Tag: pub date

Best Quotes from ‘Her Body and Other Parties’

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado was published on this day, October 3rd, three years ago. It was short listed for the National Book Prize in 2017 and for the National Dylan Thomas Prize in 2018.

In this collection of short stories a wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck, a woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth, a salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about a store’s dresses, one woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest, and in one specially clever short story, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Amazon.com: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories (9781555977887): Machado, Carmen Maria: Books

image via amazon

 

Here are some of the best quotes from this otherworldly work of fiction:

“Many people live and die without ever confronting themselves in the darkness.”

What if you colonize your own mind and when you get inside, the furniture is attached to the ceiling? What if you step inside and when you touch the furniture, you realize it’s all just cardboard cutouts and it all collapses beneath the pressure of your finger? What if you get inside and there’s no furniture? What if you get inside and it’s just you in there, sitting in a chair, rolling figs and eggs around in the basked of your lap and humming a little tune? What if you get inside and there’s nothing there, and then the door hatch closes and locks?

What is worse: being locked outside of your own mind, or being locked inside of it? What is worse: writing a Trope or being one? What about being more that one?

“Stories can sense happiness and snuff it out like a candle.”

No one knows what causes it. It’s not passed in the air. It’s not sexually transmitted. It’s not a virus or a bacteria, or if it is, it’s nothing scientists have been able to find. At first everyone blamed the fashion industry, then the millennials, and, finally, the water. But the water’s been tested, the millennials aren’t the only ones going incorporeal, and it doesn’t do the fashion industry any good to have women fading away. You can’t put clothes on air. Not that they haven’t tried.

“They are talking about how we can’t trust the faded women, women who can’t be touched but can stand on the earth, which means they must be lying about something, they must be deceiving us somehow.”

‘It is my right to reside in my own mind. It is my right,’ I said. ‘It is my right to be unsociable and it is my right to be unpleasant to be around. Do you ever listen to yourself? This is crazy, that is crazy, everything is crazy to you. By whose measure? Well, it is my right to be crazy, as you love to say so much. I have no shame. I have felt many things in my life, but shame is not among them.

“I believe in a world where impossible things happen. Where love can outstrip brutality, can neutralize it, as though it never was, or transform it into something new and more beautiful. Where love can outdo nature.”

I will look where her eyes would be. I will open my mouth to ask but then realize the question has answered itself: by loving me when I did not love her, by being abandoned by me, she has become immortal. She will outlive me by a hundred million years; more, even. She will outlive my daughter, and my daughter’s daughter, and the earth will teem with her and her kind, their inscrutable forms and unknowable destinies.

“As a grown woman, I would have said to my father that there are true things in this world observed only by a single set of eyes.”

Featured image via npr

Best Quotes from ‘Kafka on the Shore’

On September 12th, eighteen years ago, the novel Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami was published. Today, we celebrate with some of the best quotes from this acclaimed work of fiction.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

image via goodreads

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That’s the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won’t make time stand still.

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”

Most things are forgotten over time. Even the war itself, the life-and-death struggle people went through is now like something from the distant past. We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

When I open them, most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out between the pages – a special odor of the knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers. Breathing it in, I glance through a few pages before returning each book to its shelf.

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”

In everything, there’s a proper order. You can’t look too far ahead. Do that and you’ll lose sight of what you’re doing and stumble. You’ve got to look ahead a bit or else you’ll bump into something. You’ve got to follow the proper order and at the same time keep an eye out for what’s ahead. That’s critical, no matter what you’re doing.

“What I think is this: You should give up looking for lost cats and start searching for the other half of your shadow.”

But this is something you have to figure out on your own. Nobody can help you. That’s what love is all about. You’re the one having those wonderful feelings but you have to go it alone as you wander through the dark. Your mind and body have to bear it all. All by yourself.

“Intolerant narrow minds with no imagination are like parasites that transform the host, change form, and continue to thrive.”

Everyone of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part what it means to be alive. But inside our heads, there’s a room where we store those memories. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while, let in fresh air, change the water in flower bases. In other words, you’ll live life in your own private library.

About Kafka on the Shore: 

Comprising two distinct but interrelated plots, the narrative runs back and forth between both plots, taking up each plotline in alternating chapters.

Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.

featured images via goodreads and the new york times