rust and stardust

"Even at the age of seven Chipper intuited that this feeling of futility would be a fixture of his life. A dull waiting and then a broken promise, a panicked realization of how late it was."

- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (via languagemagic)

Apr 18

"Once, when he was a boy, there was a total eclipse of the sun in the Midwest, and a girl in one of the poky towns across the river from St. Jude had sat outside and, in defiance of myriad warnings, studied the dwindling crescent of the sun until her retinas combusted. ‘It didn’t hurt at all,’ the blinded girl had told the St. Jude Chronicle. ‘It felt like nothing.’"

- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (via sixwhiteoxen)

(Source: sxwhtxn)

Apr 18

"To be so vigorous and healthy and yet so nothing: neither taking advantage of his good night’s sleep and his successful avoidance of a cold to get some work done, nor yet fully entering into the vacation spirit and flirting with strangers and knocking back margaritas. It would have been better, he thought, to do his getting sick and dying now, while he was failing, and save his health and vitality for some later date when, unimaginable though the prospect was, he would perhaps no longer be failing."

- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (via disappointmentartist)

May 31

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.

There came a time, however, when death ceased to be the enforcer of finitude and began to look, instead, like the last opportunity for radical transformation, the only plausible portal to the infinite.

But to be seen as the finite carcass in a sea of blood and bone and gray matter - to inflict that version of himself on other people - was a violation of privacy so profound it seemed it would outlive him.

He was also afraid that it might hurt.

-Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

Jul 7

"This is not to say that love is only about fighting. Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self."

- Jonathan Franzen, Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts. (via niknacpotatosac)

(via oldmanflower-deactivated2013110)

Mar 11

theporterhouserules:

“There’s a hazardous sadness to the first sounds of someone else’s work in the morning; it’s as if stillness experiences pain in being broken.”

Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

Mar 11

"[David Foster Wallace] was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it’s because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he’d seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love."

- JONATHAN FRANZEN, “Farther Away” (via howtoleavetheozarks)

Mar 20

"How easy and natural love is if you are well! And how gruesomely difficult—what a philosophically daunting contraption of self-interest and self-delusion love appears to be—if you are not!"

- JONATHAN FRANZEN, “Farther Away” (via howtoleavetheozarks)

Mar 23