Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jamie Quatro, I Want to Show You More

Lydia Davis, Can't and Won't

'This morning, the bowl of hot cooked cornmeal, set under a transparent plate and left there, has covered the underside of the plate with droplets of condensation: it, too, is taking action in its own little way.'

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time. Vol 1: The Way by Swann's

‘But, when nothing subsists of an old past, after the death of people, after the destruction of things, alone, frailer but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, smell and taste still remain for a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, on the ruin of all the rest, bearing without giving way, on their almost impalpable droplet, the immense edifice of memory.'

Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Edward St Aubyn, At Last

‘Metaphor is the whole problem, the solvent of nightmares. At the molten heart of things everything resembles everything else: that’s the horror.'

Monday, June 08, 2015

Thomas Docherty, Universities at War

‘Anyone who predicts outcomes cannot, ethically, be a teacher at all.’

Edward St Aubyn, Mother's Milk

‘Nobody ever died of a feeling, he would say to himself, not believing a word of it, as he sweated his way though the feeling that he was dying of fear. People died of feelings all the time, once they had one through the formality of materialising them into bullets and bottles and tumours.'

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Marion Coutts, The Iceberg

'Intimacy is not simple. It is made.'

Edward St Aubyn, Some Hope

'Only when he could hold in balance his hatred and his stunted love, looking on his father with neither pity nor terror but as another human being who had not handled his personality especially well; only when he could live with the ambivalence of never forgiving his father for his crimes but allowing himself to be touched by the unhappiness that had produced them as well as the unhappiness they had produced, could he be released, perhaps, into a new life that would enable him to live instead of merely surviving. He might even enjoy himself.'

Edward St Aubyn, Bad news

'Patrick looked down the avenue. It was like the opening shot of a documentary on overpopulation. He walked down the street, imaging the severed heads of passers-by rolling into the gutter in his wake.'

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Edward St Aubyn, Never Mind

'She imagined vodka poured over ice and all the cubes that had been frosted turning clear and collapsing in the glass and the ice cracking, like a spine in the hands of a confident osteopath. All the sticky, awkward cubes of ice floating together, tinkling their frost thrown off to the side of the glass, and the vodka cold and unctuous in her mouth.'

Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr Ripley

'He had always thought he had the world's dullest face, a thoroughly forgettable face with a look of docility that he could not understand, and a look also of vague fright that he had never been able to erase. A real conformist's face, he thought. The cap changed all that.’

Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster

'In the car, when they had finally said goodnight to everyone, Nora realized that Phyllis was so drunk that she was almost fully sober.'

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

'It's funny how the colours of the like real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.'

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Georges Simenon, Pietr the Latvian

‘That’ was a senior detective earning 2, 200 francs a months who, when he’d solved a case and put criminals behind bars, had to sit down with paper and pencil and itemise his expenses, clip his receipts and documentation to the claim, and then go and argue it out with accounts!'

Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Death in the Family

'August Strindberg once claimed in his profound, deranged seriousness that the stars in the sky were peepholes in a wall. Occasionally I was reminded of that when observing the endless stream of souls descending the stairs to masturbate in the darkness of the cellar booths as they watched the illuminated screens.’

Tomasz Różycki, Colonies

The road is open to the east. Through closed
eyes and closed mouth a nation of a thousand
elements emigrates, atoms of silicon
and manganese, copper, coal, all that makes

the blood and constitutes the body, pneuma
and neurons, all that crosses skin at night
and passes through the wall, the border, digs
through buried places, searches for a form

-from 'The Road to India'.

Kei Miller, There Is an Anger that Moves

Forgive the old woman who only sees
confusion in the wild
rotations of your head &
the in/out butterfly of your thighs.
She could not imagine how,
in the helicopter swing of red braids,
you were being lifted high.

-from 'For the girl who died by dancing'.

Jenny Erpenbeck, The Old Child and The Book of Words

'If I were made of paper, first my dress would catch fire, then my legs, then my arms, then my head, basically all the parts farthest from the centre, and only then would my stomach start to burn, and the little pink buttons above my heart, and finally the heart itself, the most interior part of me. All these things would turn black and keep flying up into the night as long as they continue to smoulder, and only after the air had cooled them down would they return to earth in a rain of ashes. But I am not made of paper, my mother repeats. Nonetheless she pulls me away any time I want to touch fire, saying: Hot.'