So many to choose from. I have to admit I’ll be glad to be rid of the critics, but this week had several intriguing quotes. So. Vote if you feel like it.
1) “…he, in his own way, like Schwob in Samoa, had already begun a voyage, a voyage that would end not in the grave of a brave man but in a kind of resignation in any ordinary sense of the word, or even patience or conformity, but rather a state of meekness, a refined and incomprehensible humility that made him cry for no reason and in which his own image, what Morini saw as Morini, gradually and helplessly dissolved, like a river that stops being a river or a tree that burns on the horizon, no knowing that it’s burning” (107).
2) “It was as if the light were buried in the Pacific Ocean, producing an enormous curvature of space. It made a person hungry to travel in that light, although also, and maybe more insistently thought Norton, it made you want to bear your hunger until the end” (110-11).
[one of the best descriptions of the Sonoran desert I’ve ever read.]
3) “And yet your shadow isn’t following you anymore. At some point your shadow has quietly slipped away. You pretend you don’t notice, but you have, you’re missing your fucking shadow, though there are plenty of ways to explain it, the angle of the sun, the degree of oblivion induced by the sun beating down on hatless heads, the quantity of alcohol ingested, the movement of something like subterranean tanks of pain, the fear of more contingent things, a disease that begins to become more apparent, wounded vanity, the desire just for once in your life too be on time. But the point is, your shadow is lost and you, momentarily forget it. And so you arrive on a kind of stage, without your shadow, and you start to translate reality or reinterpret it or sing it” (121).
[This third quote is hands-down my favorite, made even more poignant by Norton’s painfully ignorant and heartless proclamation that she didn’t understand a word of it. Nothing thus far has made me like her less.]
update: check out Maria Bustillos’s post about the shadow passage. Amazing. http://www.bolanobolano.com/2010/02/08/week-3-institutionalized/
At this point, you know that quote three is part of my favorite passage, too.
And we are totally in agreement about the critics. I am delighted to be leaving them behind. Their self-obsession and arrogance have worn on me, and I’m glad we’ll be rid of them.
Yup. Tedious lot. Good riddance. (Of course, saying that means they’ll come back at some point, right?)