Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"I pity everyone who has not known you."

The flowers aren't mine, but I was too lazy to take pictures of the books I want to tell you to read. They are both by Andrew Sean Greer and they are called The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli. I have to tell you these are not the greatest books I've ever read in my life and I usually think that about the books I choose to write about. But within these two books is some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read in my life. 
The Story of a Marriage is exactly what the title entails and takes place post World War 2 in San Francisco. The Confessions of Max Tivoli is essentially The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with an emphasis on Max Tivoli's love life. Both are tragic so naturally I was drawn to them. Andrew Sean Greer is also the kind of author where once you read a couple of his books, you've read them all (cough cough Murakami cough). But let me just share some of the lines and passages that made me fall to the floor:
(from Marriage)

We think we know the ones we love, and though we should not be surprised to find that we don't, it is heartbreak nonetheless. It is the hardest kind of knowledge, not just about another but about ourselves. To see our lives as a fiction we have written and believed.

I do not know what joins the parts of an atom, but it seems what binds one human to another is pain.

This one cut me to the core:
There is no good explanation for why loves compels this of us: that we must seek out and witness the very scenes that would destroy us.

Send help please.
Perhaps love is a minor madness. And as with madness, it is unendurable alone. The one person who can relieve us is of course the sole person we cannot go: the one we love. So instead we seek out allies, even among strangers and wives, fellow patients who, if they can't touch the edge of our particular sorrow, have felt something that cuts nearly as deep.

Shout out to mah gurlzzz with that one^

(from Max Tivoli)

We are each the love of someone's life

This was literally the first line of the book and I was ded.

We have no heart at seventeen. We think we do; we think we have been cursed with a holy, bloated thing that twitches at the name we adore, but it is not a heart because though it will forfeit anything in the world- the mind, the body, the future, even the last lonely hour it has- it will not sacrifice itself. It is not a heart, at seventeen.


I pity everyone who has not known you.

So again, don't judge me if you read these books and think they are lame with a capital L. I found myself thinking the same things occasionally while reading them myself, but then I was stopped with passages like the ones above and I sang praises to Mr. Greer for looking into my soul.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy your book reviews. (and occasional quote collections.) No but seriously, this is your niche. You do it so well. XOXO even though I've probably only met you twice!