11.17.2016



"She always wanted to be the kind of person who could play the “Moonlight” Sonata. 
She buries her failure at this, as she buries all her failures, in reading. 
The wine is finished; she sucks a lollipop that only tastes red. 
She reads for a long time until she hears what she thinks is her stomach growling, but it is, in fact, nearby thunder. 
And just after the thunder comes the rain, and with the rain comes the memory of the baby sinkhole under the southeast corner of the house."
-Lauren Groff, "Flower Hunters"

11.03.2016

"In Ferrante’s novels, women disappear quite often—either at the hands of others or by their own will. Disappearance is a way to fight back against the demand that, as women, they must forgo any right to their humanity in service to their families. It is an act of rebellion against the idea of what women should be—an idea usually determined by men."
-Alexander Chee, "Elena Ferrante, Private Novelist"

11.01.2016

Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.


-Rainer Maria Rilke, from Onto A Vast Plain

10.03.2016

To fall in love with a book, in that way that I and so many others have fallen in love with Ferrante’s, is to feel a special kinship with its author, a profound sort of mutual receptivity and comprehension. The author knows nothing about you, and yet you feel that your most intimate self has been understood. The fact that Ferrante has chosen to be anonymous has become part of this contract, and has put readers and writer on a rare, equal plane. Ferrante doesn’t know the details of our lives, and doesn’t care to. We don’t know those of hers. We meet on an imaginative neutral ground, open to all.
-Alexandra Schwartz, "The 'Unmasking' of Elena Ferrante"

9.27.2016

“I’ve spent the past week—as I’ve spent much of the past few years—wanting only for the world to go away, for all engagements to be canceled, and to have more time with my family ... “It’s almost as if the desire for community is a nostalgic one; and the reality, with time’s winged chariot hurrying near, is that one longs increasingly for simple affections, for space, and calm, and time to work. What contradictory beings humans are.”

-Claire Messud, in an email