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Here's what I love: when a great writer turns me into a Jew from Chicago, a lesbian out of South Carolina, or a black woman moving into a subway entrance in Harlem. Turn me into something else, writers of the world. Make me Muslim, heretic, hermaphrodite. Put me into a crusader's armor, a cardinal's vestments. Let me feel the pygmy's heartbeat, the queen's breast, the torturer's pleasure, the Nile's taste, or the nomad's thirst. Tell me everything that I must know. Hold nothing back.
Here's a taxidermist's," Bill said. "Want to buy anything? Nice stuffed dog?" "Come on," I said. "You're pie-eyed."Pretty nice stuffed dogs," Bill said. "Certainly brighten up your flat."Come on." "Just one stuffed dog. I can take 'em or leave 'em alone. But listen, Jake. Just one stuffed dog."Come on."Mean everything in the world to you after you bought it. Simple exchange of values. You give them money. They give you a stuffed dog."We'll get one on the way back."All right. Have it your own way. Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs. Not my fault.
Here's what we're not taught [about the Declaration and Constitution]: Those words at the time they were written were blazingly, electrifyingly subversive. If you understand them truly now, they still are. You are not taught - and it is a disgrace that you aren't - that these men and women were radicals for liberty; that they had a vision of equality that was a slap in the face of what the rest of their world understood to be the unchanging, God-given order of nations; and that they were willing to die to make that desperate vision into a reality for people like us, whom they would never live to see.
Here's something else I'd like your opinion about," I said. "If he went back underground and sat down again in the same spot, wouldn't the sudden transition from the sunlight mean that his eyes would be overwhelmed by darkness?" "Certainly," he replied. "Now, the process of adjustment would be quite long this time, and suppose that before his eyes had settled down and while he wasn't seeing well, he had once again to compete against those same old prisoners at identifying those shadows. Would he make a fool of himself? Wouldn't they say that he'd come back from his upward journey with his eyes ruined, and that it wasn't even worth trying to go up there? And would they -- if they could -- grab hold of anyone who tried to set them free and take them up there and kill him?
Here's what I want from a book, what I demand, what I pray for when I take up a novel and begin to read the first sentence: I want everything and nothing less, the full measure of a writer's heart. I want a novel so poetic that I do not have to turn to the standby anthologies of poetry to satisfy that itch for music, for perfection and economy of phrasing, for exactness of tone. Then, too, I want a book so filled with story and character that I read page after page without thinking of food or drink because a writer has possessed me, crazed with an unappeasable thirst to know what happens next.
Here's what I think, Mr. Wind-Up Bird," said May Kasahara. "Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I'd really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person. But I can't seem to do it. They just don't get it. Of course, the problem could be that I'm not explaining it very well, but I think it's because they're not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they're not, really. So I get worked up sometimes, and I do some crazy things.
Here's what I think I'm having trouble with: this is what happiness is. When I was a kid, I thought I'd just get happier and happier as I got older, and have more things to be happy about. I based this theory on observation of select adults. The problem with my results is that I couldn't tell the difference then between happy and fake-happy. Now I know you pretend to be just frigging ecstatic over everything, maybe because you're so glad it's not worse.
Here's a nice image for a life in balance,” she said. “You're juggling these four balls that you've named work, family, friends, spirit. Now, work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it bounces back. The other balls they're made of glass.” “I've dropped a few of those glass balls in my day. Sometimes they chip, sometimes they shatter to pieces.