CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Quotes

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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
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“I have a sense that God is unfair and preferentially punishes his weak, his dumb, his fat, his lazy. I believe he takes more pleasure in his perfect creatures, and cheers them on like a brainless dad as they run roughshod over the rest of us. He gives us a need for love, and no way to get any. He gives us a desire to be liked, and personal attributes that make us utterly unlikable. Having placed his flawed and needy children in a world of exacting specifications, he deducts the difference between what we have and what we need from our hearts and our self-esteem and our mental health.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“What I'm primarily saying,' he says, 'is that this is a time for knowledge assimilation, not backstabbing. We learned a lesson, you and I. We personally grew. Gratitude for this growth is an appropriate response. Gratitude, and being careful never to make the same mistake twice.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I'm not a bad guy. If only I could stop hoping. If only I could say to my heart: Give up. Be alone forever. There's always opera. There's angel-food cake and neighborhood children caroling, and the look of autumn leaves on a wet roof. But no. My heart's some kind of idiotic fishing bobber.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“She's sweet but too apocalyptic. You try kissing someone good-night who's just told you for the umpteenth time that the world's experiencing its last disgusting paroxysm before Rapture.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I wander cowboy sidewalks of wood, wearing a too-small hat, filled with remorse for the many lives I failed to lead.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Sweet Evelyn, I think, I should have loved you better.
Possessing perfect knowledge I hover above him as he hacks me to bits. I see his rough childhood. I see his mother doing something horrid to him with a broomstick. I see the hate in his heart and the people he had yet to kill before pneumonia gets him at eighty-three. I see the dead kid's mom unable to sleep, pounding her fists against her face in grief at the moment I was burying her son's hand. I see the pain I've caused. I see the man I could have been, and the man I was, and then everything is bright and new and keen with love and I sweep through Sam's body, trying to change him, trying so hard, and feeling only hate and hate, solid as stone.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Don't think of yourself as a surrogate mule, think of yourself as an entrepreneur of the physical.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Mr. A calls me into his office and says he's got bad news and bad news, and which do I want first. I say the bad news.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“The work that stirs the greatest passion is also the work that creates around it the greatest silence, the strongest imperative to stand back and admire and let others admire, without interfering.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“In spite of the strife the stars were bright as crystal.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
tags: bounty
“That's what a book is: a failed attempt that, its failure notwithstanding, is sincere and hard-worked and expunged of as much falseness as he could manage, given his limited abilities, and has thus been imbued with a sort of purity.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“...and finally, having lost what was to be lost, my torn and black heart rebels saying enough already, enough, this is as low as I go”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I’m bleeding at the knees and choking from smoke and have no idea who these people are or where I’m going, but at least I’m off the hook in terms of the hand jobs.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“What a degraded cosmos. What a case of something starting out nice and going bad.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I say it must have been great to grow up when men were men. He says men have always been what the are now, namely incapable of coping with life without the intervention of God the Almighty. Then in the oven behind him my pizza starts smoking and he says case in point.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
tags: god, men, pizza
“All night I have bad dreams about severed hands. In one I’m eating chili and a hand comes out of my bowl and gives me the thumbs-down. I”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I have a sense that God is unfair and preferentially punishes his weak, his dumb, his fat, his lazy. I believe he takes more pleasure in his perfect creatures, and cheers them on like a brainless dad as they run roughshod over the rest of us. He gives us a need for love, and no way to get any. He gives us a desire to be liked, and personal attributes that make us utterly un-likable. Having placed his flawed and needy children in a world of exacting specifications, he deducts the difference between”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I would have done anything to stop the hitting. Anything. So much for human dignity, I think, a few whacks in the ribs and you’re calling a fat guy God and eating soil at his request.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“He sent the trained dog that is his talent off in search of a fat glorious pheasant, and it brought back the lower half of a Barbie doll.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
tags: talent
“Lightning strikes the slaughterhouse flagpole and the antelope scatter like minnows as the rain begins to fall, and finally, having lost what was to be lost, my torn and black heart rebels, saying enough already, enough, this is as low as I go.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I noticed something: if I put a theme park in a story, my prose improved.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“By then I was selling the hell out of Buicks at night. So I got a little place of my own and moved her in with me. Now we’re pals. Family. It’s not perfect. Sometimes it’s damn hard. But I look after her and she squeals with delight when I come home, and the sum total of sadness in the world is less than it would have been.

Her real name is Isabelle.

A pretty, pretty name.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Saunders writes like something of a saint. He seems in touch with some better being. He teaches us not only how to write but how to live. He sets the bar and also the example. He hopes we might see the possibility of our better selves and act on it. He seems sent—what other way to put it?—to teach us mercy and grace.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Even the nuns went racist after the convent was reappraised and it seemed their pension fund was in jeopardy.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“What do my colleagues know of Dad? What do they know of me? What kind of friend gets a kick out of posting in the break room a drawing of you eating an entire computer? What kind of friend jokes that someday you'll be buried in a specially built container after succumbing to heart strain?
I'm sorry but I feel that life should offer more than this.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Maybe the God we see, the God who calls the daily shots, is merely a subGod. Maybe there’s a God above this subGod who’s busy for a few God minutes with something else, and will be right back; and when he gets back will take the subGod by the ear and say: Now look. Look at that fat man. What did he ever do to you? Wasn’t he humble enough? Didn’t he endure enough abuse for a thousand men? Weren’t the simplest tasks hard? Didn’t you sense him craving affection? Were you unaware that his days unraveled as one long bad dream? And maybe as the subGod slinks away, the true God will sweep me up in his arms, saying: My sincere apologies, a mistake has been made. Accept a new birth, as token of my esteem.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Once again I am only who I am.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“think of how lovely it all could have been had anything gone right, and then I think: Oh heavens, why prolong it, I’ve no income now.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“He seems to have a passable knowledge of how to pretend to churn butter.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“I’m not a bad guy. If only I could stop hoping. If only I could say to my heart: Give up. Be alone forever. There’s always opera. There’s angel-food cake and neighborhood children caroling, and the look of autumn leaves on a wet roof. But no. My heart’s some kind of idiotic fishing bobber.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
tags: hope

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