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Nicole Krauss Quotes
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Nicole Krauss Quote: “Only now that my son was gone did I realize how much I’d been living for him. When I woke up in the morning it was because he existed, and when I ordered food it was because he existed, and when I wrote my book it was because he existed to read it.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “If you don’t know what it feels like to have someone you love put a hand below your bottom rib for the first time, what chance is there for love?”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “What interests me in writing a novel is taking really remote voices, characters, and stories and beginning to create some kind of web.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I forced myself to picture the last moments. The penultimate breath. A final sigh. And yet. It was always followed by another.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say ‘Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you.’ Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “And yet isn’t it true of all of us? That there are things we feel to be at the heart of our nature that are not borne out by the evidence around us, and so, to protect our delicate sense of integrity, we elect, however unconsciously, to see the world other than the way it really is? And sometimes it leads to transcendence, and sometimes it leads to the unconscionable.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I know sometimes things are hard with Mum.” “She misses Dad,” I said, which was like pointing out that a sky-scraper is tall. Uncle Julian nodded.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – i you find yourself at a loss for what do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignnes of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I wanted to describe the world, because to live in an undescribed world was too lonely.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Every year, the memories I have of my father become more faint, unclear, and distant. once they were vivid and true, then they became like photographs, and now they are more like photographs of photographs. But sometimes, at rare moments, a memory of him will return to me with such suddenness and clarity that all the feeling I’ve pushed down for years springs out like a jack-in-the-box.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Put even a fool in front of the window and you’ll get a Spinoza; in the end life makes window watchers of us all.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn’t, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “When he read a book he gave himself over entirely to commas and semicolons, to the space after the period and before the capital letter of the next sentence. He discovered the places in a room where silence gathered; the folds of the curtain drapes, the deep bowls of the family silver. When people spoke to him he heard less of what they were saying, and more and more of what they were not.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Where he saw a page of words, his friend saw the field of hesitations, black holes, and possibilities between the words. Where his friend saw dappled light, the felicity of flight, the sadness of gravity, he saw the solid form of a common sparrow.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “In the months after the relationship ends, a person can seem to grow at a lightning rate, like in a nature documentary where weeks of footage is run at high speed to show a plant unfurling in seconds, but in reality the person has been growing all along, under the surface, and it is only in their new freedom, in their hair-raising aloneness, that the person can allow for these underground things to break through and unfurl themselves in the light.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Some people, like your sister, just get happier and happier everyday. And some people, like Baba Asch, just get sadder and sadder. And some people, like you, get both.′ ‘What about you? Are you the happiest and the saddest right now than you’ve ever been?’ ‘Of course I am.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “The way Misha tells it, he drove like a blind man, giving the car almost full independence to feel its way along, bumping off things, only giving the wheel a spin with the tips of this fingers when the situation verged on life threatening.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “He learned to live with the truth. Not to accept it, but to live with it. It was like living with an elephant. His room was tiny, and every morning he had to squeeze around the truth just to get to the bathroom. To reach the armoire to get a pair of underpants he had to crawl under the truth, praying it wouldn’t choose that moment to sit on his face. At night, when he closed his eyes, he felt it looming above him.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “After all, the world population of artists has exploded, almost no one is not an artist now; in turning our attention inward, so have we turned all of our hope inward, believing that meaning can be found or made there. Having cut ourselves off from all that is unknowable and that might truly fill us with awe, we can only find wonderment in our own powers of creativity.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Maybe the first time you saw her you were ten. She was standing in the sun scratching her legs. Or tracing letters in the dirt with a stick. Her hair was being pulled. Or she was pulling someone’s hair. And a part of you was drawn to her, and a part of you resisted – wanting to ride off on your bicycle, kick a stone, remain uncomplicated. In the same breath you felt the strength of a man, and a self-pity that made you feel small and hurt. Part of you thought: Please don’t look at me. If you don’t, I can still turn away. And part of you thought: Look at me.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “But we didn’t invent the idea of a single God; we only wrote a story of our struggle to remain true to Him and in doing so we invented ourselves. We gave ourselves a past and inscribed ourselves into the future.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Somewhere in the far north of Canada there wuld be snow, falling soundlessly overy the Beaufort Sea, falling over the Artic without a soul to see it. What kind of weather was that, Samson wondered, and how was one to use this information except as proof that the world was too much to bear?”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “This is why the rabbis tell us that a broken heart is more full than one that is content: because a broken heart has a vacancy, and the vacancy has the potential to be filled with the infinite.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I found out how little is unbearable.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Without memories to cloud it, the mind perceives with absolute clarity. Each observation stands out in stark relief. In the beginning, when there’s not yet a smudge, the slate still blank, there is only the present moment: each vital detail, shocked color, the fall of light. Like film stills. The mind relentlessly open to the world, deeply impressed, even hurt by it: not yet gauzed by memory.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I considered my options. Either I could run away and never go back to school again, maybe even leave the country as a stowaway on a ship bound for Australia. Or I could risk everything and confess to her. The answer was obvious: I was going to Australia. I opened my mouth to say goodbye forever. And yet. What I said was: I want to know if you’ll marry me.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I though, So this is how they send the angel. Stalled at the age when she loved you most.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Once or twice a year I attended the English Romantic conferences held throughout Europe, brief gatherings perhaps not dissimilar in feeling for the participants than the feeling Jews have when they get off the plane in Israel: the relief of at last being surrounded on all sides by your own kind – the relief and the horror.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “All these years Litvinoff had imagined he was so much like his friend. He’d prided himself on what he considered their similarities. But the truth was that he was no more like the man fighting a fever in bed ten feet away than he was like the cat that had just slunk off: they were different species.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “My mother was the force around which our world turned. Unlike our father, who spent his life in the clouds, my mother was propelled through the universe by the brute force of reason. She was the judge in all of our arguments. One disapproving word from her was enough to send us off to hide in a corner, where we would cry and fantasize our own martyrdom. And yet. One kiss could restore us to princedom. Without her, our lives would dissolve into chaos.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “If they have to be named after anything at all, why can’t it be things, which have more permanence, like the sky or the sea, or even ideas, which never really die, not even bad ones?”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “He wondered if what he had taken for the richness of silence was really the poverty of never being heard.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Doesn’t part of the awe that fills us when we confront the unknown come from understanding that, should it at last flood into us and become known, we would be altered?”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “The fact that you got a little happier today doesn’t change the fact that you also became a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you’re the happiest and saddest you’ve ever been in your whole life.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “He had slept next to her for thirty-six years, and the mattress felt different without her weight, however slight, and without the rhythm of her breath the dark had no measure. There were times he woke feeling cold from the lack of the heat that once came from between her thighs and behind her knees. He might have even called her, if he could have momentarily forgotten that he already knew everything she could possibly say.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Then one day I was looking out the window. Maybe I was contemplating the sky. Put even a fool in front of the window and you’ll get a Spinoza.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “She abandoned the garden, and the mums and asters that had trusted her to see them through to the first frost hung their waterlogged heads.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “I hadn’t thought about it until just now, but the night Daniel rang our bell in the winter of 1970 was the end of November, the same time of year she died twenty-seven years later. I don’t know what’s that supposed to tell you; nothing, except that we take comfort in the symmetries we find in life because they suggest a design where there is none.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Part of you thought: Please don’t look at me. If you don’t, I can still turn away. And part of you thought. Look at me.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “It would mark the end of a year that he might look back on as hands, a pivot between two lines. Or not: maybe enough time, would pass that eventually he would look back on his life, all of it, as a series of events both logical and continuous.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Childhood is a process of slowly recomposing oneself out of the borrowed materials of the world.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Aside from myself, there was no sign of me.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Herman slipped his hand into mine, and I thought, An average of seventy-four species become extinct every day, which was one good reason but not the only one to hold someone’s hand, and the next thing that happened was we kissed each other, and I found I knew how, and I felt happy and sad in equal parts, because I knew that I was falling in love, but it wasn’t with him.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “He was an average man. A man willing to accept things as they were, and, because of this, he lacked the potential to be in anyway original.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “She’s kept her love for him as alive as the summer they first met. In order to do this, she’s turned life away. Sometimes she subsists for days on water and air.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “As the rifles were pointed at his chest he wondered if what he had taken for the richness of silence was really the poverty of never being heard. He had thought the possibilities of human silence were endless.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “At the end, all that is left of you are your possessions.”
Nicole Krauss Quote: “Except for when I was very little and thought that being an “engineer” meant he drove a train. Then I imagined him in the seat of an engine car the color of coal, a string of shiny passenger cars trailing behind. One day my father laughed and corrected me. Everything snapped into focus. It’s one of those unforgettable moments that happen as a child, when you discover that all along the world has been betraying you.”
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