jeffrey eugenides Quotes

Cecilia had unleashed her blood in the bath, Amy Schraff said, because the ancient Romans had done that when life became unbearable.

- Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

Listening to Leonard, Madeleine felt impoverished by her happy childhood. She never wondered why she acted the way she did, or what effect her parents had had on her personality. Being fortunate had dulled her powers of observation.

- Jeffrey Eugenides

But this is all chasing after the wind. The essence of the suicides consisted not of sadness or mystery but simple selfishness. The girls took into their own hands decisions better left to God. They became too powerful to live among us, too self-concerned, too visionary, too blind. What lingered after them was not life, which always overcomes natural death, but the most trivial list of mundane facts: a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself.

- Jeffrey Eugenides

A changeableness, too, as if beneath my visible face there was another, having second thoughts.

- Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Pay no attention to the terrors that visit you in the night. The psyche is at its lowest ebb then, unable to defend itself. The desolation that envelops you feels like truth, but isn't. It's just mental fatigue masquerading as insight.

- Jeffrey Eugenides, Fresh Complaint

This was a characteroloical prelude, but it wasn’t chemical or somatic. It was the anatomy of melancholy, not the anatomy of his brain.

- Jeffrey Eugenides

Often he had the impression that the person answering questions from the scratchy armchair was a dummy he was controlling, that this had been true throughout his life, and that his life had become so involved with operating the dummy that he, the ventriloquist, had ceased to have a personality, becoming just an arm stuffed up the puppet's back.

- Jeffrey Eugenides

But what humans forget, cells remember. The body, that elephant

- Jeffrey Eugenides

They didn't exchange a single word. But in the weeks that followed, Trip spent his days wandering the halls, hoping for Lux to appear, the most naked person with clothes on he had ever seen. Even in sensible school shoes, she shuffled as though barefoot, and the baggy apparel Mrs. Lisbon bought for her only increased her appeal, as though after undressing she had put on whatever was handy. In corduroys her thighs rubbed together, buzzing, and there was always at least one untidy marvel to unravel him: an untucked shirttail, a sock with a hole, a ripped seam showing underarm hair. She carted her books from class to class but never opened them. Her pens and pencils were as temporary as Cinderella's broom. When she smiled, her mouth showed too many teeth, but at night Trip Fontaine dreamed of being bitten by each one.

- Jeffrey Eugenides

We knew the pain of winter rushing up your skirt, and the ache of keeping your knees together in class, and how drab and infuriating it was to jump rope while the boys played baseball. We could never understand why the girls cared so much about being mature, or why they felt compelled to compliment each other...

- Jeffrey Eugenides

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.