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.'

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Susan Sontag, The Complete Rolling Stone Interview

‘I’ve managed to convince myself that I was at least co-responsible for bad things that have happened to me, because it actually make me feel stronger and makes me feel that things could perhaps be different. […] But there is a point […] where these notions become delusions.’

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means

‘Among the five top-floor members only Selina Redwood and Anne Barberton could manage to wriggle through the lavatory window, and Anne only managed it naked, having made her body slippery with margarine. After the first attempt, when she had twisted her ankle on the downward leap and grazed her skin on the return clamber, Anne said she would in future use her soap ration to facilitate the exit.'

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gillian Rose, Love's Work

‘However satisfying writing is - that mixture of discipline and miracle, which leaves you in control, even when what appears on the page has emerged from regions beyond your control - it is a very poor substitute indeed for the joy and the agony of loving.'

Geoff Dyer, The Ongoing Moment

'With the bar set so high I was free to walk right under it.'