Daisies (1966)

“He sat there among them, listened to the buzz of their conversation. He was captivated by them. In that racket every voice touched a key in his soul. He didn’t understand life. He had no conception of why he had been born into the world. As he saw it, anyone to whose lot fell this adventure, the purpose of which was unknown but the end of which was annihilation, that person was absolved from all responsibility and had the right to do as he pleased—for example, to lie full length in the street and begin to moan without any reason—without deserving the slightest censure. But precisely because he considered his life as a whole an incomprehensible thing, he understood its little details individually—every person without exception, every elevated and lowly point of view, every concept—and those he assimilated at once.”
Deszö Kosztolányi, Kornél Esti (p. 74)

Everything For Sale (19)

Everything For Sale (1969)

“Our spread over the earth was fueled by reducing the higher species of vegetation to charcoal, by incessantly burning whatever would burn. From the first smoldering taper to the elegant lanterns whose light reverberated around eighteenth-century courtyards and from the mild radiance of these lanterns to the unearthly glow of the sodium lamps that line the Belgian motorways, it has all been combustion. Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artifact we create. The making of a fish-hook, manufacture of a china cup, or production of a television program all depend on the same process of combustion. Like our bodies and like our desires, the machines we have devised are possessed of a heart which is slowly reduced to embers. From the earliest times, human civilization has been no more that a strange luminescence growing more intense by the hour, of which no one can say when it will begin to wane and when it will fade away. For the time being, our cities still shine through the night, and the fires still spread.”

W.G. Sebald, Rings of Saturn (p. 170)

Il Posto (1961)

Il Posto (1961)

“We experience life as a continuity, and only after it falls away, after it becomes the past, do we see its discontinuities. The past, if there is such a thing, is mostly empty space, great expanses of nothing, in which significant persons and events float.”
—Teju Cole from Open City

Songs from the Second Floor (2000)

Songs from the Second Floor (2000)

“There is a certain dull uniformity in human destiny. The course of our lives follows ancient and immutable laws, with an ancient, changeless rhythm. Dreams never come true, and the instant they are shattered, we realize how the greatest joys of our life lie beyond the realm of reality. The instant they are shattered we are sick with longing for the days when they flamed within us. Our fate spends itself in this succession of hope and nostalgia.”
Natalia Ginzburg

La Notte

elevator to the gallows

Elevator to the Gallows

Diary of a Chambermaid