|John Irving - The World According To Garp |
[noticing scantily clad prostitutes]
Jenny Fields: Is that the latest fashion?
T. S. Garp: No, Mom, that's the oldest profession.
Walt : Daddy what's gradual school?
T. S. Garp: What?
Walt: Gradual school. Mommy say's she teaches at gradual school.
T. S. Garp: Oh Gradual school is where you go to school and you
gradually find out you don't want to go to school anymore.
'In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me'
'It is an important distinction to note that she looked not only as if she had taken good care of herself, but that she had good reason to have done so. (...) She looked to be in such total possession of her life that only the most confident men could continue to look at her if she looked back at them. Even in bus stations, she was a woman who was stared at only until she looked back.'
Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper.
You can also read this short story online *here*
|'There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will.|
Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day.
It is always the same shape, only very numerous.
And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!'
'I don’t like to look out of the windows even—there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did?'
'I made no more protests. What was the use of struggling against fate.'
'And what thoughts or memories, would you guess, were passing through my mind on this extraordinary occasion? Was I thinking of the Sibyl's prophecy, of the omen of the wolf-cub, of Pollio's advice, or of Briseis's dream? Of my grandfather and liberty? Of my grandfather and liberty? Of my three Imperial predecessors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, their lives and deaths? Of the great danger I was still in from the conspirators, and from the Senate, and from the Gaurds battalions at the Camp? Of Messalina and our unborn child? Of my grandmother Livia and my promise to deify her if I ever became Emperor? Of Postumus and Germanicus? Of Agrippina and Nero? Of Camilla? No, you would never guess what was passing through my mind. But I shall be frank and tell you what it was, though the confession is a shameful one. I was thinking, 'So, I'm Emperor, am I? What nonsense! But at least I'll be able to make people read my books now. Public recitals to large audiences. And good books too, thirty-five years' hard work in them. It wont be unfair. Pollio used to get attentive audiences by giving expensive dinners. He was a very sound historian, and the last of the Romans. My history of Carthage is full of amusing anecdotes. I'm sure that they'll enjoy it.'
“When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time -- the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes -- when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever -- there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”
“I will tell you what is my overriding perception of the last twenty years: that we are a civilization careening toward a succession of anticlimaxes – toward an infinity of unsatisfying, and disagreeable endings. ”
“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
“A small but noteworthy note. I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”
“I am haunted by humans.”
“A DEFINITION NOT FOUND
IN THE DICTIONARY
Not leaving: an act of trust and love,
often deciphered by children”