“It should have been a religious story, but it’s puritanical. I feel your censure on all his God-damns. That seems off to me. What is it now but a low form of prayer when he or Les or anybody else God-damns anything? I can’t believe God recognizes any form of blasphemy. It’s a prissy word invented by the clergy.”—from Salinger’s Seymour: An Introduction
“I threw off the sheets and stumbled across the floor, banging into a table leg. HELLO? I shouted into the phone, but the line was dead. I hung up, went to the kitchen, and took a glass down from the cabinet. The water gurgled from the pipes and spattered out in a burst. I drank some down and then remembered my plant. I’ve had it for almost ten years. It’s barely alive, but it is alive. More brown than green. There are parts that have withered. But still it lives, always leaning to the left. Even when I rotate it so that what faced the sun no longer faces the sun, it stubbornly leans to the left, choosing against physical need in favor of an act of creativity. I poured the rest of my water into its pot. What does it mean, anyway, to flourish?”—from the history of love by nicole krauss
“How angels sleep: Soundly.
They toss and turn to understand the mystery of Living. They know so little about what its like to fill a prescription for glasses and suddenly see the world again, with a mixture of disappointment and gratitude. The first time a girl named Alma put her hand below your rib: about this feeling, they have only theories, but no solid ideas. If you give them a snow globe, they might not even know enough to shake it.
Also, they don’t dream. For this reason, they have less to talk about. In a backward way, when they wake up, they feel as if there is something they are forgetting to tell each other. There is disagreement among the angels to whether this is a result of something vestigal, or whether it is the result of empathy they feel for the living, so powerful it sometimes makes them weep. In general, they fall into these two camps on the subject of dreams. Even among the angels, there is the sadness of division.”—from the history of love by nicole krauss
“His features were extremely illuminating when he chose, and he could express anything and everything; but when he was at rest he used to look like an idiot. One day when I chaffed him about it, he replied that the important thing in this world was to never look like what one was. He was not content merely being though humble— he wanted to be thought stupid. It amused him to say that what is fatal to most people is that they prefer parade to drill and won’t hide their talents, but he didn’t say it to anyone but me.”—from lafcadio’s adventures by andré gide
“Eréndira was living in her shadows and discovering other forms of beauty and horror that she had never imagined in the narrow world of her bed, but neither the coarsest nor most persuasive of the novices had managed to get her to say a word since they had taken her to the mission. One morning, while she was preparing the whitewash in her bucket, she heard a string of music that was like a light even more diaphonous than the light of the desert. Captivated by the miracle, she peeoped into an immense and empty salon with bare walls and large windows through which the dazzling blue light poured and remained still, and in the center of the room she saw a very beautiful nun whom she had never seen before playing an Easter oratorio on the clavichord. Eréndira listened to the music without blinking, her heart hanging by a thread, until the lunch bell rang. After eating, while she whitewashed the stairs with her reed brush, she waited until all the novices had finished going up and coming down, and she was alone, with no one to hear her, and then she spoke for the first time since she had entered the mission.
“I’m happy,” she said.”—gabriel garcía márquez, innocent eréndira
“To wit, we don’t yearn for the road because of the road itself. We yearn for the road because of how we remember it making us feel.”—j crosby for aquarium drunkard, reviewing roadside graves’ my son’s home