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The Unconsoled

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  10,410 ratings  ·  1,339 reviews
Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give. But then as he traverses a landscape by turns eerie and comical – and always strangely malleable, as a dream might be - he comes steadily to realise he is facing the most crucial performance of his life.

Ishiguro's extraordinary and original st
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Paperback, 535 pages
Published October 10th 1996 by Vintage International (first published 1995)
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Betty Confetti I enjoyed this because in my mind, Ryder is living in an insane asylum and everything that unfolds in terms of time and space in that setting can beco…moreI enjoyed this because in my mind, Ryder is living in an insane asylum and everything that unfolds in terms of time and space in that setting can become believable. Everything from him happening to show up at just the right place to play the piano during the burial of Brodsky's dog . . . to the weird partial connections/disconnects with Sofia and Boris, Gustav, and even Ryder's parents. Think about it. The scene where the movie is being shown borders on insane. And then the condolences to Brodsky about the death of his dog range from sympathetic to just plain weird. The huge piano recital at the end leads to a breakfast in the wee hours in the morning? Maybe this is done in Europe on a regular basis, but it's more like Milk and Cookies in an institutional setting. I imagine Sofia to be an employee there, and her son is around and occasionally connects with Ryder but most often does not. Hoffman is like the social director of the asylum--trying to keep order in a difficult setting. I don't even believe his son is his son in the book--he could just be another person who is committed there. The wall that Ryder hits trying to get to his performance--too weird to be true. I think it's a real wall keeping him in. And his bird's eye view of the theatre just another sort of hallucination. He's not "there" when some of the story unfolds, and yet he tells us what people say and do. It's surreal in a way that implies another reality--something that Ishiguro must have had in mind to help give the book a sense of containment and manageability. I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else find these thoughts plausible. Without that sort of perspective, it is a long laundry list of twists and turns for someone who can not manage much of anything in his life. Ryder is too inept to be so genius. YOu gotta admit, even the amputation is implausible, except in the mind of someone who has been committed to an insane asylum on a large estate with a mansion of huge dimensions and much on the property to serve as a distraction. (less)
Blythe Ishiguro's The Buried Giant is a very different story but has a similar dreamlike tone. I preferred it to The Unconsoled.
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Jim Fonseca
The author is Japanese-born but British enough through education and upbringing to have written The Remains of the Day. This is a long novel (more than 500 pages) that is like a Kafka dream, or better, nightmare.

An eminent pianist wanders in a dream-like state through an unnamed central European city. While the whole city awaits his performance, he misses appointments and neglects friends and family while he navigates through an unreal world of his own making.

description

It’s not a “pleasant” book but I fo
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WILLIAM2
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20-ce, uk, fiction
Thoughts on my second reading of The Unconsoled.

The novel's form is, I believe, a veiled commentary on the text's processes and progress. Structurally, it may be Ishiguro’s most daring novel so far. It must have been awfully hard to write; the prose is lighter than air. It strikes me as Ishiguro's most Kafkaesque novel, especially in its use of dissociative states. Kafka's "In the Penal Colony" especially springs to mind.

Its narrator, Mr Ryder, a pianist of international reputation, checks into
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Emily
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having loved all his other novels, I finally got around to reading Ishiguro's The Unconsoled, and boy, was it strange and wonderful. I'd heard a vast array of opinions about this book, from "It is one of my top ten novels of all time" to "I loved it in a tense, uncomfortable way" to "it was an unmitigated train wreck." It's always intriguing to me when a book attracts such a wide variety of reactions, so I was looking forward to The Unconsoled for that reason. It also just so happens that I read ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Unconsoled, Kazuo Ishiguro

The Unconsoled is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, first published in 1995.

The novel takes place over a period of three days. It is about Ryder, a famous pianist who arrives in a central European city to perform a concert.

He is entangled in a web of appointments and promises which he cannot seem to remember, struggling to fulfill his commitments before Thursday night's performance, frustrated with his inability to take control.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه جول
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Beth
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt a tremendous sense of relief that I had finally completed Ishiguros’s The Unconsoled. I allowed myself to remember the experience of reading it, with its unusual memory-impaired narrator and the endless stream of absurdity and satire, and its improbable, dream-like narration. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it would make the perfect subject for a Goodreads review. I worried a bit about the time it would take to make my feelings clear about the book, but after looking ...more
Fabian
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One very hefty tome about musical geniuses & unsure artists (plus the people who love them).

This is one strange, uber-Surreal in that Czech sort of way (yup, the birthplace of surrealism)--twisty streets, opaque individuals... resplendent crystals. Mr. Ishiguro strayed from his quiet solemnity to include literary examples of the picaresque.

But it does not reach the same heights of "Remains of the Day," "A Pale Vies of Hills" or "Never Let Me Go." It is not as perfect a novel as any one in his s
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Manuel Antão
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1995
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Ones-self: "The Unconsoled" by Kazuo Ishiguro



(Original Review, 1995-12-12)



I'm pretty respectful of other people's opinions and durable literary reputations. Reading Ulysses was bliss for me, but I have no harsh words for people who don’t like it. It is obviously something that has engaged reader’s minds, hearts, and souls, and perhaps more importantly influenced and engaged writers across generations, and I wish I could figure out why
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Tara
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tara by: P
Shelves: 1001-list
4.5 stars.

The Unconsoled is at once humorous, touching, uncanny, and intricately, beautifully absurd. My words are failing me at present; the best I can do to describe this paralyzing, captivating reading experience is to say that my inability to wrench my eyes from the page, even when my mind was desperately claustrophobic and screaming for air, felt remarkably similar to the exquisitely unbearable compulsion which gripped the narrator in his childhood:
“My ‘training sessions’ had come about
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Seth T.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Unconsoled is almost certainly not a work for everybody. Or even, perhaps, for many. Ishiguro has crafted what is a pretty thoroughly boring, deeply rewarding novel. What at first appears to be a simple series of encounters between a renowned pianist—Mr. Ryder to you—and the inhabitants of a European city turns out to be anything but. Ryder is ostensibly meant to play part in the concert performance that will bring the city back from the realm of the culturally inconsequential and into the f ...more
Hakan
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
ishiguro ortalama okur seviyesine edebiyatın zirvelerinde sayılan ve ulaşılmaz-anlaşılmaz görülen romanlarla boy ölçüşebilecek bir roman sunmuş. amacı bu olmasa gerek ama üzerine kitaplar yazılabilecek, yazar adaylarına-yazarlara ders olarak okutulabilecek, romanın bugününe-geleceğine dair tezlere konu olabilecek bir roman olmuş avunamayanlar.

merak uyandıran hikaye-sade dil-akıcı anlatım şeklinde özetlenecek ortalama okur kriterleriyle muhteşem bir roman dünyası yaratılmış: kendi mantığına ve i
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K.D. Absolutely
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
A long 500plus-page read but an easy one. You don't need to grab the dictionary when you read an Ishiguro but you have to pause, drop the book, every hour or two just to take a breather. An Ishiguro is a joy because it is like a silent but deep pond but if you love to shoot the rapids, it can be boring. What I am saying is that this book is not for everyone and judging from the reviews of my GR friends who have read this already, their ratings tend to go either very/quite high (5 or 4) or very/q ...more
Issicratea
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990-2010, reviewed
The Unconsoled is an extraordinary work. It is close in themes and texture to Ishiguro’s equally extraordinary The Buried Giant, even though they were published at twenty years’ distance from one another, The Unconsoled in 1995, The Buried Giant in 2015. There are similarities in reception, as well. Both novels sparked wildly disparate responses in their readers, with some regarding them as masterpieces, others as unredeemed turkeys. James Wood’s original review of The Unconsoled in The Guardian ...more
Biron Paşa
Avunamayanlar, Kazuo Ishiguro'nun 95 yılında yazdığı, 560 sayfalık Kafkaesk bir bilinçaltı öyküsü. Müthiş incelikli bir başyapıt.

Piyanist Mr. Ryder bir konser için adı bilinmeyen -Kafkaeskin kimliksizliğinden olsa gerek, bir Avrupa şehrine gider. Daha önce hiç gelmediği bu şehirde birkaç gün sonra çok önemli bir konser verecektir. Ama işler pek de beklediği gibi gitmez, biz okurların da beklediği gibi gitmez, Ryder daha önce hiç gitmediği yerlerde bulunduğunu hatırlamaya başlar, tanımadığı insa
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Boris
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Мога до края на годината да не прочета нищо повече и пак ще се чувствам литературно задоволен без да имам чувството, че съм пропуснал нещо.

Това е моята лична книга на годината.
Имах притеснения, че Ишигуро ще се подхлъзне като много други писатели, които са прибягвали към гледната точка на автори като Кафка и Бекет и че ще ме умори от скука. За щастие Ишигуро е много талантлив и силен автор и успя да ме увлече от началото до края в ирационалния свят на “Неутешимите”.

Това, за което се разказва в к
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Chia
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
رمان تسلی ناپذیر از ایشی گورو، یک رمان نسبتا طولانی ۷۳۶ صفحه ای هست که درباره ی رایدر پیانیست مشهور و چیره دست اروپایی ست که برای یک کنسرت مهم به شهری نامعلوم در اروپای مرکزی دعوت شده.
این شهر مردمانی عاشق موسیقی کلاسیک داره و رهبر ارکستر شهر اونا مدتیست که حال خوشی نداره و کنسرت خوبی اجرا نکرده. حالا همه ی امید ها به رایدر و حضورش در این شهر هست.

این رمان رو بسیار پراکنده و غیر قابل کشف خواندن. و اصلا دلیل انتخابم همین بود. نیاز همیشگی به یک نرمش مغزی. اما افسوس که اینطور نبود و دریغ از چیزی برای
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Lobstergirl
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: glaziers
I read quite a bit of this during insomniac chunks in the middle of the night. In spite of the fact that much of what is happening to the narrator, Ryder, if it happened to me in real life would be intensely disturbing - things such as time and distance warping, people making constant and unreasonable demands on me, missing scheduled appointments, not recognizing people I knew well - I found the whole novel soothing, and actually hard to put down. Of the Ishiguro novels I've read, which is now m ...more
Michael
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange, surreal, dream-like work, this book--to me--is Ishiguro's most daring and ambitious, and the one I'm tempted to re-read above all his others, if only to plumb the depths I might have missed the first time.
Dessislava
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Няма как да не се побъркаш с тази книга, която е като продължителен, напрегнат, хаотичен, неадекватен, изнервящ и изтънчен сън, който е на ръба с кошмара. "Неутешимите" не е като нищо друго на Ишигуро. Всичко от него, което съм чела дотук, е било разумно, дори в неразумностите си. Обаче този роман... леле, майко.
Прекрасен е. Известен пианист отива за концерт и няколкодневен престой в неназовано градче, където всички са абсолютно неадекватни, но претендиращи да са - от управителя на хотела, през
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Ellen
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a person who compulsively makes lists and worries about crossing things off them, I read this book with a continual low-level anxiety. The main character, a pianist traveling in an unnamed European city, continually makes promises and takes on enormous responsibilities and then fails to follow through with them for various absurd and aggravating reasons. The style of the book is unique and unexpectedly engaging, but the experience of immersing yourself in the story is one of frustration. I se ...more
Margarita Garova
„Ефектът беше колкото смущаващ, толкова и покоряващ“.

Този цитат от „Неутешимите“ описва идеално въздействието на тази книга върху мен.

Не правя лесно такъв тип изявления, но да кажем, че досега не сте чели такава книга.

Почнах я с големи опасения, почти с уплах. И как не, като отвсякъде мненията са, че е странна, шантава, налудничава творба. Прави са, такава е. Но освен това „Неутешимите“ е изключително изтънчено описание на нашите лудости, претенции, очаквания и разочарования. Най-вече на неумени
...more
Jimmy
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who aren't too anal
Recommended to Jimmy by: Jessica
This is undoubtedly Ishiguro’s masterpiece! I’ve read several of his other books, but I always come away from them with a mixture of enthusiasm and reserve. The thing is, Ishiguro is a control freak. His books always seem to me to be so well planned out that there is no sense of discovery for the reader. It is almost like you are being shown a set of corridors that unfold very sure-handedly. It’s artfully done, but that is the problem: as a reader, I feel like he hides certain things from me (pl ...more
Barry Pierce
Probably Ishiguro's more divisive book, I view this as his "Finnegans Wake". An experiment in plot. Yes, most of this novel makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but I actually enjoyed this. Oddly. While I was reading this lucid, dreamlike novel I felt compelled to continue. I don't know. I liked this but I can't exactly put my finger on the reason why. This novel is definitely not for everyone but I'm glad Ishiguro wrote it. It's interesting, let's say that.
downinthevalley
anahtar kelime : Nobel değil. hayır sadece o değil.
Beni Asla Bırakma'yı seneler önce okudum, yeterince iyi anlamamıştım, aslında gereğinden önce okumuşum şimdi anlıyorum. Ishiguro'nun Nobel kazandığını duyduğumda hem sevindim hem de biraz burukluk yaşadım. Ödüller ve jüriler yazarları çoğunlukla hırpalayıp yoruyor bence. Elimde Günden Kalanlar olmasına rağmen fiziken yanımda değildi. Ben de karşıma çıkan ilk YKY kitabevinden aldım Avunamayanlar'ı karlı bir günde.

Bir otel lobisinde nefis bir başl
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Mahi
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان پیانیستی که یکی از مشهورترین های زمان خودشه و برای اجرا به یه شهر کوچیک دعوت میشه، شهری که مردمش همه اون رو میشناسن و اکثرشون هم انتظارای عجیب و غریب ازش دارن. این پیانیست که اسمش رایدره تو این شهر انگار که یه داره زندگی خودش رو مرور میکنه. حوادثی که اونو به یاد خاطراتش میندازن و حتی بعضی از این آدمهای شهر رو میشناسه. جذابترین بخش داستان سبکش بود. با اینکه راوی اول شخصه ولی یه جاهایی مثل سوم شخص روایت میکنه. مثلا در مورد چیزی حرف میزنه که خودش اونجا حضور فیزیکی نداره. بدیش هم این بود که د ...more
Lucy
Oct 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book almost as much as I hated myself for finishing it! If it hadn't been a library book I genuinely would have thrown it away. It infuriated me incessantly. I honestly expected to get the end and see the phrase 'and then he woke up and it was all a dream' but was even more irritated when this didn't even happen, such was the non-sensical dreamesque drivel that had occupied the previous 500 pages. The character's weak will and inability to do what he wants to do was beyond irritatin ...more
Neil
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 5-stars
Literary critic James Wood claimed The Unconsoled “invented its own category of badness”. On the other hand, Anita Brookner said it is “almost certainly a masterpiece”, a thought echoed by The Times review quoted on the front of the edition I read: “A masterpiece…It is above all a book devoted to the human heart.”

Masterpiece or disaster? You have to read it for yourself to decide, but I am on the masterpiece side of the argument.

One thing is sure: this is a novel unlike other novels. I’ve read a
...more
Boz4pm
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has a similar feel to Crime & Punishment or Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas: dark, unsettling and vaguely insane. It is, though, a masterpiece, no more no less.

It’s huge and yet I zipped through the thing in little over a week simply because it is compelling and very readable. The best I can come up with to describe this is it’s like reading the literary equivalent of a painting by Magritte – the ordinary, the everyday made surreal.

The story is told in the first person and through the eyes o
...more
Matthew Appleton
29th book of the year.

I've been avoiding this one for a while as Ishiguro's books are usually slow, not bad, but slow reading and this is huge compared to his other works; it's 535 pages, my edition, anyway.

I came up with some similes whilst I was reading, to capture what reading this book is like. I'm going to list them here.

- Like getting your zip stuck half way up your coat.
- Like finally getting comfortable and then realising you need the toilet/the remote.
- Like trying to untangle head
...more
E8RaH!M
تسلی ناپذیر یکی از پیچیده ترین و گنگ ترین و سختخوان ترین کارهای ایشی گورو ست. برای کسی که عمق پیام بازمانده روز، احساسات هرگز ترکم مکن و وقتی یتیم بودیم را تجربه کرده، این کتاب رها شدن میان خلا به نظر میرسد. در انتها چیزی بین 3 و 4 ستاره است که همان 3 ستاره به نظر کافیست.

تسلی ناپذیر خواننده را با کابوس بی سر و ته نویسنده سهیم میکند. کابوسی با جزییات و شرح و تفصیلِ بی پایان.
شخصیتها در تسلی ناپذیر

'رایدر' یک پیانیست شهیر و متبحر است که برای سخنرانی و اجرای موسیقی به شهری بدون نام در اروپا دعوت شود. مراسم به همت اعضای شو
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Nahid
rated it it was ok
Mar 03, 2007
nicole
strange... His writing is wonderful and this somehow reminds me of my delirious(seriously, high high fever) experience in Prague.
Leigh
rated it it was ok
Mar 28, 2007
théo
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2007
Ian
marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2007
kelelyn
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2007
Vikas
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange but utterly delightful book. Like a piece of music, each listener must interpret the work in his or her own way. To me, it's about the relationship between memory and reality, how they reflect, abstract, sublimate, and hover over one another. It's dark and disturbing but only after you've finished reading it, the way a haunting dream lingers and resurfaces hours or days later. I suspect, especially after reading a few other reviews, that many readers will find it pointless. Rightf ...more
Christian
rated it really liked it
May 02, 2007
Bennett
rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2007
joanna Sondheim
rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2007
Eugene
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this with joanna. i'd tried years ago and couldn't get through it. but this time, with her help, did. a beautifully sustained dreamworld slash alternative reality your choice. a massive accomplishment. i read it after NEVER LET ME GO, which i thought was a similar project, but the latter lost steam i thought as it tried to explain itself after the first third. ishiguro's always in control though, which is admirable. in this book he lets the dream be its own explanation, which is a purer eff ...more
Brett
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2007
Kim
May 13, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I really wanted to enjoy this book. I absolutely adored Ishiguro's _The Remains of the Day_, but I had mixed feelings about _Never Let Me Go_. I had hoped that I would also love _The Unconsoled_, but I found myself reading to finish, rather than enjoy the story. In part, I feel that the high level of anxiety and desperation I felt was intended through the narrative and the desired effect. In fact, I think, in a way, that was the pure genius of the writing, and it's impact on me proves it. ...more
sam
rated it really liked it
May 16, 2007
carri farrand
marked it as to-read
May 17, 2007
Naomi
May 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: generalbooks
This was one of the most frustrating reads of my life. It was recommended to me and having recently discovered Ishiguro I was keen to read all of his books. However this book was a real disappointment, while I can appreciate how technically this is a 'great' book, it just left me absolutely cold and annoyed. Which is a rarity with a book!
charlie
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2007
crystal
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2007
Sammy B.
rated it really liked it
May 25, 2007
Timothy
rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2007
Samuel
marked it as to-read
May 26, 2007
Lilly
marked it as to-read
May 27, 2007
Christina
based on his other books (which are AMAZING) I kept reading this book in hopes that there would be some kind of point to it at the end, or an overarching narrative with resolution. no such luck. though i have to hand it to him to make what is essentially a very (very) long dream sequence readable and engaging, it was still kind of a letdown.
Jacqueline Seidel
rated it liked it
May 30, 2007
Emi Bevacqua
rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2007
Claire
rated it it was ok
Jun 05, 2007
Christine Hardy
Just too darn hard to read...
Lisa
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2007
Erin
Jun 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to give this book three stars, simply because I couldn't put it down. I wouldn't say I liked it though; I was incredibly confused and angry throughout reading most of it, actually.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Add ACE info 1 8 Sep 13, 2018 10:40AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 28 The Unconsoled 1 5 Apr 19, 2015 06:05AM  
unreadability 21 165 Aug 18, 2014 08:54AM  
Ishiguro's USP 2 27 Sep 21, 2013 07:14AM  
I Read Therefore ...: August 2013 monthly Boxall's read- The Unconsoled 65 39 Aug 28, 2013 11:57AM  
Frustratingly compelling 2 81 Dec 01, 2008 07:33AM  

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Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄), OBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist of Japanese origin and Nobel Laureate in Literature (2017). His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from the University of Kent in 1978 and his Master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.

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“Your wound, your silly little wound! That's your real love, Leo, that wound, the one true love of your life! I know how it will be, even if we tried, even if we managed to build something all over again. The music too, that would be no different. Even if they'd accepted you tonight, even if you became celebrated in this town, you'd destroy it all, you'd destroy everything, pull it all down around you just as you did before. And all because of that wound. Me, the music, we're neither of us anything more to you than mistresses
you seek consolation from. You'll always go back to your one real love. To that wound! And you know what makes me so angry? Leo, are you listening to me? Your wound, it's nothing special, nothing special at all. In this town alone, I know there are many people with far worse. And yet they carry on, every one of them, with far greater courage than you ever did. They go on with their lives. They become something worthwhile. But you, Leo, look at you. Always tending your wound.”
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“Silence is just as likely to indicate the most profound ideas forming, the deepest energies being summoned.” 13 likes
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