Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland, Carson McCullers
Day and night she had drudged and struggled and thrown her soul into her work, and there was not much of her left over for anything else. Being human, she suffered from this lack and did what she could to make up for it. If she spent the evening bent over a table in the library and later declared she had spent that time playing cards, it was as though she had managed to do both those things. Through the lies, she lived vicariously. The lies doubled the little of her existence that was left over from work and augmented the little rag end of her personal life.
Unending love for McCullers’s women.
The difficulties (which other people surely find incredible) I have in speaking to people arise from the fact that my thinking, or rather the content of my consciousness, is entirely nebulous, that I remain undisturbed by this, so far as it concerns only myself, and am even occasionally self-satisfied; yet conversation with people demands pointedness, solidity, and sustained coherence, qualities not to be found in me. No one will want to lie in clouds of mist with me, and even if someone did, I couldn’t expel the mist from my head; when two people come together it dissolves of itself and is nothing.
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
How did one judge people, think of them? How did one add up this and that and conclude that it was liking one felt, or disliking? And to those words, what meaning attached, after all?
Lately, all of my really strong dislikes are dissolving into neutrality.
Memory’s Ghost, Philip J. Hilts
Depressive illness can be characterized, in very loose terms, as a problem of memory. That is, when an individual has depression, they have preferential access to negatively charged memories. It is almost impossible for them to describe a time when they remember feeling well, or even to describe what it’s like to feel well. The patients also found that when they are depressed, many of their experiences gain negative charges even as they are being laid down as memory, even if they are in fact neutral or positive. They are false memories of their own kind.
The Sound of the Mountain, Yasunari Kawabata; 1954
The dream had had scarcely any plot. He had just seen a bearded man. The American government designated the beard a national monument; and so he could not of his own free will cut or dress it. The beard was of course a long one. He liked the idea of its becoming a national monument.
Walt Whitman’s beard might’ve been worthy of national honors. I want this book to go on forever. The dreams in this book don’t detract from its greatness. I think I could read an entire book of “Shingo’s dreams.”