dara's Reviews > Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
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Dec 19, 08

bookshelves: holocaust, read-in-2008, favorites
Read in December, 2008

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Quotes dara Liked

Jonathan Safran Foer
“If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Everything is to protect you. I exist in case you need to be protected.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“But I dig Negroes. I dig them all the way.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Everything is the way it is because everything was the way it was. Sometimes I feel ensnared in this, as if no matter what I do, what will come has already been fixed.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“The end of the world has come often, and continues to come.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“But he also knew that there is an inflationary aspect to love, and that should his mother, or Rose, or any of those who loved him find out about each other, they would not be able to help but feel of lesser value. He knew that I love you also means, I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will live you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you,and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else. He knew that it is, by love's definition, impossible to love two people.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“It is not a thing that you can imagine. It only is. After that, there can be no imagining.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“With writing, we have second chances.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Oh,' she said. 'I have never seen a Jew before. Can I see his horns?”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
tags: humor

Jonathan Safran Foer
The more you love someone, he came to think, the harder it is to tell them. It surprised him that strangers didn't stop each other on the street to say I love you.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
tags: love

Jonathan Safran Foer
“He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others--the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“I have tutored Little Igor to be a man of this world. For example, I exhibited him a smutty magazine three days yore, so that he should be appraised of the many positions in which I am carnal. 'This is sixty-nine,' I told him, presenting the magazine in front of him. I put my fingers--two of them--on the action, so that he would not overlook it. 'Why is it dubbed sixty-nine?' he asked, because he is a person hot on fire with curiosity. 'It was invented in 1969. My friend Gregory knows a friend of the nephew of the inventor.' 'What did people do before 1969?' 'Merely blowjobs and masticating box, but never in chorus.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
tags: humor, sex

Jonathan Safran Foer
“But I do not do these things because we are family. I do them because they are common decencies. That is an idiom that the hero taught me. I do them because I am not a big fucking asshole. That is another idiom that the hero taught me.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Please be truthful, but also please be benevolent, please.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“The animals are those things that God likes but doesn't love.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
SADNESS OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood [sic]; Humor sadness; Sadness of love wit[hou]t release; Sadne[ss of be]ing smart; Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean]; Sadness of having options; Sadness of wanting sadness; Sadness of confusion; Sadness of domes[tic]ated birds, Sadness of fini[shi]ng a book; Sadness of remembering; Sadness of forgetting; Anxiety sadness...”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“And so it was when anyone tried to speak: their minds would become tangled in remembrance. Words became floods of thought with no beginning or end, and would drown the speaker before he could reach the life raft of the point he was trying to make. It was impossible to remember what one meant, what, after all of the words, was intended.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“(You do not have to be shamed in my closeness. Family are the people who must never make you feel ashamed.)

(You are wrong. Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.)

(And you are deserving of shame?)

(I am. I am trying to tell you.) 'We were stupid,' he said, 'because we believed in things.'

'Why is this stupid?'

'Because there are not things to believe in.'

(Love?)

(There is no love. Only the end of love.)

(Goodness?)

(Do not be a fool.)

(God?)

(If God exists, He is not to be believed in.)”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“It's true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don't mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“She maintained a careful balance by her window, never allowing the men to come too close, never allowing them to stray too far.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“He spent the next weeks blocking scenes of the bureaucrat fucking his wife. On the floor with cooking ingredients. Standing, with socks still on. In the grass of the yard of their new and immense house. He imagined her making noises she never made for him and feeling pleasures he could never provide because the bureaucrat was a man, and he was not a man. Does she suck his penis? he wondered. I know this is a silly thought, a thought that will only bring me pain, but I can't free myself of it. And when she sucks his penis, because she must, what is he doing? Is he pulling her hair back to watch? Is he touching her chest? Is he thinking of someone else? I'll kill him if he is.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Jonathan Safran Foer
“He ran the back of his hand up her cheek, with the pretense of wiping away sweat. Do you think you could ever love me?
I don't think so.
Because I'm not good enough.
It's not like that.
Because I'm not smart.
No.
Because you couldn't love me.
Because I couldn't love you.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
tags: love


Reading Progress

12/18/2008 page 180
65.22% "I would've finished it in one sitting, but my eyes were tired."
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