Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quotes from Blessings by Anna Quindlen

"That stayed with her for years, that sketch drawn in a few simple sentences, that idea of a parallel life that might have been hers," p66

"'Stalking,' she said. 'If you want delphiniums you must keep them stalked.' There were still some things of which she was absolutely certain." p130

"At each light he told her to make a wish. A pony. A pink bicycle. A spaniel puppy. 'That's too many wishes,' Lydia had called across the darkening oval at the center of the string of lights, and her father had called back, 'Ah, Lyds, my love, don't ever say that.'" p148

"She realized that lying was easier than telling the truth because it had such nice smooth edges, not jagged with impossibility and inconvenience the way the truth so often was." p151

"'Mother, that happened almost fifty years ago. It's a little late for you to become exercised about it.' She was right, of course. What a soft patina the passage of time gave to everything, at least once one learned to live in the present." p162

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quotes from The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

"And perhaps we are responsible even for the love we feel for our parents. I envied other students back then who had dissociated themselves from their parents and thus from the entire generation of perpetrators, voyeurs, and the willfully blind, accommodators and acceptors, thereby overcoming perhaps not their shame, but at least their suffering because of the shame. But what gave rise to the swaggering self-righteousness I so often encountered among these students? How could one feel guilt and shame, and at the same time parade one's self-righteousness? Was their dissociation of themselves from their parents mere rhetoric: sounds and noise that were supposed to drown out the fact that their love for their parents made them irrevocably complicit in their crimes?" p171

"I decided to write the story of me and Hanna. Since then I've done it many times in my head, each time a little differently, each time with new images, and new strands of action and thought. Thus there are many different stories in addition to the one I have written. The guarantee that the written one is the right one lies in the fact that I wrote it and not the other versions. The written version wanted to be written, the many others did not." p217