The Story of a New Name Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Story of a New Name The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
116,733 ratings, 4.40 average rating, 7,785 reviews
Open Preview
The Story of a New Name Quotes Showing 1-30 of 185
“she was explaining to me that I had won nothing, that in the world there is nothing to win, that her life was full of varied and foolish adventures as much as mine, and that time simply slipped away without any meaning, and it was good just to see each other every so often to hear the mad sound of the brain of one echo in the mad sound of the brain of the other.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Words: with them you can do and undo as you please.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Everything in the world was in precarious balance, pure risk, and those who didn’t agree to take the risk wasted away in a corner, without getting to know life.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“There are people who leave and people who know how to be left.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Things without meaning are the most beautiful ones.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I would always be afraid: afraid of saying the wrong thing, of using an exaggerated tone, of dressing unsuitably, of revealing petty feelings, of not having interesting thoughts.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Once, she closed the book abruptly and said with annoyance, "That's enough." "Why?" "Because I've had it, it's always the same story: inside something small there's something even smaller that wants to leap out, and outside something large there's always someting larger that wants to keep it a prisoner.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Is it possible that even happy moments of pleasure never stand up to a rigorous examination? Possible.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“If nothing could save us, not money, not a male body, and not even studying, we might as well destroy everything immediately.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“The only woman's body I had studied, with ever-increasing apprehension, was the lame body of my mother, and I had felt pressed, threatened by that image, and still feared that it would suddenly impose itself on mine. That day, instead, I saw clearly the mothers of the old neighborhood. They were nervous, they were acquiescent. They were silent, with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them. Extremely thin, with hollow eyes and cheeks, they lugged shopping bags and small children who clung to their skirts and wanted to be picked up. And, good God, they were ten, at most twenty years older than me. Yet they appeared to have lost those feminine qualities that were so important to us girls and that we accentuated with clothes, with makeup. They had been consumed by the bodies of husbands, fathers, brothers, whom they ultimately came to resemble, because of their labors or the arrival of old age, of illness. When did that transformation begin? With housework? With pregnancies? With beatings?”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“How quickly people changed, with their interests, their feelings. Well-made phrases replaced by well-made phrases, time is a flow of words coherent only in appearance, the one who piles up the most is the one who wins.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I understood that I had arrived there full of pride and realized that—in good faith, certainly, with affection—I had made that whole journey mainly to show her what she had lost and what I had won. But she had known from the moment I appeared, and now, risking tensions with her workmates, and fines, she was explaining to me that I had won nothing, that in the world there is nothing to win, that her life was full of varied and foolish adventures as much as mine, and that time simply slipped away without any meaning, and it was good just to see each other every so often to hear the mad sound of the brain of one echo in the mad sound of the brain of the other.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“There are moments when we resort to senseless formulations and advance absurd claims to hide straightforward feelings.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I am what I am and I have to accept myself; I was born like this, in this city, with this dialect, without money; I will give what I can give, I will take what I can take, I will endure what has to be endured.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Maybe we really are made of the same clay, maybe we really are condemned, blameless, to the same, identical mediocrity.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Everything is interesting if you know how to work on it.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“That day, instead, I saw clearly the mothers of the old neighbourhood. They were nervous, they were acquiescent. They were silent, with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them. Extremely thin, with hollow eyes and cheeks, or with broad behinds, swallen ankles, heavy chests, they lugged shopping bags and small children who clung to their skirts (...) they appeared to have lost those feminine qualities that were so important to us girls (...) They had been consumed by the bodies of husbands, fathers, brothers, whom they ultimately came to resemble, because of their labors or the arrival of old age, of illness. When did that transformation begin? With housework? With pregnancies? With beatings?”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I gave in continuously, with painful pleasure, to waves of unhappiness.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Why, then, even when I advanced, was I so quick to retreat? Why did I always have ready a gracious smile, a happy laugh, when things went badly? Why, sooner or later, did I always find plausible excuses for those who made me suffer?”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Today I feel some uneasiness in recalling how much I suffered, I have no sympathy for myself of that time.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“The title is Ulysses'
'Is it about the Odyssey?'
'No, it’s about how prosaic life is today.'
'And so?'
'That’s all. It says that our heads are full of nonsense. That we are flesh, blood, and bone. That one person has the same value as another. That we want only to eat, drink, fuck.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I became disenchanted. My first impression, that of finding myself part of a fearless battle, passed. The trepidation at every exam and the joy of passing it with the highest marks had faded. Gone was the pleasure of re-educating my voice, my gestures, my way of dressing and walking, as if I were competing for the prize of best disguise, the mask worn so well that it was almost a face.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“We had grown up thinking that a stranger must not even touch us, but that our father, our boyfriend, and our husband could hit us when they liked, out of love, to educate us, to reeducate us.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Had it really been so wonderful? I knew very well that at that time, too, there had been shame. And uneasiness, and humiliation, and disgust: accept, submit, force yourself. Is it possible that even happy moments of pleasure never stand up to a rigorous examination? Possible.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Thus the story of the facts has to reckon with filters, deferments, partial truths, half lies: from it comes an arduous measurement of time passed that is based completely on the unreliable measuring device of words.”
elena ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“it was good just to see each other every so often to hear the mad sound of the brain of one echo in the mad sound of the brain of the other.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Maybe I should tell her that things without a meaning are the most beautiful ones”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Finally he had decided that he had to free Lila, even if at that moment, perhaps, she had no desire to be freed. But—he had said to himself—it takes time for people to understand what’s good and what’s bad, and helping them means doing for them what in a particular moment of their life they aren’t capable of doing.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“I said to myself every day: I am what I am and I have to accept myself; I was born like this, in this city, with this dialect, without money; I will give what I can give, I will take what I can take, I will endure what has to be endured.”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
“Love in my case is not indispensable to pleasure, nor is respect. Is it possible, therefore, that the disgust, the humiliation begin afterward, when a man subdues you and violates you at his pleasure solely because now you belong to him, love or not, respect or not?”
Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7