Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex” Quotes (60 Quotes)



    Here it comes, I thought. The first ex-boyfriend had been summoned. Soon the rest would follow. They would file around the table, presenting their deficiencies, telling of their addictions, their cheating hearts... But that didn't happen with Julie. This was because Julie isn't husband-hunting. So she didn't have to interview me for the job.

    Now I've given up any hope of lasting fame or literary perfection. I don't care if I write a great book anymore, but just one which, whatever its flaws, will leave a record of my impossible life.


    After all the screaming in our house, there reigned, that winter on Middlesex, only silence. A silence so profound that, like the left foot of the President's secretary, it erased portions of the official record.


    I climbed the stairs and got back into bed, pulling a pillow over my face to block out the summer light. But there was no hiding from reality that morning.


    There were pencil scrawls and ink stains, dried blood, snack crumbs; and the leather binding itself was secured to the lectern by a chain. Here was a book that contained the collected knowledge of the past while giving evidence of present social conditions...The dictionary contained every word in the English language but the chain knew only a few. It knew thief and steal and, maybe, purloined. The chain spoke of poverty and mistrust and inequality and decadence.

    After the Second World War, San Francisco was the main point of re-entry for sailors returning from the Pacific. Out at sea, many of these sailors had picked up amatory habits that were frowned upon back on dry land. So these sailors stayed in San Francisco . . .


    Planning is for the world's great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency.


    All of a sudden America wasn't about hamburgers and hot rods anymore. It was about the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. It was about something that had happened for two minutes four hundred years ago, instead of everything that had happened since. Instead of everything that was happening now!

    I was beginning to understand something about normality. Normality wasn't normal. It couldn't be. If normality were normal, everybody could leave it alone. They could sit back and let normality manifest itself. But people-and especially doctors- had doubts about normality. They weren't sure normality was up the job. And so they felt inclined to give it a boost.

    Pregnancy humbles husbands. After an initial rush of male pride they quickly recognise the minor role that nature had assigned them in the drama of reproduction.

    Though the weather was cool, the beach at Herringsdorf was dotted with quite a few diehard nudists. Primarily men, they lay walrus-like on towels or boosterously congregated.

    And in some of the houses, people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered. What really mattered in life, what gave it weight, was death.

    I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.


    We Greeks get married in circles, to impress upon ourselves the essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back where you began.


    I'm the final clause in a periodic sentence, and that sentence begins a long time ago, in another language, and you to read it from the beginning to get to the end, which is my arrival.

    She had given birth to me and nursed me and brought me up. She had known me before I knew myself and now she had no say in the matter. Life started out one thing and then suddenly turned a corner and became something else.



    Is there anything as incredible as the love story of your own parents? Anything as hard to grasp as the fact that those two over-the-hill players, permanently on the disabled list, were once in the starting lineup? It's impossible to imagine my father, who in my experience was aroused mainly by the lowering of interest rates, suffering the acute, adolescent passions of the flesh.

    She understood that her heart operated on its own instructions, that she had no control over it or, indeed, anything else.

    When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheads girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing to her color combination, the ginger snaps floating in the milk-white skin, the golden highlights in the strawberry hair. it was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.

    But in the end it wasn't up to me. The bigs things never are. Birth, I mean, and death. And love. And what love bequeaths to us before we're born.



    More Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Time - Life - Facts - Mind - Death & Dying - Wisdom & Knowledge - Money & Wealth - World - Love - Water - Language - Morning - Fathers - Light - Sisters - Hair - Children - War & Peace - Emotions - View All Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations

    More Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Middlesex
    - The Virgin Suicides

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