“There are passages of my book that I know by heart.
By heart, this is not an expression I use lightly.
My heart is weak and unreliable. When I go it will be my heart. I try to burden it as little as possible. If something is going to have an impact, I direct it elsewhere. My gut for example, or my lungs, which might seize for a moment but have never yet failed to take another breath. When I pass a mirror and catch a glimpse of myself, of I’m at the bus stop and some kids come up behind me and say, Who smells s**t?—small daily humiliations—these I take, generally speaking, in my liver. Other damages I take in other places. The pancreas I reserve for being struck by all that’s been lost. It’s true that there’s so much, and the organ is so small. But. You would be surprised how much it can take, all I feel is a quick sharp pain and then it’s over. Sometimes I imagine my own autopsy. Disappointment in myself: right kidney. Disappointment of others in me: left kidney. Personal failures: kishkes.I don’t mean to make it sound like I’ve made a science of it. It’s not that well thought out. I take it where it comes. It’s just that I notice certain patterns. When the clocks are turned back and the dark falls before I’m ready, this, for reasons I can’t explain, I feel it in my wrists. And when I wake up and my fingers are stiff, almost certainly I was dreaming of my childhood.The field where we used to play, the field in which everything was discovered and everything was possible. (We ran so hard we thought we would spit blood: to me that is the sound of childhood, heavy breathing and shoes scraping the hard earth.) Stiffness of the fingers is the dream of childhood as it’s been returned to me at the end of my life. I have to run them under the hot water, steam clouding the mirror, outside the rustle of pigeons. Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don’t know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgetting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist: my knees, it takes half a tube of Ben-Gay and a big production just to bend them. To everything a season, to every time I’ve woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.
Every morning, a little more.”
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
1:58 am • 15 October 2011 • 5 notes
“At times I believed that the last page of my book and the last page of my life were one and the same, that when my book ended I’d end, a great wind would sweep through my rooms carrying the pages away, and when the air cleared of all those fluttering white sheets the room would be silent.”
— The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
1:45 am • 15 October 2011 • 25 notes
“I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I’m out, I’ll buy a juice even though I’m not thirsty. If the store is crowded I’ll even go so far as dropping my change all over the floor, the nickels and dimes skidding in every direction. I’ll get down on my knees. It’s a big effort for me to get down on my knees, and an even bigger effort to get up. And yet. Maybe I look like a fool. I’ll go into the Athlete’s Foot and say, What do you have in sneakers? The clerk will look me over like the poor schmuck that I am and direct me over to the one pair of Rockports they carry, something in spanking white. Nah, I’ll say, I have those already, and then I’ll make my way over to the Reeboks and pick out something that doesn’t even resemble a shoe, a waterproof bootie, maybe, and ask for it in size 9. The kid will look again, more carefully. He’ll look at me long and hard. Size 9, I’ll repeat while I clutch the webbed shoe. He’ll shake his head and go to the back for them, and by the time he returns I’m peeling off my socks. I’ll roll my pants legs up and look down at those decrepit things, my feet, and an awkward moment will pass until it becomes clear that I’m waiting for him to slip the booties onto them. I never actually buy. All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen.”
— The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
1:40 am • 15 October 2011 • 1 note
“That is part of the beauty of literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
5:24 am • 14 October 2011 • 13 notes
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
I just finished it today. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. As far as my list of favorites go, it’s up there with Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Hemingway’s Sun Also Rises and Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury. Not that these books have a lot in common, except being my favorites. But I digress.
Check this one out. It’s definitely worth the read.
2:12 am • 14 October 2011
I finished On the Road almost a month ago, and I have plenty of quotes in mind to post, if I can ever find the time to do it. I have also read several other books (both on and off the list) and have quotes for those:
- Maggie Cassidy (Jack Kerouac)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer)
I’m currently in the process of reading:
- Big Sur (Jack Kerouac)
- The History of Love (Nicole Krauss)
Eventually, I’d like to get around to posting quotes from all of these, since they’re all excellent reading choices (even though On the Road is the only one from the official list). I’d suggest any of them for pleasure reading.
Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Krauss’s The History of Love are my favorites of these, with Maggie Cassidy placing fairly high as well. Big Sur has some really beautiful moments. I’m not a huge fan of On the Road, but it’s also a decent read.
3:53 pm • 12 October 2011 • 1 note
“Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”
— To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (via the-final-sentence)
9:48 am • 16 September 2011 • 105 notes
“‘There’s just so much to do right here.’”
— The Phantom Tollbooth
7:10 pm • 11 September 2011 • 58 notes