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La frantumaglia

Elena Ferrante

Top 10 Best Quotes

“To tolerate existence, we lie, and we lie above all to ourselves. Sometimes we tell ourselves lovely tales, sometimes petty lies. Falsehoods protect us, mitigate suffering, allow us to avoid the terrifying moment of serious reflection, they dilute the horrors of our time, they even save us from ourselves.”

“The frantumaglia is an unstable landscape, an infinite aerial or aquatic mass of debris that appears to the I, brutally, as its true and unique inner self. The frantumaglia is the storehouse of time without the orderliness of a history, a story. The frantumaglia is an effect of the sense of loss, when we’re sure that everything that seems to us stable, lasting, an anchor for our life, will soon join that landscape of debris that we seem to see. The frantumaglia is to perceive with excruciating anguish the heterogeneous crowd from which we, living, raise our voice, and the heterogeneous crowd into which it is fated to vanish.”

“Even Tolstoy is an insignificant shadow if he takes a stroll with Anna Karenina.”

“We are tornadoes that pick up fragments with the most varied historical and biological origins. This makes of us -- thankfully -- fickle agglomerations that maintain a fragile equilibrium, that are inconsistent and complex, that can't be reduced to any fixed framework that does not inevitably leave out a great deal. Which is why the more effective stories resemble ramparts from which one can gaze out at everything that has been excluded.”

“That even if we're constantly tempted to lower our guard -- out of love, or weariness, or sympathy, or kindness-- we women shouldn't do it. We can lose from one moment to the next everything that we have achieved.”

“In fiction we say and recognize things about ourselves, which, for the sake of propriety, we ignore or don't talk about in reality.”

“I think of writing now as a long, tiring, pleasant seduction. The stories that you tell, the words that you use and refine, the characters you try to give life to are merely tools with which you circle around the elusive, unnamed, shapeless thing that belongs to you alone, and which nevertheless is a sort of key to all the doors, the real reason that you spend so much of your life sitting at a table tapping away, filling pages.”

“But the happy ending has to do with the tricks of the narrative, not with life, or even love, which is an uncontrollable, changeable feeling, with nasty surprises that are alien to the happy ending.”

“Why would anyone be interested in my little personal story if we can do without Homer's or Shakespeare's? Someone who truly loves literature is like a person of faith. The believer knows very well that there is nothing at all at the bureau of vital statistics about the Jesus that truly counts for him.”

“The ‘right reading’ is an invention of academics and critics. Every reader gets from the book he is reading nothing else but his book. The shelves where we line up the volumes we’ve read are deceptive. We have available there only titles, covers, pages. But the books we’ve truly read are phantoms conjured up by reading with no rules.”

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Book Keywords:

reading, writing, great-books, writing-process, classics, books, readers

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