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Neal Stephenson
“To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.”
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Sylvia Plath
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Flann O'Brien
“After a time," said old Mathers disregarding me, "I mercifully perceived the errors of my ways and the unhappy destination I would reach unless I mended them. I retired from the world in order to try to comprehend it and to find out why it becomes more unsavoury as the years accumulate on a man's body. What do you think I discovered at the end of my meditations?"

I felt pleased again. He was now questioning me.


"That No is a better word than Yes," he replied.”
Flann O'Brien

Ann Patchett
“If what a person wants is his life, he tends to be quiet about wanting anything else. Once the life begins to seem secure, one feels the freedom to complain. Victor”
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

Ann Patchett
“He had lived his life as a good father but now Oscar Mendoza saw again his life as a boy. A daughter was a battle between fathers and boys in which the fathers fought valiantly and always lost. He knew that one by one each of his daughter would be lost, either honorably in the ceremony of marriage or, realistically, in a car pointed out towards the ocean well after dark. In his day, Oscar himself had made too many girls forget their better instincts and fine training by biting them with tender persistence at the base of their skull, just where the hairline grew in downy wisps. Girls were like kittens in this way, if you got them right at the nape of their neck, they went easily limp. Then he would whisper his suggestions, all the things they might do together, the wonderful dark explorations for which he was to be their guide. His voice traveled like a drug dripped down the spiraling canals of their ears until they had forgotten everything, until they had forgotten their own names, until they turned and offered themselves up to him, their bodies sweet and soft as marzipan.”
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

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