Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quotes from Madness, Rack, and Honey

Haven't done one of these in a while, but there's a few moments from this latest book I want to keep and may as well share them with the Internet:

"I have flipped through books, reading hundreds of opening and closing lines, across ages, across cultures, across aesthetic schools, and I have discovered that first lines are remarkably similar, even repeated, and that last lines are remarkably similar, even repeated. ... in poem after poem I encountered words that mark the first something made out of language that we hear as children repeated night after night, like a refrain: I love you. I am here with you. Don't be afraid. Go to sleep now. And I encountered words that mark the last something made out of language that we hope to hear on earth: I love you. You are not alone. Don't be afraid. Go to sleep now." -- p. 8-9

"Like the aircraft used for the lunar launches, good books only look heavy and slow: their speed depends on their internal engines and where they are pointed." -- p.18

" ... like the monk who discovered champagne -- an accidental event that unexpectedly happened to his wine -- I have on occasion come running with open arms toward another with the news, 'Look! I am drinking the stars!'" -- p. 101

"When I was twenty-two I sent two postcards to two friends in Mexico, which they never received. The postcards were photographs from the American Civil War -- the dead bodies of soldiers strewn across a battlefield -- and though I no longer remember what the messages were, I have always thought twice about the fact that they ended up in the office of dead letters, that remote and obscure place of absolute silence, which for me is a more accurate description of hell than a writhing inferno of animated anguish." -- p. 200-201

"Irreverence usually hides an unnatural obsession with what is revered. He who doubts wants to be believed, he who hides wants to be found. He who curses with regularity uses God's name as often as one who prays." -- p.221

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