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Bridge of Sighs Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
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Bridge of Sighs Quotes Showing 1-15 of 15
“Have you ever noticed that when people use the expression 'I have to say', what follows usually needn't be said?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“The line of gray along the horizon is brighter now, and with the coming light I feel a certainty: that there is, despite our wild imaginings, only one life. The ghostly others, no matter how real they seem, no matter how badly we need them, are phantoms. The one life we're left with is sufficient to fill and refill our imperfect hearts with joy, and then to shatter them. And it never, ever lets up.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“Don't even the best and most fortunate of lives hint at other possibilities, at a different kind of sweetness and, yes, bitterness too? Isn't this why we can't help feeling cheated, even when we know we haven't been?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“In the end it all came down to companionship, to friendship, to sacrifice, to compromise.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“I’ve always known that there’s more going on inside me than finds its way into the world, but this is probably true of everyone. Who doesn’t regret that he isn’t more fully understood?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“I told him the truth, that I loved him and didn't regret anything about our lives together. But do we ever 'tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God' as my father used to say, to those we love? Or even to ourselves? Don't even the best and most fortunate of lives hint at other possibilities, at a different kind of sweetness and, yes, bitterness too? Isn't this why we can't help feeling cheated, even when we know we haven't been?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“There are a great many sins in this world, none of them original.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“Can it be that what provides for us is the very thing that poisons us? Who hasn't considered this terrible possibility?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“…a story is like a virus that can rage only for as long as there are new hosts to infect.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“It was hard to imagine him in love. I knew that he and my mother must have once felt passion, since that was what love entailed, but I was grateful that over time the madness had evolved into something more like friendship or a business partnership, something I myself could be an integral part of. Even seeing my father recollect passion was disconcerting.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“Lucy, who apparently had no idea his girlfriend's father held him in such low regard, agreed with Noonan that he was pushing the envelope, behaviorwise. Still, he was genuinely fond of the man and didn't want to believe there was anything seriously wrong. After all, he argued, wasn't Mr. Berg's lunacy born of genius? Even though Lucy loved and defended Thomaston, he had to admit that the man was out of place there. He was despised by most faculty members and secretly made fun of, but even those who loathed him feared his acid wit, his searing intelligence. For all his eccentricity, he was the best teacher either of them had ever had, and honors was worth more than all their other classes combined, not so much in spite of its instructor being dangerously off center as because of it. The weirder things got, the more boundaries that were ignored, the more interesting things became. But what if one of the boundaries they were crossing was the one that separated sanity from madness? Lucy, perhaps out of loyalty to Sarah, didn't want to believe that this was what they were witnessing. Noonan, though, was apprehensive.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“He was an amiable man who believed in amiable solutions, who forgave easily and couldn’t understand that other people derived pleasure from withholding the very thing he always gave so freely.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“Como yo era niño, toleraba poco el misterio y la imprecisión, de modo que andaba pegado a mi madre todo el tiempo.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“What did I think? Right then I was thinking about my father, specifically his habit of treating everyone with courtesy and consideration, of how he used to stop on lower Division Street and converse genially with old black men from the Hill whom he knew from his early days as a route man. His kindness and interest weren't feigned, nor did they derive, I'm convinced, from any perceived send of duty. His behavior was merely an extension of who he was. But here's the thing about my father that I've come to understand only reluctantly and very recently. If he wasn't the cause of what ailed his fellow man, neither was he the solution. He believed in "Do unto Others." It was a good, indeed golden, rule to by and it never occurred to him that perhaps it wasn't enough. "You ain't gotta love people," I remember him proclaiming to the Elite Coffee Club guys at Ikey's back in the early days. Confused by mean-spirited behavior, he was forever explaining how little it cost to be polite, to be nice to people. Make them feel good then they're down because maybe tomorrow you'll be down. Such a small thing. Love, he seemed to understand, was a very big thing indeed, its cost enormous and maybe more than you could afford if you were spendthrift. Nobody expects that of you, asny more than they expected you to hand out hundred-dollar bills on the street corner.
And I remember my mother's response when he repeated over dinner what he'd told the men at the store. "Really, Lou? Isn't that exactly what we're supposed to do? Love people? Isn't that what the Bible says?”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs
“What kind of town? What kind of country? What kind of people? If my father had been on the courthouse steps that day, he might have been able to summon his deeply held conviction that ours was a good town, a good country, and that we were good people, but I couldn't think what to say, and Gabriel seemed grateful that things made no better sense to me than they did to him.”
Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs