The Blind Assassin Quotes

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The Blind Assassin The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
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The Blind Assassin Quotes (showing 1-30 of 192)
“If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you'd be doomed. You'd be ruined as God. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone, ever again. You'd never dare to.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“When you're young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You're your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too—leave them behind. You don't yet know about the habit they have, of coming back.

Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you've been.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
Margaret Atwood, Der blinde Mörder
“Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. Time and distance blur the edges; then suddenly the beloved has arrived, and it's noon with its merciless light, and every spot and pore and wrinkle and bristle stands clear.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Women have curious ways of hurting someone else. They hurt themselves instead; or else they do it so the guy doesn't even know he's been hurt until much later. Then he finds out. Then his dick falls off.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“How could I have been so ignorant? she thinks. So stupid, so unseeing, so given over to carelessness. But without such ignorance, such carelessness, how could we live? If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you'd be doomed. You'd be as ruined as God. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone, ever again. You'd never dare to.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there's no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.
In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“This is how the girl who couldn't speak and the man who couldn't see fell in love.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“What is it the I'll want from you? Not love: that would be too much to ask. Not forgiveness, which isn't yours to bestow. Only a listener, perhaps; only someone who will see me. Don't prettify me though, whatever else you do: I have no wish to be a decorated skull.
But I leave myself in your hands. What choice do I have? By the time you read this last page, that- if anywhere- is the only place I will be.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Beginnings are sudden, but also insidious. They creep up on you sideways, they keep to the shadows, they lurk unrecognized. Then, later, they spring.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Home is where the heart is, I thought now, gathering myself together in Betty's Luncheonette. I had no heart any more, it had been broken; or not broken, it simply wasn't there any more. It had been scooped neatly out of me like the yolk from a hard-boiled egg, leaving the rest of me bloodless and congealed and hollow.
I'm heartless, I thought. Therefore I'm homeless.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we're still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants.”
Margaret Atwood, Der blinde Mörder
Should is a futile word. It's about what didn't happen. It belongs in a parallel universe. It belongs in another dimension of space.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves -- our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Why does the mind do such things? Turn on us, rend us, dig the claws in. If you get hungry enough, they say, you start eating your own heart. Maybe it's much the same.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“Was this a betrayal, or was it an act of courage? Perhaps both. Neither one involves forethought: such things take place in an instant, in an eyeblink. This can only be because they have been rehearsed by us already, over and over, in silence and darkness; in such silence, such darkness, that we are ignorant of them ourselves. Blind but sure-footed, we step forward as if into a remembered dance.”
Margaret Atwood, Der blinde Mörder
“She knows herself to be at the mercy of events, and she knows by now that events have no mercy.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“I was sand, I was snow—written on, rewritten, smoothed over.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“I'm not senile," I snapped. "If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“It wasn't so easy though, ending the war. A war is a huge fire; the ashes from it drift far, and settle slowly.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
tags: war
“You want the truth, of course. You want me to put two and two together. But two and two doesn’t necessarily get you the truth. Two and two equals a voice outside the window. Two and two equals the wind. The living bird is not its labeled bones.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“But in the end, back she comes. There's no use resisting. She goes to him for amnesia, for oblivion. She renders herself up, is blotted out; enters the darkness of her own body, forgets her name. Immolation is what she wants, however briefly. To exist without boundaries.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“A Paradox, the doughnut hole. Empty space, once, but now they've learned to market even that. A minus quantity; nothing, rendered edible. I wondered if they might be used-metaphorically, of course-to demonstrate the existence of God. Does naming a sphere of nothingness transmute it into being?”
Margaret Atwood, Der blinde Mörder
“When you're unhinged, things make their way out of you that should be kept inside, and other things get in that ought to be shut out. The locks lose their powers. The guards go to sleep. The passwords fail.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“The picture is of happiness, the story not. Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there's no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

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