The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt tells the story of 13-year-old Theodore Decker, who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum where his mother is ultimately killed. In the wreck, he finds a small painting called The Goldfinch that he takes with him as he goes to live with wealthy friend. Theo clings to the mysterious painting as it is the only thing that reminds him of his mother, but it also ends up drawing young Theo in the underworld of art.
On this day seven years ago, The Goldfinch won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. On the anniversary of its win, let’s take a look at nine popular quotes from this award winning novel.
1.”Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only – if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things – beautiful things- that they connect you to some larger beauty?”
2. “A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us and what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.”
3. “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
4. “Hard to put things right. You don’t often get that chance. Sometimes all you can do is not get caught.”
5. “‘When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”
6. “We can’t choose what we want and don’t want and that’s the hard lonely truth. Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us. We can’t escape who we are.”
7. “The world won’t come to me… so I must go to it.”
8. “It’s not about outward appearances but inward significance. A grandeur in the world, but not of the world, a grandeur that the world doesn’t understand. That first glimpse of pure otherness, in whose presence you bloom out and out and out.”
9. “Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about it illusion, and yet – for me, anyway – all that’s worth living for lies in that charm?”
feature image via amina’s bookshelf