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Jenny Offill

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Young person worry: What if nothing I do matters? Old person worry: What if everything I do does?”

“And then it is another day and another and another but I will not go on about this because no doubt you too have experienced time.”

“Later, I remember to tell Ben about the girl. “Seconds!” I say, but he is unmoved. “People always talk about email and phones and how they alienate us from one another, but these sorts of fears about technology have always been with us,” he claims. When electricity was first introduced to homes, there were letters to the newspapers about how it would undermine family togetherness. Now there would be no need to gather around a shared hearth, people fretted. In 1903, a famous psychologist worried that young people would lose their connection to dusk and its contemplative moments. Hahaha! (Except when was the last time I stood still because it was dusk?)”

“My # 1 fear is the acceleration of days. No such thing supposedly, but I swear I can feel it.”

“The adjunct seems paler than usual. He isn't speaking in complete sentences. Would it be possible to...? Do you mind if...? They say when you're lonely you start to lose words.”

“Funny how when you're married all you want is to be anonymous to each other again, but when you're anonymous all you want is to be married and reading together in bed.”

“A few days later, I yelled at him for losing his new lunch box, and he turned to me and said, Are you sure you’re my mother? Sometimes you don’t seem like a good enough person. He was just a kid, so I let it go. And now, years later, I probably only think of it, I don’t know, once or twice a day.”

“What it means to be a good person, a moral person, is calculated differently in times of crisis than in ordinary circumstances,” she says. She pulls up a slide of people having a picnic by a lake. Blue skies, green trees, white people. “Suppose you go with some friends to the park to have a picnic. This act is, of course, morally neutral, but if you witness a group of children drowning in the lake and you continue to eat and chat, you have become monstrous.”

“It is important to remember that emotional pain comes in waves. Remind yourself that there will be a pause in between waves.”

“Do not believe that because you are a revolutionary you must feel sad.”

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Book Keywords:

time-after-time, modernity, grief, ambiguity, time, ethics, existentialism, culpability, pain, life, morality, picnics

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