- Jonathan Franzen
- My last highlight
- Number of highlights
Maybe the futile light in a house with three people separately absorbed in the basement and only one upstairs, a little boy staring at a plate of cold food, was like the mind of a depressed person.
“And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn’t that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you’re less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn’t it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you’ve experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you’re seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is
Everyone’s trying to correct their thoughts and improve their feelings and work on their relationships and parenting skills instead of just getting married and raising children like they used to, is what Ted says. We’ve bumped up to the next level of abstraction because we have too much time and money, is what he says, and he refuses to be a part of it. He wants to eat ‘real’ food and go to ‘real’ places and talk about ‘real’ things like business and science.
Robin produced the spoken cackle that Denise had come to recognize as pure distilled self-consciousness.
The human species was given dominion over the earth and took the opportunity to exterminate other species and warm the atmosphere and generally ruin things in its own image, but it paid this price for its privileges: that the finite and specific animal body of this species contained a brain capable of conceiving the infinite and wishing to be infinite itself.
On her second day in St. Jude, as on the second day of every visit, she woke up angry. The anger was an autonomous neurochemical event; no stopping it.
It’s the fate of most Ping-Pong tables in home basements eventually to serve the ends of other, more desperate games.
“Never mind what’s going on underneath. As long as we’re all ‘civil.’ ” “That is the essence of my philosophy, yes.”
[Nadav’s note: alfred]