An oldie but goodie

My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath -- a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

- Catherine Earnshaw, chapter 9, Wuthering Heights



Without self

"But the dream of fame had been real enough: I had wanted nothing less than to impose myself deep into the mentality of my countrymen, and now quite suddenly it occurred to me that it was possible to live not only without fame but without self, to live and die without ever having has one's fellows conscious of the microscopic space one occupies upon this planet. The thought almost overcame me, and I could not dwell upon it without becoming unutterably depressed."

- A Fan's Notes, Frederick Exley, p.99

Not myself

"Now the moment was upon me I wished it delayed. I wanted to draw up at some wayside inn and stay there, in a coffee-room, by an impersonal fire. I wanted to be a traveller on the road, a bride in love with her husband. Not myself coming to Manderley for the first time, the wife of Maxim de Winter."

- Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca, p.69

On identity

"In the midst of excitement (and this at a moment of spontaneity when the true self is speaking) Jaromil discarded his own speech and chose to act as a medium for someone else. Moreover, he did so with a sense of intense pleasure; he felt himself to be part if a thousand-headed multitude, one organ of a hydra-headed dragon, and that seemed magnificent."

Life is Elsewhere, Milan Kundera, p.128

Real life vs fantasy

"Oscar Wilde once said that one's real life is often the life one does not lead. Well, fucking right on, Oscar. My real life was full of headlining shows at Wembley and Madison Square Garden and platinum records, and Grammies, and that wasn't the life I was leading, which is maybe why it felt like I could throw it away. The life I was leading didn't let me… be who I thought I was."

- A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby, p.24

Ian McEwan sums up what Michael was getting at

"…we have undernourished our capacity for empathetic and magical participation in creation, we are both alienated and stunted by abstraction, removed from the profound and immediate apprehension, which is the hallmark of a whole person, of the dancing interpenetration of the physical and the psychic, their ultimate inseparability."

- Ian McEwan, The Child in Time (Picador, 1988), p.76

My So-Called Life

"People always say you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster or something. Like, you can know what that is, even. But every so often I'll have like, a moment, when just being myself in my life, right where I am, is like, enough."

I've been laid up with a torn calf muscle for the past week, which means I've watched a lot of boxsets. Best of all has been My So-Called Life, which, unlike many shows I used to watch as a teenager, was as good if not better than I remembered.

I realised a few things.

a) I am not over Jordan Catalano, and

b) I still have a lot to learn from a 15-year-old girl.