… I learned my first hundred or three hundreds words in that language—fire, river, resin, rust, life, copper, fish, bread, wine, site, salt, garlic, honey, song, vision, rain, bird, history, drinkable, discourse, barley, poet, laughter, belief, now, undrinkable, then, gods, treaty, nation, change, grain, cricket, necessity, mountain, astonish, commander, beauty, thunder, all, hear, steersman, nothing, love, freeman, pain, water, good, wet, weep, slave, night, tomorrow, suffer, justice, moon, rest, sorrow, up, down, no, yes, sun, tree, branch, head, hand, clitoris, earth, body, jar, breast, bad, wisdom, city, road, root, cattle, common, dawn, tomb, none, day, when, urine, measure, gold, horse, create, deathless, shit, experience, laughter, destroy, eternal, opposite, glad, on-the-one-hand, shield, on-the-other, wasp, finger, penis, people, eye, peace, battle journey, pleasure, exchange, strife, star, foot, sleep, sand, rectum, remain, mud, and death—the ocean of ideas and sounds from which the learning of the language itself lifted, like a wave over sand and shells and sea grass, flooding confusion with comprehension, and upon which my name was the merest foam.
… novels were primarily about relationships… Their popularity lay in that they belied the loneliness of the people who read them, people essentially hypnotized by the machinations of their own conscience.
… imagine a great web that spreads across the galaxy, as far as man. That’s the matrix in which history happens today. Don’t you see? That’s it. That’s my theory. Each individual is a junction in that net, and the strands between are the cultural, the economic, the psychological threads that hold individual to individual. Any historical event is a ripple in the net.
I often wonder where the birds go in a snowstorm, for they disappear completely. I always think of them deep inside the bushes, and further along inside the trees and deep inside of the forests, on branches where no snow can reach, deeply recessed for the time of the snow, not oblivious to it, but intensely accepting their incapacity, and so enduring the snow in brave little inborn ways, with their feathered heads bowed down for warmth.
The most beautiful and perfect book in the world is a book with only blank pages, in the same way that the most complete language is that which lies beyond all that the words of a man can say.