The Invisible Circus Quotes

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The Invisible Circus The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan
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The Invisible Circus Quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)
“They sat in silence. Feathers, Phoebe thought, searching in vain for some moment of her own that could rival the beauty and mystery of Faith's act. She felt a disappointment so familiar it was almost a comfort.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“This vision tumbled over Phoebe with the force of revelation: she would stand somewhere and look back, she would live a life.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“And sitting there, sea drifting in around them, Wolf had understood for the first time what kind of life he wanted to live with Faith. Maybe they wouldn't rise up into the sky the way he'd thought, maybe the real thing was doing what his parents had done, pay the rent, read the paper, hell, maybe that was the dare. To live--day in, day out. Just live.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“But try as Phoebe might to blend with her peers, it felt like bluffing, mouthing the words to a song she'd never been taught, always a beat late. At best, she fooled them. But the chance to distinguish herself, impress them in the smallest way, was lost. At her vast public high school Phoebe had felt reduced to a pidgin version of herself, as during "conversations" in French class - Where is the cat? Have you seen the cat? Look! Pierre gives the cat a bath - such was her level of fluency while discussing bongs or bands or how fucked-up someone was at a party.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“And Phoebe saw, with a dreadful clarity, that in the end she'd failed to interest her mother enough, failed to hold her attention. Some flaw within herself made her extraneous to everyone. She stopped on a corner overwhelmed by a terrible pain. It was her fault, her own fault. She'd done everything wrong.

Wait, she thought, but wait - walking again, faster now - maybe she'd misunderstood, maybe the deal with her mother had been that they each would live a secret life and not tell the other, but Phoebe hadn't realized - she'd failed to live the secret life and now her life was only this, a hundred empty years stretched uselessly behind her.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“For years, he said, his life had felt to him like a kind of experiment. The question being, How long could he hold out before the whole thing came crashing down on his head? He'd pictured himself looking back on the present day or week from his jail cell, or while contemplating the grass outside the asylum where surely he was headed. But rather than defeating him, these thoughts had actually fueled Wolf with determination. Fuck it, he'd think, if he had to go down, he sure as hell wasn't going without a fight.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“Lying perfectly still, they would gaze at each other in thick exhaustion and nothing would seem to divide them: they could float inside each other freely as fish drifting through windows of underwater castles.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
tags: love
“Phoebe burst into tears. For several minutes she stood weeping in the middle of the road, the choking, gulping sobs of childhood. Something was wrong; something was wrong but she didn't know what. She was alone in the middle of nowhere, behaving strangely, with no one around to help her, and what people were around she wanted only to escape.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“Something was wrong. She'd failed, Phoebe thought, but at what? Imagining herself in Europe, she'd always pictured someone else, physically even, a tall blonde with an answer for everything - as if, in the course of this journey, she would not only shed her former life but cease to exist as herself. Yes, she thought, to leave Phoebe O'Connor behind and be reborn as someone beautiful, mysterious. But the opposite had happened; her own narrow boundaries had hemmed her in, keeping everything real at a distance.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“They must have looked like traveling companions, Phoebe thought, possibly even a couple. She noticed her voice leaning into laughter, how she tossed her head, each tiny gesture like the sweet ache of a muscle craving exercise.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus
“The sheer ordinariness of it all confounded Phoebe, as if any one of these things might happen several times a day, with no one watching. They belong to each other, she thought, and found herself awed by the notion -- knowing someone was there, just there, reaching for that person without a thought.”
Jennifer Egan, The Invisible Circus

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