There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands.
Certain things I remember exactly as they were. They are merely discolored a bit by time, like coins in the pocket of a forgotten suit. Most of the details, though, have long since been transformed or rearranged to bring others of them forward. Some, in fact, are obviously counterfeit; they are no less important. One alters the past to form the future.
Sometimes you are aware when your great moments are happening, and sometimes they rise from the past. Perhaps it’s the same with people.
But knowledge does not protect one. Life is contemptuous of knowledge; it forces it to sit in the anterooms, to wait outside. Passion, energy, lies: these are what life admires. Still, anything can be endured if all humanity is watching. The martyrs prove it. We live in the attention of others. We turn to it as flowers to the sun.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Norman Mailer American Novelist, Journalist
- Cynthia Ozick American Novelist, Essayist
- Raymond Chandler American Novelist
- Lloyd Alexander American Writer
- George Steiner American Culture Critic
- Jonathan Lethem American Novelist, Essayist
- Paul Auster American Novelist, Poet
- John Irving American Novelist
- Don DeLillo American Author
- Ernest J. Gaines American Novelist, Short-Story Writer