Books

"Existence is this, I thought, a start of joy, a stab of pain, an intense pleasure, veins that pulse under the skin, there is no other truth to tell."

-Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment

One afternoon she was drying on the rock, and she felt a thread of sunlight inside her chest. She had never believed in the existence of a soul except in abstract terms, yet she felt this, and she knew it was her soul. She wasn’t planning to do anything with it; she just liked knowing it was there. When she told me this story, I immediately began to picture myself with her, so I never used to like it when she told it to anyone else. Later, I realized no one else understands what the story’s about. Everyone seems to think it’s about religion, but what it really means is that she knows how to be alone.

From Things to Make and Break, by May-Lan Tan

"I myself have had no liking for violence and have always enjoyed the pleasures of singing and cooking. I am fond of kitchenware, desserts, books, scarves, cardigans and even cologne and lip balm. I like a man’s suit, but I like it worn by a woman."

-Filip Noterdaeme, The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart

“She cleared her throat once or twice, and said something about poor people should eat a lot of herrings, as they were most nutritious, also she had heard poor people eat heaps of sheeps' heads and she went on to ask if I ever cooked them. I said I would rather be dead than cook or eat a sheep's head; I'd seen them in butchers' shops with awful eyes and bits of wool sticking to their skulls. After that helpful hints for the poor were forgotten.”

Barbara Comyns, Our Spoons Came from Woolworths

I opened my eye. It was not confronted by pussy. That onslaught only happened in Tío Miguel’s room. If Abuelito was hogging the bathroom, the only other toilet you could use was Miguel’s, and to earn relief you had to journey through the labyrinth of pornography that filled his bedroom.

Even on his toilet, Miguel treated you to muff. On the door across from his commode hung a life-size poster of a lady in a see-through blouse splaying herself, Georgia O'Keefing you as things shot out of your own flower. I minded all the pussy but, at the same time, part of me welcomed it.

Myriam Gurba, “Georges Bataille, Look Into My Eye”