slug Quotes

It's one of those unforgettable moments that happen as a child, when you discover that all along the world has been betraying you.

- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

I was familiar with the little mating rituals of getting to know each other, of dragging out the stories from childhood, summer camp, and high school, the famous humiliations, and the adorable things you said as a child, the familial dramas—of having a portrait of yourself, all the while making yourself out to be a little brighter, a little more deep than deep down you knew you actually were. And though I hadn’t had more than three or four relationships, I already knew that each time the thrill of telling another the story of yourself wore off a little more, each time you threw yourself into it a little less, and grew more distrustful of an intimacy that always, in the end, failed to pass into true understanding.

- Nicole Krauss, Great House

. . . I would have let him go one finger at a time, until, without his realizing, he'd be floating without me. And then I thought, perhaps that is what it means to be a [parent] - to teach your child to live without you.

- Nicole Krauss

The singular power of literature lies not in its capacity for accurate representation of mass commonalities, but its ability to illuminate the individual life in a way that expands our understanding of some previously unseen or unarticulated aspect of existence.

- Nicole Krauss

You’re lost in your own world, in the things that happen there, and you’ve locked all the doors. Sometimes I look at you sleeping. I wake up and look at you and I feel closer to you when you’re like that, unguarded, than when you’re awake. When you’re awake you’re like someone with her eyes closed, watching a movie on the inside of your eyelids. I can’t reach you anymore. Once upon a time I could, but not now, and not for a long time.

- Nicole Krauss, Great House

Empty teacups gathered around her and dictionary pages fell at her feet.

- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

He went on for some time while I sat listening in silence because I knew he was right, and like two people who have loved each other however imperfectly, who have tried to make a life together, however imperfectly, who have lived side by side and watched the wrinkles slowly form at the corner of the other's eyes, and watched a little drop of gray, as if poured from a jug, drop into the other's skin and spread itself evenly, listening to the other's coughs and sneezes and little collected mumblings, like two people who'd had one idea together and slowly allowed that idea to be replaced with two separate, less hopeful, less ambitious ideas, we spoke deep into the night, and the next day, and the next night. For forty days and forty nights, I want to say, but the fact of the matter is it only took three. One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn't, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.

- Nicole Krauss

She abandoned the garden, and the mums and asters that had trusted her to see them through to the first frost hung their waterlogged heads.

- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

To hike out alone in the desert; to sleep on the valley floor on a night with no moon, in the pitch black, just listening to the boom of silence: you can't imagine what that's like.

- Nicole Krauss

But how can one regret what, to the mind, has never existed? Even loss is an inaccurate description, for what loss is without the awareness of losing?

- Nicole Krauss

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.