Netherland Quotes

Quotes tagged as "netherland" Showing 1-2 of 2
Joseph O'Neill
“There was, apparently, a nuclear reactor at a place called Indian Point, just thirty miles away in Westchester County. If something bad happened there, we were constantly being informed, the 'radioactive debris', whatever this might be, was liable to rain down on us. (Indian Point: the earliest, most incurable apprehensions stirred in its very name.) Then there was the question of dirty bombs. Apparently any fool could build a dirty bomb and explode it in Manhattan. How likely was this? Nobody knew. Very little about anything seemed intelligible or certain, and New York itself - that ideal source of the metropolitan diversion that serves as a response to the largest futilities - took on a fearsome, monstrous nature whose reality might have befuddled Plato himself. We were trying, as I irreverently analysed it, to avoid what might be termed a historic mistake. We were trying to understand, that is, whether we were in a pre-apocalyptic situation, like the European Jews in the thirties or the last citizens of Pompeii, or whether our situation was merely near-apocalyptic, like that of the Cold War inhabitants of New York, London, Washington and, for that matter, Moscow. In my anxiety I phoned Rachel's father, Charles Bolton, and asked him how he'd dealt with the threat of nuclear annihilation. I wanted to believe that this episode of history, like those old cataclysms that deposit a geologically telling layer of dust on the floors of seas, had sooted its survivors with special information.”
Joseph O'Neill, Netherland

Joseph O'Neill
“I was sitting on the floor, my shoes stupidly pointing at the ceiling. The yelping of emergency vehicles welled up from the street, flooded the room, ebbed one yelp at a time.
I said disastrously, 'Is there anything I can say that'll make you change your mind?'
We sat opposite each other in silence. Then I tossed my coat onto a chair and went to the bathroom. When I picked up my toothbrush it was wet. She had used it with a wife's unthinking intimacy. A hooting sob rose up from my chest. I began to gulp and pant.
[...]
And yet that night we reached for each other in the shuttered bedroom. Over the following weeks, our last as a family in New York, we had sex with a frequency that brought back our first year together, in London. This time round, however, we went about it with strangeness and no kissing, handling and licking and sucking and fucking with dispassion the series of cunts, dicks, assholes and tits that assembled itself out of our successive yet miserably several encounters. Life itself had become disembodied.”
Joseph O'Neill, Netherland