best a man can ever do.
I felt the taste of mortality in my mouth, and at that moment I understood that I was not going to live forever. It takes a long time to learn that, but when you finally do, everything changes inside you, you can never be the same again. I was seventeen years old, and all of a sudden, without the slightest flicker of a doubt, I understood that my life was my own, that it belonged to me and no one else. I'm talking about freedom, Fogg. A sense of despair that becomes so great, so crushing, so catastrophic, that you have no choice but to be liberated by it. That's the only choice, or else you crawl into a corner and die.
felt quotestaste quotesmortality quotesmouth quotesmoment quotesunderstood quoteslive quotesforever quotestakes quoteslong quotestime quoteslearn quotesfinally quotesinside quotesseventeen quotesyears quotessudden quotesslightest quotesflicker quotesdoubt quoteslife quotesbelonged quotestalking quotesfreedom quotesfogg quotessense quotesdespair quotesgreat quotescrushing quotescatastrophic quoteschoice quotesliberated quoteschoice quotescrawl quotescorner quotesdie quotes
Memory, therefore, not simply as the resurrection of one's private past, but an immersion in the past of others, which is to say: history - which one both participates in and is a witness to, is a part of and apart from. Everything, therefore, is present in his mind at once, as if each element were reflecting the light of all the others, and at the same time emitting its own unique and unquenchable radiance.
memory quotessimply quotesresurrection quotesones quotesprivate quotespast quotesimmersion quotespast quoteshistory quotesparticipates quoteswitness quotespart quotespresent quotesmind quoteselement quotesreflecting quoteslight quotestime quotesemitting quotesunique quotesunquenchable quotesradiance quotes
He finds it extraordinary that on some mornings, just after he has woken up, as he bends down to tie his shoes, he is flooded with a happiness so intense, a happiness so naturally and harmoniously at one with the world, that he can feel himself alive in the present, a present that surrounds him and permeates him, that breaks through him with the sudden, overwhelming knowledge that he is alive. And the happiness he discovers in himself at that moment is extraordinary.
finds quotesextraordinary quotesmornings quoteswoken quotesbends quotestie quotesshoes quotesflooded quoteshappiness quotesintense quotesnaturally quotesharmoniously quotesworld quotesfeel quotesalive quotespresent quotespresent quotessurrounds quotespermeates quotesbreaks quotessudden quotesoverwhelming quotesknowledge quotesalive quotesdiscovers quotesmoment quotesextraordinary quotes
For several years Quinn had been having the same conversations with this man, whose name he did not know. Once, when he had been in the luncheonette, they had talked about baseball, and now, each time Quinn came in, they continued to talk about it. In the winter, the talk was of trades, predictions, memories. During the season, it was always the most recent game. They were both Mets fans, and the hopelessness of that passion had created a bond between them.
years quotesquinn quotesconversations quotesman quotesluncheonette quotestalked quotesbaseball quotestime quotescontinued quotestalk quoteswinter quotestrades quotespredictions quotesmemories quotesseason quotesrecent quotesgame quotesmets quotesfans quoteshopelessness quotespassion quotescreated quotesbond quotes
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don't take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don't work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don't cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
roll quotespunches quoteschin quoteswooden quotesnickels quotesvote quotesdemocrat quoteselection quotesride quotesbike quotespark quotesdream quotesperfect quotesgolden quotesbody quotesvitamins quotesdrink quotesglasses quoteswater quotesday quotespull quotesmets quoteswatch quoteslot quotesmovies quoteswork quoteshard quotesjob quotestrip quotesparis quoteshospital quotesrachel quotesbaby quoteshold quotesgrandchild quotesarms quotesbrush quotesteeth quotesmeal quotescross quotesstreet quotesred quoteslight quotesdefend quotesguy quotesstick quotesremember quotesbeautiful quoteslove quotesscotch quotesrocks quotesbreathe quotesdeeply quoteseyes quotesopen quotesstay quotesfatty quotesfoods quotessleep quotessleep quotes
Bit by bit, he has pared down his desires to what is now approaching a bare minimum. He has cut out smoking and drinking, he no longer eats in restaurants, he does not own a television, a radio, or a computer. He would like to trade his car in for a bicycle, but he can't get rid of the car, since the distances he must travel for work are too great. The same applies to the cell phone he carries around in his pocket, which he would dearly love to toss in the garbage, but he needs it for work as well and therefore can't do without it. The digital camera was an indulgence, perhaps, but given the drear and slog of the endless trash-out rut, he feels it is saving his life. His rent is low, since he lives in a small apartment in a poor neighborhood, and beyond spending money on bedrock necessities, the only luxury he allows himself is buying books, paperback books, mostly novels, American novels, British novels, foreign novels in translation, but in the end books are not luxuries so much as necessities, and reading is an addiction he has no wish to be cured of.
bit quotesbit quotespared quotesdesires quotesapproaching quotesbare quotesminimum quotescut quotessmoking quotesdrinking quoteslonger quoteseats quotesrestaurants quotestelevision quotesradio quotescomputer quotestrade quotescar quotesbicycle quotesrid quotescar quotesdistances quotestravel quoteswork quotesgreat quotesapplies quotescell quotesphone quotescarries quotespocket quotesdearly quoteslove quotestoss quotesgarbage quotesdigital quotescamera quotesindulgence quotesdrear quotesslog quotesendless quotestrashout quotesrut quotesfeels quotessaving quoteslife quotesrent quoteslow quoteslives quotessmall quotesapartment quotespoor quotesneighborhood quotesspending quotesmoney quotesbedrock quotesnecessities quotesluxury quotesbuying quotesbooks quotespaperback quotesnovels quotesamerican quotesbritish quotesforeign quotesnovels quotestranslation quotesend quotesbooks quotesluxuries quotesreading quotesaddiction quotescured quotes
Deep down, I don't believe it takes any special talent for a person to lift himself off the ground and hover in the air. We all have it in us-every man, woman, and child-and with enough hard work and concentration, every human being is capable of... the feat... You must learn to stop being yourself. That's where it begins, and everything else follows from that. You must let yourself evaporate. Let your muscles go limp, breathe until you feel your soul pouring out of you, and then shut your eyes. That's how it's done. The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground. Like so.
deep quotestakes quotesspecial quotestalent quotesperson quoteslift quotesground quoteshover quotesair quotesusevery quotesman quoteswoman quoteschildand quoteshard quoteswork quotesconcentration quoteshuman quotescapable quotesfeat quoteslearn quotesstop quotesbegins quotesevaporate quotesmuscles quoteslimp quotesbreathe quotesfeel quotessoul quotespouring quotesshut quoteseyes quotesemptiness quotesinside quotesbody quotesgrows quoteslighter quotesair quotesbegin quotesweigh quoteseyes quotesspread quotesarms quotesground quotes
Quinn froze. There was nothing he could do now that would not be a mistake. Whatever choice he made-and he had to make a choice-would be arbitrary, a submission to chance. Uncertainty would haunt him to the end. At that moment, the two Stillmans started on their way again. The first turned right, the second turned left. Quin craved an amoeba's body, wanting to cut himself in half and run off in two directions at once. (Chapter 7)
quinn quotesfroze quotesmistake quoteschoice quotesmadeand quotesmake quoteschoicewould quotesarbitrary quotessubmission quoteschance quotesuncertainty quoteshaunt quotesend quotesmoment quotesstillmans quotesstarted quotesturned quotesleft quotesquin quotescraved quotesamoebas quotesbody quoteswanting quotescut quoteshalf quotesrun quotesdirections quoteschapter quotes7 quotes
Words tend to last a big longer than things, but eventually they fade too, along with the pictures they once evoked. Entire categories of objects disappear - flowerpots, for example, or cigarette filters, or rubber bands - and for a time you will be able to recognize those words, even if you cannot recall what they mean. But then, little by little, the words become only sounds, a random collection of glottals and fricatives, a storm of whirling phonemes, and finally the whole thing just collapses into gibberish.
words quotestend quotesbig quoteslonger quotesthings quoteseventually quotesfade quotespictures quotesevoked quotesentire quotescategories quotesobjects quotesdisappear quotesflowerpots quotescigarette quotesfilters quotesrubber quotesbands quotestime quotesrecognize quoteswords quotesrecall quoteswords quotessounds quotesrandom quotescollection quotesglottals quotesfricatives quotesstorm quoteswhirling quotesphonemes quotesfinally quotesthing quotescollapses quotesgibberish quotes
My French was neither good nor bad. I had enough to understand what people said to me, but speaking was difficult, and there were times when no words came to my lips, when I struggled to say even the simplest things. There was a certain pleasure in this, I believe - to experience language as a collection of sounds, to be forced to the surface of words where meanings vanish - but it was also quite wearing, and it had the effect of shutting me up in my thoughts.
french quotesgood quotesbad quotesunderstand quotespeople quotesspeaking quotesdifficult quotestimes quoteswords quoteslips quotesstruggled quotessimplest quotesthings quotespleasure quotesexperience quoteslanguage quotescollection quotessounds quotesforced quotessurface quotesmeanings quotesvanish quoteswearing quoteseffect quotesshutting quotesthoughts quotes
Every life is inexplicable, I kept telling myself. No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling. To say that so and so was born here and went there, that he did this and did that, that he married this woman and had these children, that he lived, that he died, that he left behind these books or this battle or that bridge - none of that tells us very much.
I would resurrect that person in words, and once the pages had been printed and the story had been bound between covers, they would have something to hold on to for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but something that would outlive them, that would outlive us all. One should never underestimate the power of books.
You're a dreamer, boy, ' he said. 'Your mind is on the moon, and from the looks of things, it's never going to be anywhere else. You have no ambitions, you don't give a damn about money, and you're too much of a philosopher to have any feeling for art. What am I going to do with you? You need someone to look after you, to make sure you have food in your belly and a bit of cash in your pocket. Once I'm gone, you'll be right back where you started.
For the first time in his life, he stopped worrying about results, and as a consequence the terms 'success' and 'failure' had suddenly lost their meaning for him. The true purpose of art was not to create beautiful objects, he discovered. It was a method of understanding, a way of penetrating the world and finding one's place in it, and whatever aesthetic qualities an individual canvas might have were almost an incidental by-product of the effort to engage oneself in this struggle, to enter into the thick of things.
time quoteslife quotesstopped quotesworrying quotesresults quotesconsequence quotesterms quotessuccess quotesfailure quotessuddenly quoteslost quotesmeaning quotestrue quotespurpose quotesart quotescreate quotesbeautiful quotesobjects quotesdiscovered quotesmethod quotesunderstanding quotespenetrating quotesworld quotesfinding quotesones quotesplace quotesaesthetic quotesqualities quotesindividual quotescanvas quotesincidental quotesbyproduct quoteseffort quotesengage quotesoneself quotesstruggle quotesenter quotesthick quotesthings quotes
Bit by bit, I found myself relaxing into the conversation. Kitty had a natural talent for drawing people out of themselves, and it was easy to fall in with her, to feel comfortable in her presence. As Uncle Victor had once told me long ago, a conversation is like having a catch with someone. A good partner tosses the ball directly into your glove, making it almost impossible for you to miss it; when he is on the receiving end, he catches everything sent his way, even the most errant and incompetent throws. That's what Kitty did. She kept lobbing the ball straight into the pocket of my glove, and when I threw the ball back to her, she hauled in everything that was even remotely in her area: jumping up to spear balls that soared above her head, diving nimbly to her left or right, charging in to make tumbling, shoestring catches. More than that, her skill was such that she always made me feel that I had made those bad throws on purpose, as if my only object had been to make the game more amusing. She made me seem better than I was, and that strengthened my confidence, which in turn helped to make my throws less difficult for her to handle. In other words, I started talking to her rather than to myself, and the pleasure of it was greater than anything I had experienced in a long time.
bit quotesbit quotesfound quotesrelaxing quotesconversation quoteskitty quotesnatural quotestalent quotesdrawing quotespeople quoteseasy quotesfall quotesfeel quotescomfortable quotespresence quotesuncle quotesvictor quotestold quoteslong quotesago quotesconversation quotescatch quotesgood quotespartner quotestosses quotesball quotesdirectly quotesglove quotesmaking quotesimpossible quotesmiss quotesreceiving quotesend quotescatches quoteserrant quotesincompetent quotesthrows quoteslobbing quotesstraight quotespocket quotesthrew quotesback quoteshauled quotesremotely quotesarea quotesjumping quotesspear quotesballs quotessoared quoteshead quotesdiving quotesnimbly quotesleft quotescharging quotesmake quotestumbling quotesshoestring quotescatches quotesskill quotesmade quotesbad quotesthrows quotespurpose quotesobject quotesgame quotesamusing quotesstrengthened quotesconfidence quotesturn quoteshelped quotesdifficult quoteshandle quoteswords quotesstarted quotestalking quotespleasure quotesgreater quotesexperienced quotestime quotes
It is also true that memory sometimes comes to him as a voice. It is a voice that speaks inside him, and it is not necessarily his own. It speaks to him in the way a voice might tell stories to a child, and yet at times this voice makes fun of him, or calls him to attention, or curses him in no uncertain terms. At times it willfully distorts the story it is telling him, changing the facts to suit its whims, catering to the interests of drama rather than truth. Then he must speak to it in his own voice and tell it to stop, thus returning it to the silence it came from. At other times it sings to him. At still other times it whispers. And then there are the times it merely hums, or babbles, or cries out in pain. And even when it says nothing, he knows it is still there, and in the silence of this voice that says nothing, he waits for it to speak.
true quotesmemory quotesvoice quotesvoice quotesspeaks quotesinside quotesnecessarily quotesstories quoteschild quotestimes quotesmakes quotesfun quotescalls quotesattention quotescurses quotesuncertain quotesterms quoteswillfully quotesdistorts quotesstory quotestelling quoteschanging quotesfacts quotessuit quoteswhims quotescatering quotesinterests quotesdrama quotestruth quotesspeak quotesstop quotesreturning quotessilence quotessings quoteswhispers quoteshums quotesbabbles quotescries quotespain quoteswaits quotesspeak quotes
I chanced upon these words from a letter by Van Gogh: "Like everyone else, I feel the need of family and friendship, affection and friendly intercourse. I am not made of iron, like a hydrant or a lamp post. Perhaps this is what really counts: to arrive at the core of human feeling, in spite of the evidence.
That's how it is with want. As long as you lack something you yearn for it without cease. if only I could have that one thing, you tell yourself, all my problems would be solved. But once you get it, once the object of your desires is thrust into your hands, it begins to lose its charm. Other wants assert themselves, other desires make themselves felt, and bit by bit you discover that you're right back where you started.
Anyway, right around that time I had a problem with a wisdom tooth and I had to go to the dentist to have the thing pulled out, and it was while I was sitting in the chair in the dentist's office, the dentist had picked up this big pair of pliers and was just about to yank out my tooth when the telephone rang.
Surely it is an odd way to spend your life - sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist, except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.
surely quotesodd quotesspend quoteslife quotessitting quotesroom quotespen quoteshand quoteshour quoteshour quotesday quotesday quotesyear quotesyear quotesstruggling quotesput quoteswords quotespieces quotespaper quotesorder quotesgive quotesbirth quotesexist quoteshead quotesearth quotesthing quotesanswer quoteschoice quotes
The pen will never be able to move fast enough to write down every word discovered in the space of memory. Some things have been lost forever, other things will perhaps be remembered again, and still other things have been lost and found and lost again. There is no way to be sure of any this.
And that's why books are never going to die. It's impossible. It's the only time we really go into the mind of a stranger, and we find our common humanity doing this. So the book doesn't only belong to the writer, it belongs to the reader as well, and then together you make it what it is.
I've been trying to fit everything in, trying to get to the end before it's too late, but I see now how badly I've deceived myself. Words do not allow such things. The closer you come to the end, the more there is to say. The end is only imaginary, a destination you invent to keep yourself going, but a point comes when you realize you will never get there. You might have to stop, but that is only because you have run out of time. You stop, but that does not mean you have come to an end.
This is what is called speaking. I believe that is the term. When words come out, fly into the air, live for a moment, and die. Strange, is it not? I myself have no opinion. No and no again. But still, there are words you will need to have. There are many of them. Many millions, I think. Perhaps only three or four. Excuse me. But I am doing well today. So much better than usual. If I can give you the words you need to have, it will be a great victory. Thank you. Thank you a million times over.
I was in the book, and the book was in my head, and as long as I stayed inside my head, I could go on writing the book. It was like living in a padded cell, but of all the lives I could have lived at that moment, it was the only one that made sense to me. I wasn't capable of being in the world, and I knew that if I tried to go back into it before I was ready, I would be crushed.
There it was: a full confession. Sherlock Holmes had done it again, and as I marveled at my devastating powers of deduction, I wished there had been two of me so I could have patted myself on the back. I know it sounds arrogant, but how often does one achieve a mental triumph of that magnitude? After listening to her speak just two words, I had nailed the whole bloody thing. If Watson had been there, he would have been shaking his head and muttering under his breath.
full quotesconfession quotessherlock quotesholmes quotesmarveled quotesdevastating quotespowers quotesdeduction quoteswished quotespatted quotesback quotessounds quotesarrogant quotesachieve quotesmental quotestriumph quotesmagnitude quoteslistening quotesspeak quoteswords quotesnailed quotesbloody quotesthing quoteswatson quotesshaking quoteshead quotesmuttering quotesbreath quotes
The funny thing is, as a young person I was trying to write prose, and I wrote a lot of it, but I was never satisfied with the results. Two of the novels I wound up finishing and publishing later I started very early on, in my early 20's, In The Country Of Last Things and Moon Palace. Both of those books I worked a great deal on but never quite got a grip on either one.
funny quotesthing quotesyoung quotesperson quoteswrite quotesprose quoteswrote quoteslot quotessatisfied quotesresults quotesnovels quoteswound quotesfinishing quotespublishing quotesstarted quotesearly quotes20s quotescountry quotesthings quotesmoon quotespalace quotesbooks quotesworked quotesgreat quotesdeal quotesgrip quotes
And if Amsterdam was hell, and if hell was a memory, then he realized that perhaps there was some purpose to his being lost. Cut off from everything that was familiar to him, unable to discover even a single point of reference, he saw that his steps, by taking him nowhere, were taking him him nowhere but into himself. He was wandering inside himself, and he was lost. Far from troubling him, this state of being lost because a source of happiness, of exhilaration. He breathed it into his very bones. As if on the brink of some previously hidden knowledge, he breathed it into his very bones and said to himself, almost triumphantly: I am lost.
amsterdam quoteshell quoteshell quotesmemory quotesrealized quotespurpose quoteslost quotescut quotesfamiliar quotesunable quotesdiscover quotessingle quotespoint quotesreference quotessteps quotestaking quoteswandering quotesinside quotestroubling quotesstate quoteslost quotessource quoteshappiness quotesexhilaration quotesbreathed quotesbones quotesbrink quotespreviously quoteshidden quotesknowledge quotesbones quotestriumphantly quotes
You can't see yourself. You know what you look like because of mirrors and photographs, but out there in the world, as you move among your fellow human beings, whether strangers or friends or the most intimate beloveds, your own face is invisible to you. You can see other parts of yourself, arms and legs, hands and feet, shoulders and torso, but only from the front, nothing of the back except the backs of your legs if you twist them into the right position, but not your face, never your face, and in the end - at least as far as others are concerned - your face is who you are, the essential fact of your identity. Passports do not contain pictures of hands and feet. Even you, who have lived inside your body for sixty-four years now, would probably be unable to recognize your foot in an isolated photograph of that foot, not to speak of your ear, or your elbow, or one of your eyes in close-up. All so familiar to you in the context of the whole, but utterly anonymous when taken piece by piece. We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.
mirrors quotesphotographs quotesworld quotesmove quotesfellow quoteshuman quotesbeings quotesstrangers quotesfriends quotesintimate quotesbeloveds quotesface quotesinvisible quotesparts quotesarms quoteslegs quoteshands quotesfeet quotesshoulders quotestorso quotesfront quotesback quotesbacks quoteslegs quotestwist quotesposition quotesface quotesend quotesconcerned quotesessential quotesfact quotesidentity quotespassports quotespictures quotesfeet quoteslived quotesinside quotesbody quotessixtyfour quotesyears quotesunable quotesrecognize quotesfoot quotesisolated quotesphotograph quotesfoot quotesspeak quotesear quoteselbow quoteseyes quotescloseup quotesfamiliar quotescontext quotesutterly quotesanonymous quotespiece quotespiece quotesaliens quotessense quoteslive quotes
Then, without any warning, we both straightened up, turned towards each other, and began to kiss. After that, it is difficult for me to speak of what happened. Such things have little to do with words, so little, in fact, that it seems almost pointless to try to express them. If anything, I would say that we were falling into each other, that we were falling so fast and so far that nothing could catch us.
We are left with nothing but death, the irreducible fact of our own mortality. Death after a long illness we can accept with resignation. Even accidental death we can ascribe to fate. But for a man to die of no apparent cause, for a man to die simply because he is a man, brings us so close to the invisible boundary between life and death that we no longer know which side we are on. Life becomes death, and it is as if this death has owned this life all along. Death without warning. Which is to say: life stops. And it can stop at any moment.
left quotesdeath quotesirreducible quotesfact quotesmortality quotesdeath quoteslong quotesillness quotesaccept quotesresignation quotesaccidental quotesdeath quotesascribe quotesfate quotesman quotesdie quotesapparent quotessimply quotesman quotesbrings quotesclose quotesinvisible quotesboundary quoteslife quoteslonger quotesside quoteslife quotesowned quoteswarning quotesstops quotesstop quotesmoment quotes
Yes, she is in love with him, and yes, in spite of his qualms and inner hesitations, he loves her back, however improbable that might seem to him. Note here for the record that he is not someone with a special fixation on young girls. Until now, all the women in his life have been more or less his own age. Pilar therefore does not represent an embodiment of some ideal female type for him--she is merely herself, a small piece of luck he stumbled across one afternoon in a public park, an exception to every rule.
love quotesspite quotesqualms quoteshesitations quotesloves quotesback quotesimprobable quotesnote quotesrecord quotesspecial quotesfixation quotesyoung quotesgirls quoteswomen quoteslife quotesage quotespilar quotesrepresent quotesembodiment quotesideal quotesfemale quotestype quoteshimshe quotessmall quotespiece quotesluck quotesstumbled quotesafternoon quotespublic quotespark quotesexception quotesrule quotes
Every book is an image of solitude. It is a tangible object that one can pick up, put down, open, and close, and its words represent many months if not many years, of one man's solitude, so that with each word one reads in a book one might say to himself that he is confronting a particle of that solitude
Even you, who've lived inside your body for 64 years, would apparently be unable to recognize your foot in an isolated photograph of that foot, not to think of your ear or one of your eyes or elbow, also familiar to you in the context of the whole, but utterly anonymous when taken piece by piece. We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.
whove quoteslived quotesinside quotesbody quotes64 quotesyears quotesapparently quotesunable quotesrecognize quotesfoot quotesisolated quotesphotograph quotesfoot quotesear quoteseyes quoteselbow quotesfamiliar quotescontext quotesutterly quotesanonymous quotespiece quotespiece quotesaliens quotessense quoteslive quotes
Memoirs have dominated the literary scene now for ten or 20 or even 30 years: most of them seem to use the conventions of fiction and it's astonishing how in so many of these books people seem to be able to remember conversations that took place when they were five years old and give three pages of coherent dialogue, which is utterly impossible.
memoirs quotesdominated quotesliterary quotesscene quotesten quotes20 quotes30 quotesyears quotesconventions quotesfiction quotesastonishing quotesbooks quotespeople quotesremember quotesconversations quotesplace quotesyears quotesgive quotespages quotescoherent quotesdialogue quotesutterly quotesimpossible quotes
I say at the very end of "Winter Journal" that I do dream about my father often. I think I have a tremendous compassion for him, which has grown over the years. A certain kind of pity for him also in that he was so unrealised as a human being, so dogged, and so shut-off from people in many ways. You know, I've been writing another book, and it's another non-fiction autobiographical work, kind of a compliment to "Winter Journal", and it's just finished.
end quoteswinter quotesjournal quotesdream quotesfather quotestremendous quotescompassion quotesgrown quotesyears quoteskind quotespity quotesunrealised quoteshuman quotesdogged quotesshutoff quotespeople quotesways quoteswriting quotesbook quotesnonfiction quotesautobiographical quoteswork quotescompliment quotesjournal quotesfinished quotes
This is very rare for anyone in life to pursue something and that thing being the thing you actually most want to do. It's all about the inner, rather than the outer. Whether people like or don't like my work, read it or don't read it, it's just been a gift from the gods that I've been able to sit at my desk for the last almost 50 years and do the things I've wanted to do.
We exist for ourselves, perhaps, and at times we even have a glimmer of who we are, but in the end we can never be sure, and as our lives go on, we become more and more opaque to ourselves, more and more aware of our own incoherence. No one can cross the boundary into another "" for the simple reason that no one can gain access to himself.
I've dealt with numbers all my life, of course, and after a while you begin to feel that each number has a personality of its own. A twelve is very different from a thirteen, for example. Twelve is upright, conscientious, intelligent, whereas thirteen is a loner, a shady character who won't think twice about breaking the law to get what he wants. Eleven is tough, an outdoorsman who likes tramping through woods and scaling mountains; ten is rather simpleminded, a bland figure who always does what he's told; nine is deep and mystical, a Buddha of contemplation....
dealt quotesnumbers quoteslife quotesbegin quotesfeel quotesnumber quotespersonality quotestwelve quotesthirteen quotestwelve quotesupright quotesconscientious quotesintelligent quotesthirteen quotesloner quotesshady quotescharacter quotesbreaking quoteslaw quoteseleven quotestough quotesoutdoorsman quoteslikes quotestramping quoteswoods quotesscaling quotesmountains quotesten quotessimpleminded quotesbland quotesfigure quotestold quotesdeep quotesmystical quotesbuddha quotescontemplation quotes