Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Keep

"When he first came to New York, he and his friends tried to find a name for the relationship they craved between themselves and the universe. But the English language came up short: perspective, vision, knowledge, wisdom those words were all too heavy or too light. So Danny and his friends made up a name: alto. True alto worked two ways: you saw but also you could be seen, you knew and you were known. Two-way recognition."

The Keep, p. 6
By Jennifer Egan
Published 2006

Sunday, May 22, 2011


"Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why."

Slaughterhouse-Five, pp. 76-77
By Kurt Vonnegut
Published 1969

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Bell Jar

"The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn't hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me."

The Bell Jar, pp. 18-19
By Sylvia Plath
Published 1963

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


"This group thing, I said, it's very strong. It's probably an instinct. You find it everywhere, from little groups like families to big ones like a town or school, to really big ones like a whole country. How about really, really big ones, she said, like a planet? Whatever, I said. The point is, in a group everybody acts pretty much the same, that's kind of how the group holds itself together. Everybody? she said. Well, mostly, I said. That's what jails and mental hospitals are for, to keep it that way. You think I should be in jail? she said. I think you should try to be more like the rest of us, I said.
Why? she said.
Because, I said."

Stargirl, p. 137
By Jerry Spinelli
Published 2000

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Before the War with the Eskimos

"'I never in my life would've thought you could be so small about anything,'" said Selena, who was just angry enough to use the word "small" but not quite brave enough to emphasize it."

Just Before the War with the Eskimos from Nine Stories, p. 42
By J.D. Salinger
Published 1953

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Virgin Suicides

"We could never understand why the girls cared so much about being mature, or why they felt compelled to compliment each other, but sometimes, after one of us had read a long portion of the diary out loud, we had to fight back the urge to hug one another and to tell each other how pretty we were. We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together."

The Virgin Suicides, p. 43
By Jeffrey Eugenides
Published 1993