On Beauty

by Zadie Smith | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0143037749 Global Overview for this book
Registered by GirlWithCamera of Dearborn Heights, Michigan USA on 8/27/2009
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by GirlWithCamera from Dearborn Heights, Michigan USA on Thursday, August 27, 2009
Loved this book.
Had to read it for an english class -- Women in Literature -- So glad I did.

Favorite Characters:
Kiki & Levi (and not too many others!)

Favorite Quotes/Excerpts:
"... there is a breed of Tuesday in January in which time creeps and no light comes and the air is full of water and nobody really loves anybody..." (27)

"From here she could see the strangely melancholic format of Jerome's text, italics and ellipses everywhere. Slanted sails blowing about on perforated seas." (43)

"More and more these days he found himself listening to people talk, wanting to add something. He wanted to add... But he wasn't in the habit of talking to strangers. Besides, the moment passed. It always did. (72)

"She was babbling a little. It always took her a moment or two to settle." (52)

"She could not do distress. Anger was so much easier. And quicker and harder and better. If I start crying, I'll never stop--you hear people say that; Kiki heard people say it all the time in the hospital. A backlog of sadness for which there would never be sufficient time." (88)

"It was amazing to see her words and her eyes entirely unconnected to each other, like a bad actress." (123)

"Time is not what it is but how it is felt." (129)

"Nothing less than electricity shot right through her body, into her groin and ended up somewhere round her ears." (137)

"The more people were informed of her plans the more real they became to her." (140)

"Kiki laughed her big lovely laugh in the small store. People looked up from their specialty goods and smiled abstractly, supporting the idea of pleasure even if they weren't certain of the cause." (162)

"... our memories are getting more beautiful and less real every day."

"Jerome had wept the tears you cry for someone whom you never met who made something beautiful that you loved." (174)

"In this building Oscar Wilde once gave a lecture concerning the superiority of the lily over all other flowers." (179)

"Claire was spellbound by this news of lives so different from her own as to seem interplanetary." (215)

"I was in this beautiful country, in this exceptional landscape, and the truth is land like that is what fills you up, it's what nourishes you as an artist... I'd get involved with a cornflower for days... I mean with its actual, essential blueness... (218)

"How had she ever ended up here, in one of these institutions, these universities, where one must make an argument for everything..." (219)

"... it was the kind of marriage you couldn't get a handle on. He was bookish, she was not; he was theoretical, she political. She called a rose a rose. He called it an accumulation of cultural and biological constructions circulating around the mutually attracting binary poles of nature/artifice." (225)

"She was a woman still controlled by the traumas of her girlhood." (226)

"... the unmistakable Poles and Russians introducing the bone structure of Soviet Realism to an island of chinless, browless potato-faces." (292)

"... it was the perfect visit: well intended but with no one at home." (293)

"His childhood had been shot through with this meaningless noise, just so many substitutes for real conversation. Brass monkeys out there. Don't mind if I do. I don't fancy yours much. And on. And on. This was what he had been running from when he escaped to Oxford and every year since Oxford. Half-lived life. The unexamined life is not worth living. That had been Howard's callow teenage dictum. Nobody tells you, at seventeen, that examining it will be half the trouble." (297)

"Three years ago he thought he had hated Wellington... But now his adolescent zeal faded. Wellington became a comforting dream-scape he felt grateful and fortunate to call home. It was certainly true that this was an unreal place where nothing ever changed. But Jerome... had begun to appreciate this quality. As long as Wellington stayed Wellington, he could risk all manner of change himself." (401)

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