The following quotes are from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. (The last book club book.)
And you can tell from the way she’s moving: she is heading towards. Maman just went by in the direction of the front door, she’s going out shopping and in fact she already is outside, her movement anticipating itself. I don’t really know how to explain it, but when we move, we are in a way de-structured by our movement towards something: we are both here and at the same time not here because we’re already in the process of going somewhere else, if you see what I mean.
(Let me say, before this quote, that the book club is all female except for myself … But I still like this quote.)
Let me explain: if, thus far, you have imagined that the ugliness of ageing and conciergely widowhood have made a pitiful wretch of me, resigned to the lowliness of her fate – then you are truly lacking in imagination. I have withdrawn, to be sure, and refuse to fight. But within the safety of my own mind, there is no challenge I cannot accept. I may be indigent in name, position and appearance, but in my own mind I am an unrivaled goddess.
Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?
True novelty is that which does not grow old, despite the passage of time.
They have one idea in mind: to be intelligent, which is really stupid. And when intelligence takes itself for its own goal, it operates very strangely: the proof that it exists is not to be found in the ingenuity or simplicity of what it produces, but in how obscurely it is expressed.
And secondly, a teenager who pretends to be an adult is still a teenager. If you imagine that getting high at a party and sleeping around is going to propel you into a state of full adulthood, that’s like thinking that dressing up as an Indian is going to make you an Indian. And thirdly, it’s a really weird way of looking at life to want to become an adult by imitating everything that is most catastrophic about adulthood …
Desire! It carries us and crucifies us, delivers us every new day to a battlefield where, on the eve, the battle was lost; but in sunlight does it not look like a territory ripe for conquest, a place where – even though tomorrow we will die – we can build empires doomed to fade to dust, as if the knowledge we have of their imminent fall had absolutely no effect on our eagerness to build them now?
For art is emotion without desire.
Comments on: "Quotes of the Day!" (1)
Great quotes from a lovely book.