Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3) Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
70,426 ratings, 4.30 average rating, 4,560 reviews
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Quotes Showing 1-30 of 162
“Each of us narrates our life as it suits us.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“You see? In the fairy tales one does as one wants, and in reality one does what one can.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Leave, instead. Get away for good, far from the life we’ve lived since birth. Settle in well-organized lands where everything really is possible. I had fled, in fact. Only to discover, in the decades to come, that I had been wrong, that it was a chain with larger and larger links: the neighborhood was connected to the city, the city to Italy, Italy to Europe, Europe to the whole planet. And this is how I see it today: it’s not the neighborhood that’s sick, it’s not Naples, it’s the entire earth, it’s the universe, or universes. And shrewdness means hiding and hiding from oneself the true state of things.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Become. It was a verb that had always obsessed me...I wanted to become, even though I had never known what. And I had become, that was certain, but without an object, without a real passion, without a determined ambition.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“The waste of intelligence. A community that finds it natural to suffocate with the care of home and children so many women’s intellectual energies is its own enemy and doesn’t realize it.” I waited in silence”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“How can I explain to this woman—I thought—that from the age of six I've been a slave to letters and numbers, that my mood depends on the success of their combinations, that the joy of having done well is rare, unstable, that it lasts an hour, an afternoon, a night?”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“...maybe, in the face of abandonment, we are all the same; maybe not even a very orderly mind can endure the discovery of not being loved.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“May I point out something? You always use true and truthfully, when you speak and when you write. Or you say: unexpectedly. But when do people ever speak truthfully and when do things ever happen unexpectedly? You know better than I that it’s all a fraud and that one thing follows another and then another. I don’t do anything truthfully anymore, Lenù. And I’ve learned to pay attention to things. Only idiots believe that they happen unexpectedly.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“And no one knew better than I did what it meant to make your own head masculine so that it would be accepted by the culture of men; I had done it, I was doing it.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“I said to myself that maturity consisted in accepting the turn that existence had taken without getting too upset, following a path between daily practices and theoretical achievements, learning to see oneself, know oneself, in expectation of great changes.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Men, dazed by pleasure, absent-mindedly sow their seed. Overcome by their orgasm, they fertilize us. They show up inside us and withdraw, leaving, concealed in our flesh, their ghost, like a lost object.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“People died of carelessness, of corruption, of abuse, and yet, in every round of voting, gave their enthusiastic approval to the politicians who made their life unbearable.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“So afterward, when you no longer love him, it bothers you just to think that you once wanted him.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“maturity consisted in accepting the turn that existence had taken without getting too upset,”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Marriage by now seemed to me an institution that, contrary to what one might think, stripped coitus of all humanity.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“When the task we give ourselves has the urgency of passion, there's nothing that can keep us from completing it.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“She went like that saint who, although she still has her head on her shoulders, is carrying it in her hands, as if it had already been cut off.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“She was like the full moon when it crouches behind the forest and the branches scribble on its face.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Maybe there’s something mistaken in this desire men have to instruct us; I was young at the time, and I didn’t realize that in his wish to transform me was the proof that he didn’t like me as I was, he wanted me to be different, or, rather, he didn’t want just a woman, he wanted the woman he imagined he himself would be if he were a woman. For Franco, I said, I was an opportunity for him to expand into the feminine, to take possession of it: I constituted the proof of his omnipotence, the demonstration that he knew how to be not only a man in the right way but also a woman. And today when he no longer senses me as part of himself, he feels betrayed. I”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Finally, I spoke of the necessity of recounting frankly every human experience, including, I said emphatically, what seems unsayable and what we do not speak of even to ourselves.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“In recent years I had begun to be interested in fashion, to educate my taste under Adele's guidance, and now I enjoyed dressing up. But sometimes - especially when I had dressed not only to make a good impression in general, but for a man - preparing myself (this was the word) seemed to me to have something ridiculous about it. All that struggle, all that time spent camouflaging myself when I could be doing something else. The colors that suited me, the ones that didn't, the styles that made me look thinner, those that made me fatter, the cut that flattered me, the one that didn't. A lengthy, costly preparation. Reducing myself to a table set for the sexual appetite of the male, to a well-cooked dish to make his mouth water.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“The waste of intelligence. A community that finds it natural to suffocate with the care of home and children so many women’s intellectual energies is its own enemy and doesn’t realize it.” I”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Whenever I returned I found a city that was spineless, that couldn’t stand up to changes of season, heat, cold, and, especially, storms. Look how the station on Piazza Garibaldi was flooded, look how the Galleria opposite the museum had collapsed; there was a landslide, and the electricity didn’t come back on. Lodged in my memory were dark streets full of dangers, unregulated traffic, broken pavements, giant puddles. The clogged sewers splattered, dribbled over. Lavas of water and sewage and garbage and bacteria spilled into the sea from the hills that were burdened with new, fragile structures, or eroded the world from below. People died of carelessness, of corruption, of abuse, and yet, in every round of voting, gave their enthusiastic approval to the politicians who made their life unbearable.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“I feel like the knight in an ancient romance as, wrapped in his shining armor, after performing a thousand astonishing feats throughout the world, he meets a ragged, starving herdsman, who, never leaving his pasture, subdues and controls horrible beasts with his bare hands, and with prodigious courage.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“I didn’t realize that in his wish to transform me was the proof that he didn’t like me as I was, he wanted me to be different, or, rather, he didn’t want just a woman, he wanted the woman he imagined he himself would be if he were a woman. For Franco, I said, I was an opportunity for him to expand into the feminine, to take possession of it: I constituted the proof of his omnipotence, the demonstration that he knew now to be not only a man in the right way, but also a woman.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“I concluded that first of all I had to understand better what I was. Investigate my nature as a woman. I had been excessive, I had striven to give myself male capacities. I thought I had to know everything, be concerned with everything. What did I care about politics, about struggles. I wanted to make a good impression on men, be at their level. At the level of what, of their reason, most unreasonable.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Ognuno si racconta la vita come gli fa comodo.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“Nelle favole si fa come si vuole e nella realtà si fa come si può.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“You really work in those conditions?”

She, irritated by the contact, pulled her arm away, protesting: “And how do you work, the two of you, how do you work?”

They didn’t answer. They worked hard, that was obvious. And at least Enzo in front of him, in the factory, women worn out by the work, by humiliations, by domestic obligations no less than Lila was. Yet now they were both angry because of the conditions _she_ worked in; they couldn’t tolerate it. You had to hide everything from men. They preferred not to know, they preferred to pretend that what happened at the hands of the boss miraculously didn’t happen to the women important to them and that—this was the idea they had grown up with—they had to protect her even at the risk of being killed. In the face of that silence Lila got even angrier. "Fuck off," she said, "you and the working class.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
“I devoted myself to the house, to the children, to Pietro. Not once did I think of having Clelia back or of replacing her with someone else. Again, I took on everything, and certainly I did it to put myself in a stupor. But it happened without effort, without bitterness, as if I had suddenly discovered that this was the right way of spending one's life, and a part of me whispered: Enough of those silly notions in your head.”
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

« previous 1 3 4 5 6