Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My father's tent

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

The man who couldn't escape gravity.

If I had a Russian accent everything would be different.

... the one about how he wore a little astronaut on his lapel and carried in his pockets the letters of a woman who left him for another.

... because sometimes being polite is worse than being not-polite.

Feelings are not as old as time.

For a while, new feelings were being invented all the time. Desire was born early, as was regret. When stubbornness was felt for the first time, it started a chain reaction, creating the feeling of resentment on the one hand, and alienation and loneliness on the other.

Contrary to logic, the feeling of surprise wasn't born immediately. It only came after people had enough time to get used to things as they were. And when enough time had passed, and someone felt the first feeling of surprise, someone, somewhere else felt the first pain of nostalgia.

... sometimes people felt things and, because there were no words for them, they went unmentioned.

(Then again, the oldest feeling in the world might simply have been confusion.)

They wanted to feel more, feel deeper, despite how much it sometimes hurt. People became addicted to feeling.

From Nicole Krauss' The History of Love.

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