Important Quotations Explained
1. He’s enjoying himself, he thinks this is reality . . . He spent
four years in New York and became political, he was studying something; it
was during the sixties, I’m not sure when. My friends’ pasts are vague to me
and to each other also, any one of us could have amnesia for a year and the
others wouldn’t notice.
2. I have to be more careful about my memories. I have to be sure
they’re my own and not the memories of other people telling me what I felt,
how I acted, what I said: if the events are wrong the feelings I remember
about them will be wrong too, I’ll start inventing them . . . .
3. It wasn’t the city that was wrong, the inquisitors in the
schoolyard, we weren’t better than they were; we just had different victims.
To become like a little child again, a barbarian, a vandal: it was in us
too, it was innate. A thing closed in my head, hand, synapse, cutting off my
escape . . .
4. Joe is not there. He appears then at the top of the sand cliff,
running, halting. He yells my name, furiously: if he had a rock he would
The canoe glides, carrying the two of us, around past the leaning trees . . . The direction is clear, I see I’ve been planning this, for how long I can’t tell.
5. This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I
can do nothing. I have to recant, give up the old belief that I am powerless
and because of it nothing I can do will ever hurt anyone . . . withdrawing
is no longer possible and the alternative is death.
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