Jeffrey Eugenides Quotes (99 Quotes)


    Everyone struggles against despair, but it always wins in the end. It has to. It's the thing that lets us say goodbye.

    My change from girl to boy was far less dramatic than the distance anybody travels from infancy to adulthood.

    The only way we know it's true is that we both dreamed it. That's what reality is. It's a dream everyone has together.


    The following doodle: a girl with pigtails is bent under the weight of a gigantic boulder. Her cheeks puff out, and her rounded lips expel steam. One widening steam cloud contains the word Pressure, darkly retraced.


    He was filled with embarrassment: embarrassment for the human race, its preoccupation with money, it love of swindle.

    My grandfather's short employ at the Ford Motor Company marked the only time any Stephanides has ever worked in the automotive industry. Instead of cars, we could become manufacturers of hamburger platters and Greek salads, industrialists of spanakopita and grilled cheese sandwiches, technocrats of rice pudding and banana cream pie. Our assembly line was the grill; our heavy machinery, the soda fountain.



    The girls took into their own hands decisions better left to God. They became too powerful to live among us, too self-concerned, too visionary, too blind.


    He was like a statue being chiseled away from the inside, hollowed out. As more and more of his thoughts gave him pain, Milton had increasingly avoided them. Instead he concentrated on the few that made him feel better, the bromides about everything working out. Milton, quite simply, had ceased to think things through.

    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 that was in the days when they expected perils to come from without, and nothing made less sense by that time than a survival room buried in a house itself becoming one big coffin.



    Her father was about to have a heart attack, and my memories of her are now tinged with a blue wash of misfortune that hadn't quite befallen her at the time. She was standing bare-legged in the jungly weeds that grew up between our houses. Her skin was already beginning to react to the grass cuttings stuck to the ball, whose sogginess was suddenly explained by the overweight Labrador who now limped into view.

    Now all the mute objects of my life seem to tell my story, to stretch back in time, if I look closely enough.

    There have been hermaphrodites around forever, Cal. Forever. Plato said that the original human being was a hermaphrodite. Did you know that? The original person was two halves, one male, one female. Then these got separated. That's why everybody's always searching for their other half. Except for us. We've got both halves already.

    He hadn't suffered the eternity of the ring about to be picked up, didn't know the heart rush of hearing that incomparable voice suddenly linked with his own, the sense it gave of being too close to even see her, of being actually inside her ear.



    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.

    Her eyes watered and she was a foot taller than any of her sisters, mostly because of the length of her neck which would one day hang from the end of a rope


    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.


    More Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Time - Life - Facts - Mind - Death & Dying - World - Love - Wisdom & Knowledge - Money & Wealth - 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

    Related Authors


    Paulo Coelho - Umberto Eco - Salman Rushdie - Miguel de Cervantes - Maxim Gorky - Mario Puzo - Katherine Dunn - J. D. Salinger - Emily Bronte - Alistair Maclean


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