Janet Fitch’s “White Oleander” Quotes (86 Quotes)


    Her hatred glittered irresistibly. I could see it, the jewel, it was sapphire, it was the cold lakes of Norway.

    I felt like time was a great sea, and I was floating on the back of a turtle, and no sails broke the horizon.

    In a perverse way, I was glad for the stitches, glad it would show, that there would be scars. What was the point in just being hurt on the inside? It should bloody well show.




    Her voice made me drunk, deep and sun-warmed, a hint of a foreign accent, Swedish singsong a generation removed.

    I felt suddenly cruel, like I´d told dmall children there was no tooth fairy, that it was just their Mom sneaking into their room after they went to bed.

    Isn't it funny.I'm enjoying my hatred so much more than i ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you, changes its mind. But hatred, now, that's something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It's hard, or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but Hatred cradles you.

    Reading LOVE JUNKIE is like watching a sleepwalker taking a stroll on a freeway. All you can do is pray. Gorgeously written, piercingly honest.


    His voice was cloves and nightingales, it took us to spice markets in the Celebs, we drifted with him on a houseboat beyond the Coral Sea. We were like cobras following a reed flute.

    I imagined Kandinsky's mind, spread out all over the world, and then gathered together. Everyone having only a piece of the puzzle. Only in a show like this could you see the complete picture, stack the pieces up, hold them to the light, see how it all fit together. It made me hopeful, like someday my life would make sense too, if I could just hold all the pieces together at the same time.


    She cut a small piece of the gravalax and put it on a piece of black bread, daintily spooned a bit of dill sauce onto it, and ate it like it was the last piece of food in the world. I tried to imitate her, eating so slowly, tasting the raw pink fish and the coarse, sour bread, salt and sugar around the rind, flavors and scents like colors on a palette, like the tones in music.

    We parked in back and walked down the stairs with their polished brass railings, past the old-fashioned kitchen. We could see the chefs cooking. It smelled like stew, or meat loaf, the way time should smell, solid and nourishing.


    I nodded. A man's world. But what did it mean? That men whistled and stared and yelled things at you, and you had to take it, or you get raped or beat up? A man's world meant places men could go but not women. It meant they had more money,and didn't have kids, not the way women did, to look after every second. And it meant that women loved them more than they loved the women, that they could want something with all their hearts, and then not.



    We recived our colouring from the Norsemen,hairy savages who hacked their gods to pieces and hung the flesh from trees.We are the ones who sacked Rome.Fear only feeble old age and death in bed.Don't forget who you are.


    I thought how tenuous the links were between mother and children between friends family things you think are eternal. Everything could be lost more easily than anyone could imagine.


    She was a beautiful woman dragging a crippled foot and I was that foot. I was bricks sewn into the hem of her clothes, I was a steel dress


    How easy I was. Like a limpet I attached myself to anything, anyone who showed me the least attention.

    I thought of my mother as Queen Christina, cool and sad, eyes trained on some distant horizon. That was where she belonged, in furs and palaces of rare treasures, fireplaces large enough to roast a reindeer, ships of Swedish maple.





    I took the volume to a table, opened its soft, ivory pages... and fell into it as into a pool during dry season.

    Let me tell you a few things about regret...There is no end to it. You cannot find the beginning of the chain that brought us from there to here. Should you regret the whole chain, and the air in between, or each link separately as if you could uncouple them? Do you regret the beginning which ended so badly, or just the ending itself?

    She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.

    What was the point in such loneliness among people. At least if you were by yourself, you had a good reason to be lonely.

    How vast was a human being's capacity for suffering. The only thing you could do was stand in awe of it. It wasn't a question of survival at all. It was the fullness of it, how much could you hold, how much could you care.

    I understood why she did it. At that moment I knew why people tagged graffiti on the walls of neat little houses and scratched the paint on new cars and beat up well-tended children. It was only natural to want to destroy something you could never have.


    She would buy magic every day of the week. Love me, that face said. I'm so lonely, so desperate. I'll give you whatever you want.


    I almost said, you're not broken, you're just going through something. But i couldn't. She knew. There was something terribly wrong with her, all the way inside. She was like a big diamond with a dead spot in the middle. I was supposed to breathe life into that dead spot, but it hadn't worked...

    I wandered through the stacks, running my hands along the spines of the books on the shelves, they reminded me of cultured or opinionated guests at a wonderful party, whispering to each other.





    I was always mortified.Didn't they know they were tying thier mothers to the ground? Weren't chains ashamed of their prisoners?


    The cake had a trick candle that wouldn't go out, so I didn't get my wish. Which was just that it would always be like this, that my life could be a party just for me.

    Who was I, really? I was the sole occupant of my mother's totalitarian state, my own personal history rewritten to fit the story she was telling that day. There were so many missing pieces. I was starting to find some of them, working my way upriver, collecting a secret cache of broken memories in a shoebox.


    More Janet Fitch Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Time - Mind - Life - Thought & Thinking - Beauty - World - Love - Woman - Sadness - Past - People - God - Man - Attention - Sleep - Fear - Literature - Running - Error & Mistake - View All Janet Fitch Quotations

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