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Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

8 Jul

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.  – The Bell Jar, Chapter 20

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.  From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.  –The Bell Jar, Chapter 7

There ought, I thought, to be a ritual for being born twice – patched, retreaded and approved for the road.  –The Bell Jar, Chapter 20


On Understanding

11 Apr

He put an arm around me, “I know”, “I know” he said. He didn’t know, of course. Not really. And yet, that was what he said, and I was soothed to hear it. For I know what he meant. We all have our sorrows, and although the exact delineaments, weight, and dimensions of our grief are different for everyone, the color of grief is common to us all. “I know,” he said, because he was human and in a way, he did.

-Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


She had told him that she loved him because she thoroughly understood him, that she knew what he must love and that all that he loved, all of it, was good.

-Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

-Leonardo Da Vinci


I’ve always believed that a great novelist is able to see the entanglements of the human soul better than any psychiatrist.

-Elie Wiesel, Twilight


He smiled understandingly…it faced -or seemed to face- the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistable prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


On Brevity of Encounter

21 Feb

All their intercourse had been made up of just such inarticulate flashes, when they seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods

-Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome



Natures first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf’s a flower
But only so an hour,
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost


The way she touched her hand to her hair, the slight of her straw hat hanging from the window hasp, and many other things in which it had never occured [to him] to look for pleasure now formed the steady current of his happiness.
-Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary


Even if our limited, brief and seemingly
negligible encounter
Is an encounter only in the wasteland
of my ceaseless attempts at
TRUE sexual awakening
You are memorable to me
–Rather our meeting is
–Rather the random and meaningless 20 minutes on stationary bikes we
(I am even wary of using certain pronouns for fear of feeling foolish enough to dignify the interaction with a unifier)
–Rather, even though it was sweaty
and even though my thighs were burning
unrelated- solely due to the bike I assure you.
Even though- any interaction we had is 85% imagined
Even though- there was no “spark” no “connection” no “fireworks” no cliche
No sap to hold us together
For a moment I felt keenly aware of the fact that
You and I
Have unlimited potential to create the beautiful
And how can that
POSSIBLY Be Mundane?

Loving Stories

7 Feb

Here are some great quotes from a book I devoured during Jr. High. It’s a book for the book lover if I ever saw one. A Neverending Story by Michael Ende

“If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, who you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless- if such things have not been part of your experience then you will not understand what Bastian did next.”

“I wonder, he said to himself, what’s in a book when it’s closed. Oh, I know it’s full of letters printed on paper, but all the same something must be happening because as soon as I open it, there’s a whole story with people I don’t know yet and all kinds of deeds, battles and adventures. And sometimes there are storms at sea or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All these things are somehow shut up in a book.”

On Peace

25 Jan

Looking down those highways I understood more clearly than ever what peace meant. In time of peace the world is self-contained. – Antoine De Saint Exupero

The History of Religion (Maps of War)

22 Jan

Why not let people differ in their answers to the great mysteries of the Universe? Let each seek one’s own way to the highest, to one’s own sense of supreme loyalty in life, one’s ideal of life. Let each philosophy, each worldview bring forth its truth and beauty to a larger perspective, that people may grow in vision, stature and dedication. -Algernon Black


21 Jan

[She] had that curious love of green- the sign of a subtle artistic temperment
-Oscar Wilde

Quint Buchholz “Auf Dem Weg Zu Den Buchern”

The poetry of the earth is never dead. -John Keats



but walk fast toward it.
-Markus Zusak
We sail at sunrise daily.
 – Helen Hunt Jackson

The more I think about it the more I realize that there is nothing more artistic than to love others.
-Vincent Van Gogh

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