Snippets.

They’re ghosts, surely, and Rabbit absolutely believes in them.  There are things in the world, strange machinations of physics and chemistry, queer intersections of biology and theology, that Rabbit hasn’t the slightest interest in assuming he’ll ever understand or be able to solve.  They’re simply there to be believed in, and Rabbit is a born believer.  He wants to believe.  He has always thought of life as pregnant with possibility - a freak twister or a wardrobe the only thing separating him from another world - so ghosts, spirits, aliens and supreme beings coexist within Rabbit with ease.  There’s a kind of beauty in accepting the possibility, if not the plausibility, of everything imaginable.  

Rabbit has a much, much harder time placing his faith in other people.  With the unknown world, there’s nonetheless a form, a shape, an internal consistency.  With other people, there’s an illusion of expectation; there are rules of decency, of kindness, yet you still never know what you’re going to get.

—p. 218, Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racculia

Jul 26

"The past was layered under the present like sheets of tissue paper, still visible if you focused your attention long enough to see below the surface."

- p. 78, Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racculia

Jul 26

"Rabbit worried himself into a hold for the people he loved, for the world at large, and if he hadn’t felt that organized religion had no love for men who loved other men, he probably would have become a priest. He worshiped and found peace, at the age of seventeen, the only way he knew how: in the temple of Beethoven and Debussy, of David Bowie and Led Zeppelin. They filled his secret heart and made it less afraid."

- p. 66, Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racculia

Jul 26

Rabbit’s parents, lapsed Protestants, had managed to pass along the big-ticket ideas of Christianity, but practically speaking.  Rabbit had learned Judeo-Christian history from the school of Indiana Jones.  Bambi’s mother taught him about loss, and he was too in love with dinosaurs to entertain the idea of a literal seven-day Creation schedule.  Charlie Brown (or rather, Linus) told him the Christmas story; Jesus Christ Superstar covered the crucifixion.  He did not regret his secular education.  He may have been baptized Presbyterian, but music was his true religion.

—p. 62, Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racculia

Jul 26

"Well-” Mrs. Jones began, but could not go on. The trembly corners of her mouth seemed to be fighting against the stoic slabs of her cheeks and making them twitch."

- Gail Godwin, Flora, p. 155

Jun 15

"Nonie had a surface, but it was a surface created by her, then checked from all angles in her three-way mirror before she presented it to others.  Below that surface I knew her love for me resided, but below that were seams and shelves of private knowledge, portions of which would be doled out like playing cards, each in its turn, if and when she deemed the time was ripe."

- Gail Goodwin, Flora, p. 2

Jun 11

"Like the rest of America, California is unformed, innovative, ahistorical, hedonistic, acquisitive, and energetic-only more so."

- Wallace Stegner, Saturday Review, 1967

Apr 14

"It was one of those instances one feels as if one’s skin has abruptly become thin as one layer of phyllo dough on a triangle of baklava, when one desperately doesn’t want the other person to go, but doesn’t say anything in order to feel isolation in its purest form, as a periodic table of element, one of the noble gases, Iso1."

- Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, p. 352

Jul 5

"I knew how complimentary it could feel when Hannah talked to you, when she singled you out - opened your meek cover, boldly creased the spine, stared inside at your pages, searching for the point at which she’d stopped reading, anxious to find out what happens next. (She always read with great concentration, so you thought you were her favorite paperback until she abruptly put you down and started to read another with the same intensity.)"

- Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, p. 322

Jul 5

"Leontyne Bennett skillfully dissected in The Commonwealth of Lost Vanities (1969) Virgil’s renowned quotation “Love conquers all.” “For centuries upon centuries,” he writes on p. 559, “we have been misinterpreting this famed trio of words. The uninformed masses breathlessly hold up this dwarfish phrase as a justification for snogging in public squares, abandoning wives, cuckolding husbands, for the escalating divorce rate, for swarms of bastard children begging for handouts in the Whitechapel and Aldgate tube stations - when in fact, there is nothing remotely encouraging or cheerful about this oft-quoted phrase. The Latin poet wrote ‘Amor vincit omnia’ or ‘Love conquers all.’ He did not write, ‘Love frees all or ‘liberates’ all, and therein lies the first degree of our flagrant misunderstanding. Conquer: to defeat, subjugate, massacre, cream, make mincemeat out of. Surely, this cannot be a positive thing. And then, he wrote ‘conquers all’ - not exclusively the unpleasant things, destitution, assassination, burglary, but all, including pleasure, peace, common sense, liberty, and self-determination. And thus we may appreciate that Virgil’s words are not encouragement, but rather a caveat, a cue to evade, shirk, elude the feeling at all costs, else we risk the massacre of the things we hold most dear, including our sense of self.”"

- Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, p. 293

Jul 5