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.
The Statue of Liberty's gender changed nothing. It was the same here as anywhere: men and their wars.
The seeds of death get lost in the mess that God made us.
Just like ice, lives crack, too. Personalities. Identities. Jimmy Zizmo, crouching over the Packard's wheel has already changed past understanding.
You used to be able to tell a person's nationality by the face. Immigration ended that. Next you discerned nationality via the footwear. Globalization ended that.
Winter is the season of alcoholism and despair.
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.
Regret, already sogging me down, burst its dam. It seeped into my legs, it pooled in my heart.
I saw the movie, he said. I know what it's about. Listen to this. When girls get to be about twelve or so - he leaned toward us - their tits bleed.
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.
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.
The time has to be right and the heart willing.
Lefty, who'd been observing all the ways Greece had been handed down to America, arrived now at where the transmission stopped. In other words: the future. He stepped off to meet it. Desdemona, having no alternative, followed.
Added to their loveliness was a new mysterious suffering, perfectly silent, visible in the blue puffiness beneath their eyes or the way they would sometimes stop in mid-stride, look down, and shake their heads as though disagreeing with life.
You don't understand me. I'm a teenager. I've got problems!
Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.
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.
In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name.
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.
There is no evidence against genetic determinism more persuasive than the children of the rich.
The world, a tired performer, offers us another half-assed season.
Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling.
All sixteen mentioned her jutting ribs, the insubstantiality of her thighs, and one, who went up to the roof with Lux during a warm winter rain, told us how the basins of her collarbones collected water.
You never get over it. But you get to where it doesn't bother you so much.
But in 1922 it was still a new thing to be a machine.
She understood that her heart operated on its own instructions, that she had no control over it or, indeed, anything else.
In the end, it wasn't death that surprised her but the stubbornness of life.
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.
The zipper opened all the way down our spines.
More Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations (Based on Topics)
Time - Life - Death & Dying - Facts - Mind - Wisdom & Knowledge - Money & Wealth - World - Love - Suffering - Emotions - Sense & Perception - Happiness - Water - Language - Morning - Fathers - Light - Sisters - View All Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations
More Jeffrey Eugenides Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Virgin Suicides
Leo Tolstoy - V. S. Naipaul - Umberto Eco - Sidney Sheldon - Naguib Mahfouz - Louisa May Alcott - Katherine Dunn - Elizabeth Gilbert - Anne Bronte - Alexander Dumas