Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

‘It was almost as unnecessary to cultivate doubt of one’s self as to cultivate doubt of one’s best friend: one should try to be one’s own best friend and to give one’s self, in this manner, distinguished company.'

Adam Phillips, Houdini's Box

‘The convinced are in flight from the experimental nature of wanting, from the fact that you can only find out what you want by trying to get it, and in the process you may find something else that you didn’t know you wanted. The unsure are in flight from action on inclination, from following the compass of their excitement.'

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sarah Waters, Affinity

'The spirit-medium’s proper home is neither this world nor the next, but that vague & debatable land which lies between them.'

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary

‘Nobody shall say of me that I have not known perfect happiness, but few could put their finger on the moment, or say what made it.'

‘We pour to the edge of a precipice... and then?'

Deborah Levy, Black Vodka

‘I hope a robot boy will find this document and correct my spelling mistakes with his silver fingers. Although he will look nothing like me, he too will be a son without a mother, his eyes open all night long.’

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

'It was impossible to believe that someone did not want to be saved from their incoherence.'

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Judith Butler, Precarious Life

'Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something.'

Joanna Walsh, Vertigo

'Mother is where we put things we don’t like.'

Sianne Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categoires: Zany, Cute, Interesting

‘The commodity’s irresolvable split between phenomenon and fungibility thus provides the best explanation of why cuteness activates both our empathy and aversion.’

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

‘Tears and snot and saliva were pouring out of the holes in his face. Without a shot being fired his face had five holes in it. Holes for breathing, looking, eating. Everyone was gazing in his direction but what he saw was a blur. They were a mob full of holes just like him.’

Joanna Walsh, Hotel

'I can leave. No one's stopping me. That’s the difficult thing. No one’s stopping me from doing anything. But it’s so difficult to lack all obstacles.
I must learn to live without the hope of serving, of being served. 
I must learn to live without hope. 
(This is not as hopeless as it sounds.)'

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

John Williams, Stoner

'The love of literature, of language, of the mystery of the mind and heart showing themselves in the minute, strange, and unexpected combinations of letters and words, in the blackest and coldest print - the love which he had hidden as if it were illicit and dangerous, he began to display, tentatively at first, and then boldly, and then proudly.'

Alice Lyons, The Breadbasket of Europe

words are jellies
our mouths warm

words are ice floes
melting steadily

we go out on them anyhow

Ben Marcus, The Age of Wire and String


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tom McCarthy, C

'Serge can feel this love, too, not in some abstract way but literally… see it as well, materialised in the camphor and the thread, the branches and the feathers, the gold filigree and, most of all, the black typewriter ribbons. It’s in the texture of the air, which has a crinkled feel, like crêpe.’

Geoff Dyer, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

‘For the one thing celebrities are not free to do is to look. The sunglasses they are obliged to hide behind are the symbolic expression of the blindness to which they are condemned by always being looked at.'

Sam Riviere, Kim Kardashian's Marriage

'When you ride in the wave, we come back forever dazzled.' ('grave sunglasses')

Georges Simenon, A Man's Head

'The first person he saw as he pushed the door open was Inspector Javier, who, like all rookies, thought he could convey a casual air by hiding three-quarters of his person behind an open newspaper without ever turning the pages.'

Sam Riviere, 81 Austerities

'sort of chronically depleted noisecore'

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Stephen Grosz, The Examined life

‘My experience is that closure is an extraordinarily compelling fantasy of mourning.’

Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

I feel I can give you everything without giving myself away, I whispered in your basement bed. If one does one’s solitude right, this is the prize.’

Maggie Nelson, The Art of Cruelty

‘The spectre of our eventual “becoming object” - of our (live) flesh one day turning into (dead) meat - is a shadow that accompanies us throughout our lives.’