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Posts tagged with The End of the Story.
“At times I am not just nervous about this work but frightened, and think I am going through a crisis, one that could be called existential. Then I realized the problem is much simpler—I have had no breakfast and too much coffee, and my nerves are raw, so tender that I am almost unbearably disturbed to look out the window and see a truck carrying one car on its back and pulling another behind it.
Lydia Davis, The End of the Story
But at other times I am really confused and uncomfortable. For instance, I am trying to separate out a few pages to add to the novel and I want to put them together in one box, but I’m not sure how to label the box. I would like to write on it MATERIAL READY TO BE USED, but if I do that it may bring me bad luck, because the material may not really be “ready.” I thought of adding parentheses and writing MATERIAL (READY) TO BE USED, but the word “ready” was still too strong despite the parentheses. I thought of throwing in a question mark so that it read MATERIAL (READY?) TO BE USED but the question mark immediately introduced more doubt than I could stand. The best possibility may be MATERIAL—TO BE USED, which does not go so far as to say that it is ready but only that in some form it will be used, though it does not have to be used, even if it is good enough to use.”
“But if loving a person meant putting him before myself, how could I do that? There seemed to be three choices: to give up trying to love anyone, to stop being selfish, or to learn how to love a person while continuing to be selfish.”Lydia Davis | The End of the Story (via elanormcinerney)
“There must have been at least seven readings that I went to while I knew him, or even more. It is hard to describe a reading in a way that is exciting, and it would be harder still to describe more than one in the same novel, even if some of the poetry I heard made me angry, which it did. I could change them to something else, like lectures, or dances, but I don’t think I would have gone to more than one dance. The last reading was a reading of sound poetry, the most difficult one for me.”The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
“The solitude itself seemed to pull me down, as though by gravity, into a dull kind of depression. When I tried to think, I could not think. I felt that the constant state of my mind was ignorance. My mind seemed to contain almost nothing. I felt that the constant state of my mind and body both was paralysis: each alternative I considered was so strong I could not act, or each act I considered was countered by an unspoken criticism.”The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
“Falling asleep one night, I began to dream, and in my dream I asked what I should do with these two nouns “ignorance” and “paralysis,” and then watched as they turned into two different cheeses, one of which I chose not to eat because it was less savory than the other. I dreamed again, that in a dangerous situation I was about to cross the desert on a horse, but heard the rattling of bones or something like bones on the high mast of a ship. I dreamed again, that the beam of a flashlight was following a tiny mouse as it ran in panic back and forth in front of the doorsill.”Lydia Davis, The End of the Story