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Deborah Levy quotes (showing 1-30 of 67)

“Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant even when you don't feel like it because language can make your world a better place to live.”
Deborah Levy, Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places
“She was not a poet. She was a poem.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“I confess that I am often lost in all the dimensions of time, that the past sometimes feels nearer than the present and I often fear the future has already happened.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“I am not okay. Not at all and haven't been for some time. I did not tell her how discouraged I felt and that I was ashamed I was not more resilient and all the rest of it which included wanting a bigger life but that so far I had not been bold enough to make a bid for things I wanted to happen and I feared it was written in the stars that I might end up with a reduced life like hers...”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“Life is only worth living because we hope it will get better and we'll all get home safely. But you tried and you did not get home safely. You did not get home at all.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“As much as I try to make the past keep still and mind its manners, it moves and murmurs with me through every day.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“It is dishonest to give me a poem and pretend to want my opinion when what you really want are reasons to live.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“To become a WRITER I had to learn to INTERRUPT, to speak up, to speak a little louder, and then LOUDER, and then to just speak in my own voice which is NOT LOUD AT ALL.”
Deborah Levy, Things I Don't Want to Know
“Anything covered is always interesting. There is never nothing beneath something that is covered.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“... to be forceful was not the same as being powerful and to be gentle was not the same as being fragile...”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“I want to be master of my own fuck-ups.”
Deborah Levy, Beautiful Mutants
“I have never got a grip on when the past begins or where it ends, but if cities map the past with statues made from bronze forever frozen in one dignified position, as much as I try to make the past keep still and mind its manners, it moves and murmurs with me through every day.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“I can't stand THE DEPRESSED. It's like a job, it's the only thing they work hard at. Oh good my depression is very well today. Oh good today I have another mysterious symptom and I will have another one tomorrow. The DEPRESSED are full of hate and bile and when they are not having panic attacks they are writing poems. What do they want their poems to DO? Their depression is the most VITAL thing about them. Their poems are threats. ALWAYS threats. There is no sensation that is keener or more active than their pain. They give nothing back except their depression. It's just another utility. Like electricity and water and gas and democracy. They could not survive without it.”
Deborah Levy
“We are East & West looting each other.”
Deborah Levy, Beautiful Mutants
“I have been waiting on her all my life. I was the waitress. Waiting on her and waiting for her. What was I waiting for? Waiting for her to step into her self or step out of her invalid self. Waiting for her to take the voyage out of her gloom, to buy a ticket to a vital life.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“The young woman was a window waiting to be climbed through. A window that she guessed was a little broken anyway.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“Life ia only worth living because we hope it will get better and we'll al get home safely.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“My problem is that I want to smoke the cigar and for someone else to light it. I want to blow out smoke. Like a volcano. Like a monster. I want to fume. I do not want to be the girl whose job it is to wail in a high-pitched voice at funerals.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“We're kissing in the rain.' Her voice was hard and soft at the same time. Like the velvet armchairs. Like the black rain inked on his hand.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“They would be enchanted beginners all over again, ... . That was the best thing to be in life.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“He lifted his arm that had been resting on her shoulders and gazed at the words she had written on his hand. He had been branded as cattle are branded to show whom they belong to. The cold mountain air stung his lips. She was driving too fast on this road that had once been a forest. Early humans had lived in it. They studied fire and the movement of the sun. They read the clouds and the moon and tried to understand the human mind His father had tried to melt him into a Polish forest when he was five years old. He knew he must leave no trace or trail of his existence because he must never find his way home. That was what his father had told him. You cannot come home. This was not something possible to know but he had to know it all the same”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
tags: prose
“We have to mourn our dead, but we cannot let them take over our life.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“My love for my mother is like an axe. It cuts very deep.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“I was flesh thirst desire dust blood lips cracking feet blistered knees skinned hips bruised, but I was so happy not to be napping on a sofa under a blanket with an older man by my side and a baby on my lap.”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“This was the rearranged space of yesterday.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
“History is the dark magician inside us, tearing at our liver. (Deborah Levy, Hot Milk, p. 185)”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“Her taste for symmetry and structure, it helped her thoughts drift. Symmetry did not chain her, it set her free. (p. 85)”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“It would take a while for me not to think of the Greek language as the father who walked out on me”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“How do we set about not imagining something?”
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk
“I can't stand THE DEPRESSED. It's like a job, it's the only thing they work hard at.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

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