I think I want to be in love with you but I don’t know how.
Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
The lovely Hazard girls’, they used to call them. Huh. Lovely is as lovely does; if they looked like what they behave like, they’d frighten little children.
These days, you could stage a three-point orgy in the garden and nobody would bat an eye…
Child, if such folks awe you, then picture them on the lavatory, straining, constipated. They will at once seem small, pathetic, manageable.” And she whispered to me a great, universal truth: “THE BOWELS ARE GREAT LEVELLERS.
Out of the frying pan into the fire! What is marriage but prostitution to one man instead of many? No different!
Swahili storytellers believe that women are incorrigibly wicked, diabolically cunning and sexually insatiable; I hope this is true, for the sake of the women.
We must all make do with the rags of love we find flapping on the scarecrow of humanity.
It is a characteristic of human beings that if they haven’t got a family of their own, they will invent one.
The child’s laughter is pure until he first laughs at a clown.
Oh, the pain of it, thought Lee, thinking about his children, oh! the exquisite pain of unrequited love. The only authentic wound, the sweet curse they inflict on you, the revenge of heterosexuality.
At length the grandeur of the mountains becomes monotonous; with familiarity, the landscape ceases to provoke awe and wonder and the traveller sees the alps with the indifferent eye of those who always live there.
There Peter sat in the new sunlight, plaiting the straw for baskets, until he saw the thing he had been taught most to fear advancing silently along the lea of an outcrop of rock.
How pleased I was to see I strick the Beast to the heart.
I was a young girl, a virgin, and therefore men denied me rationality just as they denied it to all those who were not exactly like themselves, in all their unreason.
A free woman in an unfree society will be a monster.
The perennial sadness of a girl who is both death and the maiden.
By the end of the affair, she had acquired so much miserable information about men and women she almost decided to give up relationships for good.
She was no malleable, since frigid, substance upon which desires might be executed; she was not a true prostitute for she was the object on which men prostituted themselves.
She has the mysterious solitude of ambiguous states; she hovers in a no-man’s land between life and death, sleeping and waking.
And it was sad music fit to make you cut your throat.
Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.
It is possible to be a great novelist – that is, to render a veracious account of your times – and a bad writer – that is, an incompetent practitioner of applied linguistics.
I speak as if he had no secrets from me. Well, then, you must know I was suffering from love and I knew him as intimately as I knew my own image in a mirror. In other words, I knew him only in relation to myself.
A mother is always a mother, since a mother is a biological fact, whilst a father is a movable feast.
Like the culture that created me, I am receding into the past at a rate of knots. Soon I’ll need a whole row of footnotes if anybody under thirty-five is going to comprehend the least thing I say.
She stood lost in eternity… watching the immense sky…
And from the coffin of your madness there is no escape.
jThe notion of a universality of human experience is a confidence trick and the notion of a universality of female experience is a clever confidence trick.
Justine’s virtue, in action, is the liberal lie in action, a good heart and an inadequate methodology.
She was feeling supernatural tonight. She wanted to EAT diamonds.
She quickly interpreted him into her mythology but if, at first, he was a herbivorous lion, later he became a unicorn devouring raw meat.
…as if Hollywood were the name of the enchanted forest where you loose yourself and find yourself, again; the wood that changes you; the wood where you go mad; the wood where the shadows life longer than you do.
Perhaps…I could not be content with mere contentment!
A fairy tale is the kind of story in which one king goes to another king to borrow a cup of sugar.
To be the object of desire is to be defined in the passive case.To exist in the passive case is to die in the passive case – that is, to be killed.This is the moral of the fairy tale about the perfect woman.
In a world where women are commodities, a woman who refuses to sell herself will have the thing she refuses to sell taken away from her by force
The clown may be the source of mirth, but – who shall make the clown laugh?
…for nothing is more boring than being forced to play.
Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.
From beggar to thief is one step, but a step in two directions at the same time, for what a beggar loses in morality when he becomes a thief he regains in self-respect.
Nothing is a matter of life and death except life and death.
Aeneas carried his aged father on his back from the ruins of Troy and so do we all, whether we like it or not, perhaps even if we have never known them.
To pin your hopes upon the future is to consign those hopes to a hypothesis, which is to say, a nothingness. Here and now is what we must contend with.