Thursday, October 18, 2007

From Jeanette Winterson

"When children learn to count they naturally add and multiply. Subtraction and division are harder to teach them, perhaps because reducing the world is an adult skill."

"The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love."

"When we killed what we were to become what we are, what did we do with the bodies? We did what most people do; buried them under the floorboards and got used to the smell."

"If time is a river then we shall all meet death by water."

"Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough."

"What will happen when there are no more Public Libraries and the World is on CD-Rom?
Where will we go, we exiles from actuality?
What will happen to vets who read Miss Steen
and young girls looking for visions beyond their allotted lens?
In the homogeneity of screen and disc who will find the disruptiveness of the page?
And will we invent fabulous stories of lost libraries where rooked urchins gather books from mile high branches of crazy shelves?"

"Popular culture, that’s art isn’t it? Subjective, romantic, democratic, approachable, good notices in the quality press. If they don’t like it there must be something wrong with it. Does is smell fishy? What’s it about anyway? Where shall I put it?
Fit it all in. Fit it all in, as they say in the back alleys for a Saturday night fiver. So little time. Fit it all in.
Clock culture. Stuff me until I burst and make an installation out o the purée. Art? Don’t be silly. The contemplative life? I have a lunch appointment. How long will it take?
Lunch? Forever. Be forever lunching. Chomping bovinely through the day, wondering why all flesh is grass."

"When I say "I will be true to you" I must mean it in spite of the formalities, instead of the formalities. If I commit adultery in my heart then I have lost you a little. The bright vision of your face will blur. I may not notice this once or twice, I may pride myself on having enjoyed those fleshy excursions in the most cerebral way. Yet I wil have blunted that sharp flint that sparks between us, our desire for another above all else."

"The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated. God has had a great deal written about Him; nothing has been written about me. God is bigger, like my mother, easier to find, even in the dark. I could be anywhere, and since I can't describe myself I can't ask for help."

"To kiss well one must kiss solely. No groping hands or stammering hearts. The lips and the lips alone are the pleasure. Passion is sweeter split strand by strand. Divided and re-divided like mercury then gathered up only at the last moment."

"I say I’m in love with her. What does that mean?
It means I review my future and my past in the light of this feeling. It is as though I wrote in a foreign language that I am suddenly able to read. Wordlessly, she explains me to myself. Like genius, she is ignorant of what she does."

"There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other’s names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never be destroyed. That is why they are unfit for romantic love. There are exceptions and I hope they are happy."