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Howard Norman quotes (showing 1-12 of 12)

“Friendship is provisional, you have to keep earning it, back and forth, give the gift that's only each other's to give”
Howard Norman
“What good is intelligence,' Akutagawa asked, 'if you can't ever discover a useful melancholy?”
Howard Norman
“Everything I loved most happened most every day.”
Howard Norman, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place
“In The Highland Book of Platitudes, Marlais, there's an entry that reads, "Not all ghosts earn our memory in equal measure." I think about this sometimes. I think especially about the word "earn," because it implies an ongoing willful effort on the part of the dead, so that if you believe the platitude, you have to believe in the afterlife, don't you? Following that line of thought, there seem to be certain people—call them ghosts—with the ability to insinuate themselves into your life with more belligerence and exactitude than others—it's their employment and expertise.”
Howard Norman, What Is Left the Daughter
“Anyway, who in their right mind would ever say a person was supposed to be happy? In your life happiness is either cut to your length or isn't.”
Howard Norman
“I can only repeat what I say to myself day and night: I expect nothing, yet life keeps taking unexpected turns.”
Howard Norman, The Museum Guard: A Novel
“When I returned, I never once walked past the house where my mother, aunt, and I lved together...It was as if the past would judge me. The house would judge me. That merely looking at it would somehow cause me to calibrate my life, and in all aspects of usefulness I would come up short.”
Howard Norman, The Haunting of L
“I have always thought a person needs to constantly refine the capacity to suspend disbelief in order to keep emotions organized and not suffer debilitating confusion, and I mean just toward the things of daily life. I suppose this admits to a desperate sort of pragmatism. Still, it works for me. What human heart isn’t in extremis?”
Howard Norman, Next Life Might Be Kinder
“Yet I murdered the lighthouse keeper, Botho August, and that is an equal part of how I think about myself.”
Howard Norman, The Bird Artist
“Yasunari Kawabata wrote: “When speaking of those who take their own lives, it is always most dignified to use silence or at least restrained language, for the ones left most vulnerable and most deeply hurt by such an occurrence can feel oppressed by the louder assertions of understanding, wisdom and depth of remorse foisted upon them by others. One must ask: Who is best served by speculation? Who is really able to comprehend? Perhaps we must, as human beings, continue to try and comprehend, but we will fall short. And the falling short will deepen our sense of emptiness.”
Howard Norman, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place
“I didn’t know you could break your finger just hanging up clothes. God Almighty, you situate your hand wrong between a blouse and a clothespin and everything suddenly changes. What a stupid life this is.” “Did”
Howard Norman, The Bird Artist
“I NOTICE THAT IT TAKES PRACTICE, NO MATTER HOW CLEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ARE. PLUS WHICH THIS IS A LETTER”
Howard Norman, The Bird Artist


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The Bird Artist The Bird Artist
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I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place
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The Museum Guard The Museum Guard
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