Tagged with jess walter

Beautiful sentences

At peace? Who but the insane would ever be at peace? What person who has enjoyed life could possibly think one is enough? Who could live even a day and not feel the sweet ache of regret?

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful sentences

But aren’t all great quests folly? El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth and the search for intelligent life in the cosmos—we know what’s out there. It’s what isn’t that truly compels us. Technology may have shrunk the epic journey to a couple of short car rides and regional jet lags—four states and twelve hundred miles traversed in an afternoon—but true quests aren’t measured in time or distance anyway, so much as in hope. There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant—sail for Asia and stumble on America—and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.

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Beautiful sentences

At first, it seemed like the saddest thing to me, that no one would ever see these paintings. But then I got to thinking: What if you tried to take this wall and put it in a gallery somewhere? It would simply be five faded paintings in a gallery. And that’s when I realized: perhaps they’re only so remarkable because they’re here.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful sentences

Your parents don’t get to tell your story. Your sisters don’t. When he’s old enough, even Pat doesn’t get to tell your story. I’m your husband and I don’t even get to tll it. So I don’t care how lovesick this director is, he doesn’t tell it. Even fucking Richard Burton doesn’t get to tell your story! … No one gets to tell you what your life means! Do you understand me?

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful sentences

Some memories remain close; you can shut your eyes and find yourself back in them. These are first-person memories—I Memories. But there are second-person memories, too, distant you memories, and these are trickier: you watch yourself in disbelief—like the Much Ado wrap party at the old Playhouse in 1961, when you seduced Ron. Even recalling it is like watching a movie; you’re up on screen doing these awful things and you can’t quite believe it—this other Debra, so flattered by his attention.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.

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Beautiful sentences

Alvis stared into the drawing for a long time. He even thought about buying it, but he realized that if he hung it this way, upside down, people would just turn it over. This, he decided, was also the problem with the book he hoped to write. He could never write a standard war book; what he had to say about the war could only be told upside down, and then people would probably just miss the point and try to turn it right side up again.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.

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Beautiful sentences

Great fiction tells unknown truths. Great film goes further. Great film improves Truth. After all, what Truth ever made $40 million in its first weekend of wide release? What Truth sold in forty foreign territories in six hours? Who’s lining up to see a sequel to Truth?

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful Sentences

On the train, Pasquale was still thinking about tennis. Every point ended with someone missing; it seemed both cruel and, in some way, true to life.

Jess Walter,Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful sentences

““I don’t think Hitler’s death should be an accident,” Pasquale said.

Alvis smiled wearily at the boy. “Everything is an accident, Pasquale.”

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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Beautiful Sentences

The actress’s name means nothing to her, but the old guy seems utterly changed by saying it aloud, as if he hadn’t said the name in years. Something about the name affects her, too—a crush of romantic recognition, those words, moment and forever—as if she can feel fifty years of longing in that one name, fifty years of an ache that lies dormant in her, too, maybe lies doorman in everyone until it’s cracked open like this—and so weighted is this moment she has to look to the ground or else feel the tears burn her own eyes, and at that moment Claire glances at Shane, and sees that he must feel it, too, the name hanging in the air for just a moment … among the three of them … and then floating to the floor like a falling leaf, the Italian watching it settle, Claire guessing, hoping, praying the old Italian will say the name again, more quietly this time—to underline its importance, the way it’s so often done in scripts—but he doesn’t do this. He just stares at the floor, where the name has fallen, and it occurs to Claire Silver that she’s seen too goddamn many movies.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

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