Monday, September 22, 2008

from Your Face Tomorrow: Fever & Spear by Javier Marias

Some people can't forgive you for behaving decently towards them, for being loyal to them, for defending them and giving them your support, let alone doing them a favor or getting them out of some difficulty, that can, on occasions, sound the death knell for the benefactor. It's as if they felt humiliated by being the object of someone's affection and good intentions, or thought that this implied a degree of contempt towards them. It's as if they could not stand to be indebted, however imaginary the debt, or to be obliged to feel grateful...Some people are simply impossible, and the only sensible thing to do is to remove yourself from their presence and keep them at a distance, and not to let them near you for good or ill, or count on you for anything. Quite simply, to cease to exist for them, not even in order to fight them. (p. 176)

We forget what we say much more than what we hear, what we write much more than what we read, what we send much more than what we receive, and that is why we barely count the insults we hand out to others, unlike those dealt out to us, which is why almost everyone harbors some grudge against someone. (p. 199)

You never think to keep the unimportant things when they occur in your own time, when they exist naturally, you think of them as easily available and assume they always will be. Later, they become real rarities, and before you know it, they're relics. You just have to see the silly things they sell at auction nowadays, simply because they're not made anymore and can't be found. There are collectors of picture cards from 40 years ago which fetch the most exorbitant prices, and the people who bid on them like mad things are usually the same ones who collected them as children and who, as young adults, threw them out or gave them away, who knows, perhaps after a long journey, after the albums have passed through many hands, they're buying back the ones they themselves once collected with such childish perseverance. It's a curse, the present, it allows us to see and appreciate almost nothing. Whoever decided that we should live in the present played a nasty trick on us. (p. 326)

These mediocrities who rule over us in such a totalitarian spirit and who have more or less been given carte blanche to do so by the Twin Towers's insulting what these pusillanimous, authoritarian fools want to do and impose on us in the name of security, that prehistoric pretext. (p. 369)

No comments: