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Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (18)

Mother Nature wants this but cannot direct us openly, because at that time of life we haven’t the slightest thought of children, so she induces us to believe that our wife will also bring about a renewal of ourselves: a curious illusion not confirmed by any text. In fact, we live then, one beside the…

The Moviegoer: quotes (20)

It is my mother’s way to see life, past and present, in terms of a standard comic exaggeration. If she had spent four years in Buchenwald, she would recollect it so: “So I said to him: listen, Mister, if you think I’m going to eat this stuff, you’ve got another think coming.” . . .…

A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (19)

He noticed with interest that the old woman was beginning to nod at her desk. Working conditions looked wonderful. “I have a valve which is subject to vicissitudes which may force me to lie abed on certain days. Several more attractive organizations are currently vying for my services. I must consider them first.” “Mrs. Levy…

Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (17)

IN THE MIND of a young man from a middle-class family, the concept of human life is associated with that of a career, and in early youth the career is that of Napoleon I. This is not to say that the young man dreams of becoming emperor, for you can remain at a much lower…

The Moviegoer: quotes (19)

A good rotation. A rotation I define as the experiencing of the new beyond the expectation of the experiencing of the new. For example, taking one’s first trip to Taxco would not be a rotation, or no more than a very ordinary rotation; but getting lost on the way and discovering a hidden valley would…

Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (16)

I returned to the religion of my childhood and remained there for a long time. I imagined that my father heard me and I could tell him that the fault had been not mine but the doctor’s. The lie was of no importance because now he understood everything, and so did I. And for quite…

The Moviegoer: quotes (18)

Sometimes when she mentions God, it strikes me that my mother uses him as but one of the devices that come to hand in an outrageous man’s world, to be put to work like all the rest in the one enterprise she has any use for: the canny management of the shocks of life. It…

Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (15)

With great, ominously calm severity, he replied: “I explained to you the state of our knowledge at that instant. But who can say what may happen by tomorrow, or in half an hour’s time? By keeping your father alive, I have left the door open to all possibilities.” Then he put on his glasses, and…

The Moviegoer: quotes (17)

Yet loves revives as we spin homewards along the coast through the early evening. Joy and sadness come by turns, I know now. Beauty and bravery make you sad, Sharon’s beauty and my aunt’s bravery, and victory breaks your heart. But life goes on and on we go, spinning along the coast in a violet…