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The Name of the World

Denis Johnson

Top 10 Best Quotes

“When I reached the street I didn't know whether to go right or left. Soon I'd have to start acting like a person who cared about what happened to him.”

“...I felt the stirring even of parts of me that had been dead since childhood, that sense of the child as a sort of antenna stuck in the middle of an infinite expanse of possibilities. ”

“With a certain frustration I knew I spoke too soon, too urgently. I wanted to get out of the way the things I knew to say, wanted to say, the things I'd been thinking, all in the hope of moving into the unforeseen.”

“In this twilight they were more imagined than seen, but I felt surrounded by the practitioners of a sacred mediocrity, an elegant mediocrity cloistering inaccessible tortures. I don't know quite how to put it. People, men, proud of their cliches yet full of helpless poetry.”

“It made me in all matters a fundamentalist. I didn't go to 'take it in.' I went to be convicted.”

“All of this while I left lifted by a strange new medium, a strange element--I now tell you that I was newly buoyant in a brighter life. In the midst of a hymn, God had disappeared. It was like waking from a nightmare in which I'd been paralyzed. Like discovering that gravity itself had been only a bad dream.”

“. . . things whose perishing had been arrested by their power to make her love them.”

“Though simple and obvious as an act of art, the drawing portrayed the silly, helpless tendency of fundamental things to get way off course and turn into nonsense, illustrated the church's grotesque pearling around its traditional heart, explained the pernicious extrapolating rules and observances of governments - implicated all of us in a gradual apostasy from every perfect thing we find or make.”

“My habit when I’ve been humiliated is to go out and buy a book.”

“I didn't think often about that which people called God, but for some time now I'd certainly hated it, this killer, this perpetrator, in whose blank silver eyes nobody was too insignificant, too unremarkable, too innocent and small to be overlooked in the parceling out of tragedy. I'd felt this all-powerful thing as a darkness and weight. Now it had vanished. A tight winding of chains had burst. Someone had unstuck my eyes. A huge ringing in my head had stopped. This is what the grand and lovely multitude of singers did to me.”

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Book Keywords:

human, person, death, words, remembrance, thoughts, remember, meaning, gravity, nightmare, hope, left, conviction, caring, frustration, god, life, unforeseen, direction, memory, right, perish, love, street

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