“Leo hadn’t yet written any music, but he had made drawings on butcher paper stolen from the kitchen. They curled around his walls, intricate doodles, extensions of the boy’s own lean, slight body. The shape of Leo’s jaw in profile, devestating. The way he gnawed his fingernails to the crescents, the fine shining hairs down the center of his nape, the smell of him, up close, pure and clean, bleaching.
The ones made for music are the most beloved of all. Their bodies a container for the spirit within; the best of them is music, the rest only instrument of flesh and bone.
The weather conspired. Snow fell softly in the windows. It was too cold to be out for long. The world colorless, a dreamscape, a blank page, the linger of woodsmoke on the back of the tongue.”
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
“Over the course of many years, piles of battered fridges, yellowing issues of Life magazine, and burnt-out light bulbs had accumulated around an enormous wrecking yard. It was over this jagged, rusty territory that the moon now loomed, and the swaths of crumpled metal swelled as if carried on a high tide. They resembled each other, the decrepit moon and that crust of the earth which had been soldered into an amalgam of wreckage; the mountains of scrap metal formed a chain that closed in on itself like an amphitheatre, whose shape was precisely that of a volcanic crater or a lunar sea. The moon hung over this space, and it was as if the planet and its satellite were acting as mirror images of each other.”
Italo Calvino (The Daughters of the Moon)
“Soon, the room seems to be boiling. The kettles hiss and rev. A sound like chattering whispers bounces around, off the walls. Then there is something like someone raising the volume on A.M. radio static. Then a sound like somebody snapping crisp bed-sheets. Louder and louder. Then the room starts to boil. They begin to sweat and swallow. Then one, then another, then some more kettles begin whistling. Soon the room is full of screaming teapots. One alone would set your teeth on edge… But all of them coming together sound strangely human. Like an endless chorus, an impossible orchestra. A one-note symphony of crying, wailing tea kettles.”
Paul Pope (100%)
“Beware of saying to them that sometimes different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At times even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled into their place.”
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
“Two men-one thin and middle-aged, the other young and fat-were on a tennis court. Both used their racquets well, but to me the game they were playing could not have been tennis. It seemed as if the two of them had a special interest in the bounce of tennis balls and were doing research in that area. They slammed the ball back and forth with a strange kind of concentration.”
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
“I’m here to avoid situations. Cities are full of situations, sexually cunning people. There are parts of my body I no longer encourage women to handle freely. I was in a situation with a woman in Detroit. She needed my semen in a divorce suit. The irony is that I love women. I fall apart at the sight of long legs, striding, briskly, as a breeze carries up from the river, on a weekday, in the play of morning light. The second irony is that it’s not the bodies of women that I ultimately crave but their minds. The mind of a woman. The delicate chambering and massive unidirectional flow, like a physics experiment. What fun it is to talk to an intelligent woman wearing stockings as she crosses her legs. That little staticky sound of rustling nylon can make me happy on several levels. The third and related irony is that it’s the most complex and neurotic and difficult women that I am invariably drawn to. I like simple men and complicated women.”
Don DeLillo (White Noise)