loc.670 "In his dotage; his anecdotage, I'd say. Ha!"
loc.1095 ...the gypsy would usually follow, looking, among the pigeon-shaped women on the pavement,...moreloc.670 "In his dotage; his anecdotage, I'd say. Ha!"
loc.1095 ...the gypsy would usually follow, looking, among the pigeon-shaped women on the pavement, long, lean, and flashy, like a flamingo or a crane.
loc.12803 Singing mournfully to himself, he displayed the organ, the secondary function of which is the relief of the bladder, and sent a crystal trajectory through the moonlight down on to the heads of the people drinking coffee at an outdoor cafe below.(less)
p.31 "...[the futon's] misshapen bulk in the corner made me tingle, like a spinster peeking into the master bedroom of the house next door, all grim mo...morep.31 "...[the futon's] misshapen bulk in the corner made me tingle, like a spinster peeking into the master bedroom of the house next door, all grim mouth and warm crotch."
p.170 "You can be hard, and you can be judgmental, and with those two things alone you can make a mess of your life the likes of which you won't believe."
"Saying it is the only thing that makes me feel better, even the drugs aren't as good as that. All the things we don't say, all the words we swallow, and it makes nothing but trouble. I want to talk before I die. I want to be the one who gets to say things, who gets to think the deep thoughts. You'll all talk when I'm gone. Let me talk now without shusshing me because it hurts you to hear what I want to say. I'm tired of being shusshed."
p.276 "We'd made her simpler after she was dead. No, that's not true, either. We'd made her simpler all her life, simpler than her real self. We'd made her what we needed her to be. We'd made her ours, our one true thing."(less)
p.xxiii-xxv I grew up as an army brat, and thus was completely sheltered from the economic forces--and resulting stresses--that shape most American li...morep.xxiii-xxv I grew up as an army brat, and thus was completely sheltered from the economic forces--and resulting stresses--that shape most American lives. No one we knew risked losing their job because of a downturn in the economy or the whim of a new boss, or possessed conspicuous wealth or even an enviably higher standard of living.... ...I also have always had a hard time grasping why people want to make lots of money and, once they have it (or even before), why they buy many of the things they do. This isn't a moral position. I don't care that people do these things; I just don't get it. And this, by itself, has left me woefully unprepared to grasp the changes that have swept through the food world in recent decades. These, I don't think anyone would deny, have been determined largely by money--and I mean the desire both to make it and to impetuously spend it. ... In other words, we (middle-class Americans) inhabit a world where culinary pleasure knows no boundaries. Choosing has becom a lost art; you can heap your plate with anything you fancy. This, of course, isn't the absolute truth, but it's true enough--certainly to the extent that the culinary aesthetic that shaped me as a cook is of little use at all to anyone launching their little barque today.
p.xxvi More than anyone else, chefs know that there's so much good food around these days that only a fool takes any of it seriously for longer than a moment. One's eyes must always be fixed on the horizon for the appearance of the next best thing. Their recipes are a restless amalgam of many ingredients, looking for a combination potent enough to seize the eater's fickle attention. In such a milieu, simplicity only commands respect when it exudes its own particular extravagance--impressively costly ingredients, infinite preparation time.
p.xxxiv: Resolutions 3. Keep narrowing my focus. Three decades ago, I yearned to learn everything I could about a range of foreign cuisines. But now, despite [more cookbooks, cooking schools, imported ingredients], authentic connection seems even further away. Times of scarcity produce generalists; times of abundance, specialists--and that means persistently seeking out ingredients and techniques that resonate with one's cooking and relentlessly weeding out what doesn't. 4. ...Eaters are browsers of definition, but cooks who browse will always be slaves to their cookbooks. By keeping an eye open for connections, by adapting one dish according to what I learn from another, I may grow old but my kitchen will stay young.
p.132 [He refers to his book about homes: "Home Body"] My grandparents' home...was an extremely complex organism--wheezing, stubborn, and surprisingly delicate. The wiring dated back half a century... The steam heat rumbled up from a massive furnace in the basement... It was a house that today would be considered a homeowner's nightmare, but my grandfather took it all in stride. ...In my grandfather's time, a house required continuous care, and owning one meant mastering all sorts of knowledge and performing a never-ending round of upkeep... The houses of the fifties and afterward demanded no such commitment. Curiously, the result was something you might call responsibility deprivation. Here were houses that asked for little care in a culture still primed with an ethos of devoting time and money to keeping them up. Homeowners felt vaguely immoral doing nothing--and, with nothing much to do, threw themselves into home improvement to fill the void. (less)
p6 in Author's Note: Since writing Love Medicine, I have understood that I am writing one long book in which the main chapters are also books titled Tr...morep6 in Author's Note: Since writing Love Medicine, I have understood that I am writing one long book in which the main chapters are also books titled Tracks Four Souls The Bingo Palace The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse and The Painted Drum.
p.19 ...while Grandpa's mind had left us, gone wary and wild... His thoughts swam between us, hidden under rocks, disappearing in weeds, and I was fishing for them, dangling my own words like baits and lures.... Elusive, pregnant with history, his thoughts finned off and vanished. The same color as water.
p.121 These offers were for candy, sweet candy between the bedcovers. There was girls like new taffy, hardened sourballs of married ladies, rich marshmallow widows, and even a man, rock salt and barley sugar in a jungle of weeds.(less)
(This is the second half of the 1980's.) p.66-7 There were the Street People and there were the Air People. Air People levitated like fakirs. Large por...more(This is the second half of the 1980's.) p.66-7 There were the Street People and there were the Air People. Air People levitated like fakirs. Large portions of their day were spent waiting for, and traveling in, the elevators that were as fundamental to the middle-class culture of New York as gondolas had been to Venice in the Renaissance. It was the big distinction--to be able to press a button and take wing to your apartment. It didn't matter that you lived on the sixth, the sixteenth or sixtieth floor; access to the elevator was proof that your life had the buoyancy that was needed to stay afloat in a city were the ground was seen as the realm of failure and menace. In block like Alice's, where doormen kept up a twenty-four-hour guard against the Street People, the elevator was like the village green. The moment that people were safely inside the cage, they started talking to strangers with cozy expansiveness. ... Everyone I knew lived like this. Their New York consisted of a series of high-altitude interiors, each one guarded, triple-locked, electronically surveilled. They kept in touch by flying from one interior to the next, like sociable gulls swooping from cliff to cliff. For them, the old New York of streets, squares, neighborhoods, was rapidly turning into a vague and distant memory. It was the place where TV thrillers were filmed. It was where the Street People lived. ... Diane, my friend of twenty years, had turned into an Air Person... Her apartment was a rectangle of sunlight, adrift in the thin air of High Manhattan. "It's sort of nowhere, really. That's what I like about New York--it's nowhere. Nowhere, with a view." So it was. She'd found an airy vacancy. ... For Diane, places like Brooklyn and the Bronx were as remote as Beirut and Teheran. Nobody went there. The subway system was an ugly rumor--she had not set foot in it for years. (less)
Re-read immediately in order to pick up so much that was missed; finished 14 June 2011.
p437-8 Mr. Nancy: "Our kind of people, we are... exclusive. We'r...moreRe-read immediately in order to pick up so much that was missed; finished 14 June 2011.
p437-8 Mr. Nancy: "Our kind of people, we are... exclusive. We're not social. Not even me. Not even Bacchus. Not for long. We walk by ourselves or we stay in our own little groups. We do not play well with others. We like to be adored and respected and worshiped--me, I like them to be tellin' tales about me, tales showing my cleverness. It's a fault, I know, but it's the way I am. We like to be big. Now, in these shabby days, we are small. The new gods rise and fall and rise again. But this is not a country that tolerates gods for long. Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, Shiva destroys, and the ground is clear for Brahma to create once more."
p443 Loki Lie-smith: "You got to understand the god thing. It's not magic. It's about being you, but the you that people believe in. It's about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It's about becoming thunder, or the power of the running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize." He paused. "And then one day they forget about you, and they don't believe in you, and they don't sacrifice, and they don't care, and the next thing you know you're running a three-card monte game on the corner of Broadway and Forty-third."
p.508 None of this can actually be happening. If it makes you more comfortable, you could simply think of it as a metaphor. Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you--even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.
p.512 Shadow said, "Are you a god as well?" Whiskey Jack shook his head. "I'm a culture hero," he said. "We do the same shit gods do, we just screw up more and nobody worships us. They tell stories about us, but they tell the ones that make us look bad along with the ones where we came out fairly okay." "I see," said Shadow. And he did see, more or less. "Look," said Whiskey Jack. "This is not a good country for gods. My people figured that out early on. There are creator spirits who found the earth or made it or shit it out, but you think about it: who's going to worship Coyote? He made love to Porcupine Woman and got his dick shot through with more needles than a pincushion. He'd argue with rocks and the rocks would win. "So, yeah, my people figured that maybe there's something at the back of it all, a creator, a great spirit, and so we say thank you to it, because it's always good to say thank you. But we never built churches. We didn't need to. The land was the church. The land was the religion. The land was older and wiser than the people who walked on it. It gave us salmon and corn and buffalo and passenger pigeons. It gave us wild rice and walleye. It gave us melon and squash and turkey. And we were the children of the land, just like the porcupine and the skunk and the blue jay."
p.536 This was the moment of the storm. The paradigms were shifting. He could feel it. The old world, a world of infinite vastness and illimitable resources and future, was being confronted by something else--a web of energy, of opinions, of gulfs. People believe, thought Shadow. It's what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
p.537 There was an arrogance to the new ones [gods]. Shadow could see that. But there was also a fear. They were afraid that unless they kept pace with a changing world, unless they remade and redrew and rebuilt the world in their image, their time would already be over.
p.538 "This is a bad land for gods," said Shadow... "You've probably all learned that, in your own way. The old gods are ignored. The new gods are as quickly taken up as they are abandoned, cast aside for the next big thing. Either you've been forgotten, or you're scared you're going to be rendered obsolete; or maybe you're just getting tired of existing on the whim of people." The grumbles were fewer now. He had said something they agreed with.(less)