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Rabih Alameddine quotes (showing 1-30 of 247)

“...What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“I believe one has to escape oneself to discover oneself.”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“I wonder if being sane means disregarding the chaos that is life, pretending only an infinitesimal segment of it is reality.”
Rabih Alameddine, Koolaids: The Art of War
“No loss is felt more keenly than the loss of what might have been. No nostalgia hurts as much as nostalgia for things that never existed.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I wonder whether there is such a thing as a sense of individuality. Is it all a facade, covering a deep need to belong? Are we simply pack animals desperately trying to pretend we are not?”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“Memory chooses to preserve what desire cannot hope to sustain.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I opened myself to you only to be skinned alive. The more vulnerable I became, the faster and more deft your knife. Knowing what was happening, still I stayed and let you carve more. That's how much I loved you. That's how much.”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“Beirut is the Elizabeth Taylor of cities: insane, beautiful, falling apart, aging, and forever drama laden.She'll also marry any infatuated suitor who promises to make her life more comfortable, no matter how inappropriate he is.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“The eye always fills in the imperfections.”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“By nature, a storyteller is a plagiarist. Everything one comes across—each incident, book, novel, life episode, story, person, news clip—is a coffee bean that will be crushed, ground up, mixed with a touch of cardamom, sometimes a tiny pinch of salt, boiled thrice with sugar, and served as a piping-hot tale.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Now, please don't tell me you don't care about how you look and that there's more to you than your appearance. There are two kinds of people in this world : people who want to be desired, and people who want to be desired so much that they pretend they don't.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“We rarely consider that we're also formed by the decisions we didn't make, by events that could have happened but didn't, or by our lack of choices, for that matter.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“How can I expect readers to know who I am if I do not tell them about my family, my friends, the relationships in my life? Who am I if not where I fit in the world, where I fit in the lives of the people dear to me?”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time. It is the world outside that box that gives me trouble. I have adapted tamely, though not conventionally, to this visible world so I can retreat without much inconvenience into my inner world of books.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“When I read a book, I try my best, not always successfully, to let the wall crumble just a bit, the barricade that separates me from the book. I try to be involved.
I am Raskalnikov. I am K. I am Humbert and Lolita.
I am you.
If you read these pages and think I'm the way I am because I lived through a civil war, you can't feel my pain. If you believe you're not like me because one woman, and only one, Hannah, chose to be my friend, then you're unable to empathize.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“Sex, like art, can unsettle a soul, can grind a heart in a mortar. Sex, like literature, can sneak the other within one's wall, even if for only a moment, a moment before one immures oneself again.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“One's first response is that these Beirutis must be savagely insane to murder each other for such trivial divergences. Don't judge us too harshly. At the heart of most antagonisms are irreconcilable similarities. Hundred-year wars were fought over whether Jesus was human in divine form or divine in human form. Belief is murderous.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“There is none more conformist than one who flaunts his individuality.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“Most of us believe we are who we are because of the decisions we've made, because of events that shaped us, because of the choices of those around us. We rarely consider that we're also formed by the decisions we didn't make, by events that could have happened but didn't or by our lack of choices, for that matter.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I slipped into art to escape life. I sneaked off into literature.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I thought every person should live for art, not just me, and furthermore, why would I want to be normal? Why would I want to be stupid like everyone else?”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“Me? I was lost for long time. I didn’t make any friends for few years. You can say I made friends with two trees, two big trees in the middle of the school […]. I spent all my free time up in those trees. Everyone called me Tree Boy for the longest time. […]. I preferred trees to people. After that I preferred pigeons, but it was trees first.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Passion was the antithesis of morality.”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“By remaining constrained in one's environment or country or family, one has little chance of being other than the original prescription. By leaving, one gains a perspective, a distance of both space and time, which is essential for writing about family or home, in any case.”
Rabih Alameddine, I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters
“My patience, like my time in this world, grows shorter.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“I was a lonely boy. I spent all my time reading books and watching the world. [some] tried to draw me out at first, but their hearts weren't in it. And after all, they had enough troubles of their own.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Fate would never permit happiness to a man of such talent-
a content poet is a mediocre one, a happy poet is insufferable.”
Rabih Alameddine, (The Hakawati)
“She felt the intimate loss of who she was meant to become.”
Rabih Alameddine
“To write is to know that you are not at home.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman

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