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Rue des Boutiques Obscures

Patrick Modiano

Top 10 Best Quotes

“She had the right idea, old man, don't you think - to disappear before it gets too late?”

“Hutte, for instance, used to quote the case of a fellow he called "the beach man." This man had spent forty years of his life on beaches or by the sides of swimming pools, chatting pleasantly with summer visitors and rich idlers. He is to be seen, in his bathing costume, in the corners and backgrounds of thousands of holiday snaps, among groups of happy people, but no one knew his name and why he was there. And no one noticed when one day he vanished from the photographs. I did not dare tell Hutte, but I felt that "the beach man" was myself. Though it would not have surprised him if I had confessed it. Hutte was always saying that, in the end, we were all "beach men" and that "the sand" - I am quoting his own words - "keeps the traces of our footsteps only a few moments.”

“Nice is a city of ghosts and specters, but I hope not to become one of them right away.”

“Did you see her again in France?" I asked him.” “No. When I got to France, she was already dead. She committed suicide ...” “Why?” “She often told me she was frightened of getting old...”

“I had taken out of my pocket the photographs of us all which I had wanted to show Freddie, and among them the photo of Gay Orlov as a little girl. I had not noticed until then that she was crying. One could tell by the wrinkling of her brows. For a moment, my thoughts transported me far from this lagoon, to the other end of the world, to a seaside resort in Southern Russia where the photo had been taken, long ago. A little girl is returning from the beach, at dusk, with her mother. She is crying for no reason at all, because she would have liked to continue playing. She moves off into the distance. She has already turned the corner of the street, and do not our lives dissolve into the evening as quickly as this grief of childhood?”

“One has to retire eventually, Guy.”

“My wife's a lot younger than me ... thirty years difference . . . You should never marry a woman a lot younger than you ... Never ...”

“The letters dance before my eyes. Who am I?”

“No. She told me she was going to marry him, to get French nationality . . . She was obsessed with getting a nationality...”

“Hutte was always saying that, in the end, we are all "beach men" and that "the sand"--I am quoting his own words-- keeps the traces of our footsteps only a few moment”

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Book Keywords:

disappearance, city, imitation, nice, tackle, death, old-young, nationality, ghost, life, fright, obsession, retire, marriage, relationship, life-meaning, authors-no-one-reads, suicide, nobel-prize-in-literature

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