Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 17

Eros the Bittersweet

In letters as in love, to imagine is to address oneself to what is not.  To write the words ‘I love you’ requires a further, analogous replacement, one that is much more painful in its implication.  Your absence from the syntax of my life is not a fact to be changed by written words. And it is the single fact that makes a difference to the lover, the fact that you and I are not one.  (52)

I would like to grasp why it is that these two activities, falling in love and coming to know, make me feel genuinely alive.  There is something like an electrification in them.  (70)

The innovation of metaphor occurs in this shift of distance from far to near, and it is effected by imagination. A virtuoso act of imagination brings the two things together, sees their incongruence, then sees also a new congruence, meanwhile continuing to recognize the previous incongruence through the new congruence.  Both the ordinary, literal sense and a novel sense are present at once in the words of a metaphor; both the ordinary, descriptive reference, and a novel reference in tension by the metaphor’s way of looking at the world.  (73)

Imagination is the core of desire.  It acts at the core of metaphor.  It is the essential activity of reading and writing.  (77)

To create pleasure and pain at once is the novelist’s aim.  (84)

The words we read and the words we write never say exactly what we mean.  The people we love are never as we desire them.  (104)

Younger by the Day

The urge to commiserate is strong. . . .  Resist the temptation to mirror misery. . . .  There is a fine line here: you want to relate to people, but if you get down to their level, you’re like a doctor who succumbs to the disease he’s supposed to be treating.  (141)

This is the last time I'll be quoting from this book for a while.  It's a strange feeling, knowing that I am not going to be reading this book during my morning reading time.  It's been a year now and I've enjoyed every day of it.  In January I plan to begin reading this book again.  I hope I won't be reading it alone.  I've given copies to several women friends.  A book review will appear in my book review blog on Monday.

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