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Few lines from the book,
‘History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.’
History isn’t the lies of the victors, as I once glibly assured Old Joe Hunt; I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious nor defeated
It strikes me that this may be one of the differences between youth and age: when we are young, we invent different futures for ourselves; when we are old, we invent different pasts for others.
If you’re that clever you can argue yourself into anything. You just leave common sense behind
I don’t want you to be a woman of mystery. I think I’d hate it. Either it’s just a façade, a game, a technique for ensnaring men, or else the woman of mystery is a mystery even to herself, and that’s the worst of all.
Some Englishman once said that marriage is a long dull meal with the pudding served first. I think that’s far too cynical
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Some great analizations from the book..
How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.
Had my life increased, or merely added to itself? This was the question Adrian’s fragment set off in me. There had been addition—and subtraction—in my life, but how much multiplication? And this gave me a sense of unease, of unrest.“
Does character develop over time? In novels, of course it does: otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story. But in life? I sometimes wonder. Our attitudes and opinions change, we develop new habits and eccentricities; but that’s something different, more like decoration. Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later: between twenty and thirty, say. And after that, we’re just stuck with what we’ve got. We’re on our own. If so, that would explain a lot of lives, wouldn’t it? And also—if this isn’t too grand a word—our tragedy
"Camus said that suicide was the only true philosophical question.”
But my mind kept returning to all those fervently innocent discussions we’d gone in for when Robson hanged himself in the attic, back before our lives began. It had seemed to us philosophically self-evident that suicide was every free person’s right: a logical act when faced with terminal illness or senility; a heroic one when faced with torture or the avoidable deaths of others; a glamorous one in the fury of disappointed love (see: Great Literature).
When you’re young—when I was young—you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books. You want them to overturn your life, create and define a new reality. Later, I think, you want them to do something milder, something more practical: you want them to support your life as it is and has become. You want them to tell you that things are OK. And is there anything wrong with that?
The things Literature was all about: love, sex, morality, friendship, happiness, suffering, betrayal, adultery, good and evil, heroes and villains, guilt and innocence, ambition, power, justice, revolution, war, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the individual against society, success and failure, murder, suicide, death, God. And barn owls. Of course, there were other sorts of literature—theoretical, self-referential, lachrymosely autobiographical—but they were just dry wanks. Real literature was about psychological, emotional and social truth as demonstrated by the actions and reflections of its protagonists; the novel was about character developed over time
This story mainly focussed on the realities of memory,by means of which we often assess the future and later it'll be a history..This book hardly carry 150 pages but the content is very strong..You want to re-read some paragraphs and pages just to understand,what the author actually trying to tell us..The writing style was very much similar to Camus's(though I read only one,'The Stranger' from him)..When you reached the last page,the book leaves you with a feeling of inadequacy..It wouldn't allow you to have an exact feeling of absoluteness..Also the ending appeared very unconvincing for me.But for the readers who enjoy philosophy and psychology related books,it's a must read for them..There is no big story or anything in this book yet the spellbounded narration is the best part..You'll come across some wonderful analizations on memories..On a whole it's a great philosophical and psychological delight for the readers..Happy reading friends.