Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"The girls are made up of two halves -- one half is with the conservatory and only participates for money and feels like God's gift to the world, and the others are with the drama school. They don't get paid, but pay for it -- and feel like a million dollars. The same thing is true for the male extras. And they carry on in a way that I've never seen before in my life and treat me with condescension, which they are going to regret. And the real actors look down on those from the drama school and are sure to let them know. They also look down on each other, but that they don't show too much. In any case, there's a hell a lot of looking down on each other, and everyone thinks they're the only one who's wonderful. And the janitors are the only ones who act like normal people and greet you when you say hello to them."
--from The Artificial Silk Girl By Irmgard Keun

Thursday, May 08, 2003

"My mother told me that Abuela Celia was an atheist before I even understood what the word meant. I liked the sound of it, the derision with which my mother pronounced it, and knew immediately it was what I wanted to become. I don't know exactly when I stopped believing in God. It wasn't as deliberate as deciding, at age six, to become an atheist, but more like an imperceptible sloughing of layers. One day I noticed there was no more skin to absently peel, just air where there'd been artifice."
--Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Friday, May 02, 2003

People always tell you to be honest with them but they are lying. No one wants that. Honesty sucks. That's why it is always preceded by words like 'brutal' or 'painful'
Everyone seems to hide the truth somehow
Maybe everyone has a reason to hide the truth. Honesty creates more problems than it solves, sometimes it can even kill. That's why people are afraid of the truth
-from Fearless By Francine Pascal
“I am an invisible man... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”
-from the invisible man by Ralph Ellison

There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.

There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why-- when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead, when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation. She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies to stir her pulses and warm her blood.

-Kate Chopin from The Awakening
And for the first time, or so it seemed, I noticed the piece on the right hand side. It was called "Perfectly Contented." I tried to play this one as well. It had a lighter melody but the same flowing rhythm and turned out to be quite easy. "Pleading Child" was shorter but slower, "Perfectly Contented" was longer and faster. And after I played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song. -Amy Tan in The Joy Luck Club
I always thought it mattered, to know what is the worst possible thing that can happen to you, to know how you can avoid it, to not be drawn by the magic of the unspeakable. Because, even as a young child, I could sense the unspoken terrors that surrounded our house, the ones that chased my mother until she hid in a dark corner of her mind. And still they found her, I watched, over the years, as they devoured her, piece by piece, until she disappeared and became a ghost. -Amy Tan in The Joy Luck Club