Latanya Mcqueen > Latanya's Quotes

(showing 1-30 of 33)
« previous 1
sort by

  • #1
    Mary Robison
    “Once more I'm out, at one A.M., in some store trying to purchase bedding plants. The cashier woman says, "They're three for five dollars. You sure you need eight?"
    I"m distracted, looking at this man behind me.
    She ask, "You're sure you want to cut it off at eight?"
    This guy behind me in the checkout lane is wearing a sweater vest and his arms bare. He's waiting with a hundred-dollar bill to pay for Twizzlers and a porterhouse steak.
    Which leads me to look down at my own self.
    Do I know you?" he asks softly.
    No," I say, sighing. "Not in the way you mean.”
    Mary Robison


  • #2
    Jon McGregor
    “He says my daughter, and all the love he has is wrapped up in the tone of his voice when he says those two words, he says my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.
    He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?”
    Jon McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things


  • #3
    Jonathan Franzen
    “She wondered: How could people respond to these images if images didn't secretly enjoy the same status as real things? Not that images were so powerful, but that the world was so weak. It could be read, certainly, in its weakness, as on days when the sun baked fallen apples in orchards and the valley smelled like cider, and cold nights when Jordan had driven Chadds Ford for dinner and the tires of her Chevrolet had crunched on the gravel driveway; but the world was fungible only as images. Nothing got inside the head without becoming pictures.”
    Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections


  • #4
    Virginia Woolf
    “The train slows and lengthens, as we approach London, the centre, and my heart draws out too, in fear, in exaltation. I am about to meet--what? What extraordinary adventure awaits me, among these mail vans, these porters, these swarms of people calling taxis? I feel insignificant, lost, but exultant. With a soft shock we stop. I will let the others get before me. I will sit still one moment before I emerge into that chaos, that tumult. I will not anticipate what is to come. The huge uproar is in my ears. It sounds and resounds under this glass roof like the surge of a sea. We are cast down on the platform with our handbags. We are whirled asunder. My sense of self almost perishes; my contempt. I become drawn in, tossed down, thrown sky-high. I step on to the platform, grasping tightly all that I possess--one bag.”
    Virginia Woolf


  • #5
    Virginia Woolf
    “If I could believe," said Rhoda, "that I should grow old in pursuit and change, I should be rid of my fear: nothing persists. One moment does not lead to another. The door opens and the tiger leaps. You do not see me come...I cannot make one moment merge in the next. To me they are all violent, all separate; and if I fall under the shock of the leap of the moment you will be on me, tearing me to pieces. I have no end in view. I do not know how to run minute to minute, and hour to hour, solving them by some natural force until they make the whole and indivisible mass that you call life. Because you have an end in view--one person, is it, to sit beside, an idea is it, your beauty is it? I do not know--your days and hours pass like the boughs of forest trees and the smooth green of forest rides to a hound running in the scent...
    But since I wish above all things to have lodgment, I pretend, as I go upstairs lagging behind Jinny and Susan, to have an end in view. I pull on my stockings as I see them pull on theirs. I wait for you to speak and then speak like you. I am drawn here across London to a particular spot, to a particular place, not to see you or you or you, but to light my fire at the general blaze of you who love wholly, indivisibly, and without caring in the moment.”
    Virginia Woolf


  • #6
    Virginia Woolf
    “And I will now rock the brown basin from side to side so that my ships may ride the waves. Some will founder. Some will dash themselves against the cliffs. One sails alone. That is my ship. It sails into icy caverns where the sea-bear barks and stalactites swing green chairs. The waves rise, their crests curl; look at the lights on the mastheads. They have scattered, they have foundered, all except my ship which mounts the wave and sweeps before the gale and reaches the islands where the parrots chatter and then the creepers...”
    Virginia Woolf


  • #7
    Donald Barthelme
    “All of us...still believe that the American flag betokens a kind of general righteousness. But I say...that signs are signs and some of them are lies.”
    Donald Barthelme


  • #8
    Blake Butler
    “I thought of my father, alone and elsewhere, his head cradled in his hands. I thought of the day he'd punched a hole straight through the kitchen wall, thinking she'd be tucked away inside. All those places he'd looked and never found. Inside their mattress. In stained-glass windows. How he'd scoured the carpet for her stray hair and strung them all together with a ribbon; how he'd slept with that one lock swathed across his nostrils, hugging a pillow fitted with a nightshirt. How he'd dug up the backyard, stripped and sweating. How he'd played her favorite album on repeat and loud, a lure. How when we took up the carpet in my bedroom to find her, under the carpet was wood. Under the wood there was cracked concrete. Under the concrete there was dirt. Under the dirt there was a cavity of water. I swam down into the water with my nose clenched and lungs burning in my chest but I could not find the bottom and I couldn't see a thing.”
    Blake Butler


  • #9
    Ignácio de Loyola Brandão
    “The photo was published in the majority of Brazilian newspapers in a full-page spread when CNN and all the television channels of the world broadcast the scene, they froze it for a few seconds. Or minutes, hours, I don't know. For me time has infinite duration--I don't know how to measure it by normal parameters. Trying doesn't even interest me. From the World Trade Center buildings, minutes, prior to their collapse--which would appear as a perfect and planned implosion--only a grayish-blue and black vertical lines can be seen. Like a modernist painting--by whom? Which artist painted lines? Mondrian? No, not Mondrian, he painted squares, rectangles. Anyway, in the picture, the man is falling head first. his body straight, one of his legs bent. Did he jump? Slip? Did he faint and then fall? He probably lost consciousness because of the height, the smoke. He fell. He disappeared from the scene, from life, from the city. A million tons of rubble buried him soon after. Nobody knows his name. Impossible for his family to have him identified. He's an unknown who entered into history at the twenty-first century's first great moment of horror--the history of the world, the United States, communications, photography. Without anyone knowing who he is. And nobody will ever know. We'll only have suppositions, families who'll swear that he was theirs. But was he Brazilian, American, Latino, Chinese, Italian, Irish--what? He could have been anything, but now he's nothing. One among thousands gone forever. And, while we're on the subject, what about the firemen who supposedly became such heroes that day--can you name a single one?”
    Ignácio de Loyola Brandão, Anonymous Celebrity


  • #10
    Gary Lutz
    “It was my mother who taught me the one worthwhile thing: when they ask if you like what you see in the mirror, pretend that what they mean is what's behind you--the shower curtain, the tile, the wallpaper, whatever's there.”
    Gary Lutz


  • #11
    Gary Lutz
    “I was a great many far cries from myself.”
    Gary Lutz


  • #12
    Gary Lutz
    “The boss had a long list of reasons for letting me go--most of which, I am ashamed to admit, were generously understated. It's true, for instance, that I hogged the photocopier for hours on end and snapped at whoever politely--deferentially--inquired about how much longer I would be. I was intent on achieving definitively sooty, penumbral effects to ensure that copies looked like copies, and that, of course, took time. Some days I spent entire afternoons reproducing blank sheets of paper, ream after ream, to use instead of the "FROM THE DESK OF--" notepads the boss kept ordering for each of us.”
    Gary Lutz


  • #13
    Gary Lutz
    “Most days what I felt was this: the minute you put a first name and a last name together, you've got a pair of tusks coming right at you (i.e., Watch out, buddy). but on days when I didn't disapprove of everything on principle--days when the whole cologned, cuff-shooting ruck of my co-workers didn't repulse me from the moment they disembarked from the sixth-floor elevator and began squidging their way along the carpeted track that led to the office--my thinking stabbed more along these lines: a name belittles that which is named. Give a person a name and he'll sink right into it, right into the hollows and the dips of the letters that spelled out the whole insultingly reductive contraption, so that you have to pull him up and dance him out of it, take his attendance, and fuck some life into him if you expect to get any work out of him. Multiply him by twenty-two and you will have some idea of what the office was like, except that a good third of my colleagues were female.”
    Gary Lutz


  • #14
    Gary Lutz
    “I've been within an inch of my life.”
    Gary Lutz


  • #15
    Leif Enger
    “Don't you ever doubt it?" Davy asked.
    And in fact I have. And perhaps will again. But here is what happens. I look out the window at the red farm--for here we live, Sara and I, in a new house across the meadow, a house built by capable arms and open lungs and joyous sweat. Maybe I see our daughter, home from school, picking plums or apples for Roxanna; maybe one of our sons. reading on the grass or painting an upended canoe. Or maybe Sara comes into the room--my darling Sara--with Mr. Cassidy's beloved rolls on a steaming plate. Then I breathe deeply, and certainty enters into me like light, like a piece of science, and curious music seems to hum inside my fingers.
    Is there a single person on whom I can press belief?
    No sir.
    All I can do is say, Here's how it went. Here's what I saw.
    I've been there and am going back.
    Make of it what you will.”
    Leif Enger


  • #16
    Nicole Krauss
    “Sometimes I imagine my own autopsy. Disappointment in myself: right kidney. Disappointment of others in me: left kidney. Personal failures: kishkes. ... When the clocks are turned back and the dark falls before I'm ready, this, for reasons I can't explain, I feel in my wrists. And when I wake up and my fingers are stiff , almost certainly I was dreaming of my childhood. ... Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don't know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgetting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist: my knees. ... To everything a season, to every time I've woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.”
    Nicole Krauss


  • #17
    Mary Robison
    “Something else that makes me angry is that I got too old to prostitute myself. I wasn't going to anyway but it was there, it was my Z plan.”
    Mary Robison, Why Did I Ever


  • #18
    Salvador Plascencia
    “I don’t know what they are called, the spaces between seconds– but I think of you always in those intervals.”
    Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper


  • #19
    Jason Brown
    “None of us had been in love, not really, until now. Anything we had called love came back to us as mockery in the face of this sudden flight from reason. Andy had said he was in love with Missy, and it was a shame Missy was not in love with him. A daily lament rose from him like the steam of the heat from the pipes at school. Andy’s mother hit the counter with her fist. “They’re too young,” she said, talking about Natalie and Dion, and we knew she was talking about their tongues running along the inside of each other’s teeth and the suddenly anxious too-tight grip of her hand between his legs, and the taste of each other’s skin, and the smell of each other’s bodies, and the feel of him slipping inside her and her settling down over him, the shape of her mouth, the shape of his. She was talking about their bodies but thinking about the words they had used. Everyone knew. “Love,” she finally growled, as if the creature itself had risen from her dreams to take over her kitchen. She gripped a package of spaghetti as if it was a club and stared at the wall, paralyzed by the idea of them out there.”
    Jason Brown


  • #20
    Marilynne Robinson
    “To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing -- the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one's hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again.”
    Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping


  • #21
    Marcel Proust
    “Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power ... that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
    Marcel Proust


  • #22
    Amy Hempel
    “I want to know everything about you, so I tell you everything about myself.”
    Amy Hempel


  • #23
    Amy Hempel
    “I meet a person, and in my mind I'm saying three minutes; I give you three minutes to show me the spark.”
    Amy Hempel, The Collected Stories


  • #24
    Amy Hempel
    “I think you would like Warren. He drinks Courvoisier in a Coke can, and has a laugh like you'd find in a cartoon bubble.”
    Amy Hempel, The Collected Stories


  • #25
    Colum McCann
    “What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth--the filth, the war, the poverty--was that life could be capable of small beauties. He wasn't interested in a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.”
    Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin


  • #26
    Frederick Reiken
    “All of us are part of a big story. It is a story that is much bigger than we know. Do not confuse the life you live with the story. Do not be afraid to leave the story. You may get scared sometimes because you fail to understand that what is scared is not you. It's the story. The story looks for a way to travel. The story is afraid you will let go.”
    Frederick Reiken


  • #27
    Denis Johnson
    “The scene before her flattened, lost one of its dimensions, and the noise dribbled irrelevantly down its face. Something was coming. This moment, this very experience of it, seemed only the thinnest gauze. She sat in the audience thinking--someone here has cancer, someone has a broken heart, someone's soul is lost, someone feels naked and foreign, thinks they once knew the way but can't remember the way, feels stripped of armor and alone, there are people in this audience with broken bones, others whose bones will break sooner or later, people who've ruined their health, worshipped their own lives, spat on their dreams, turned their backs on their true beliefs, yes, yes, and all will be saved. All will be saved. All will be saved.”
    Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke


  • #28
    Louise Erdrich
    “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
    Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP


  • #29
    Vladimir Mayakovsky
    “A line is a fuse
    that's lit.
    The line smolders,
    the rhyme explodes—
    and by a stanza
    a city
    is blown to bits.”
    Vladimir Mayakovsky


  • #30
    Rebecca Lee
    “He was my teacher, and he had wrapped himself, his elaborate historical self, into this package, and stood in front of the high windows, to teach me my little lesson, which turned out to be not about Poland or fascism or war, borderlines or passion or loyalty, but just about the sentence: the importance of, the sweetness of. And I did long for it, to say one true sentence of my own, to leap into the subject, that sturdy vessel traveling upstream through the axonal predicate possibility; into what little we know of the future, of eternity.”
    Rebecca Lee, Bobcat and Other Stories




Rss
« previous 1
All Quotes