Madeleine Hanna was the dutiful English major who didn't get the memo. While everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was happily absorbed with Jane Austen and George Eliot: purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. Madeleine was the... read more
“The worst thing about religion was religious people.”
“His mind felt as if it was fizzing over. Words became other words inside his head, like patterns in a kaleidoscope. He kept making puns. No one understood what he was talking about. He became angry, irritable. Now, when he looked at people, who'd been laughing at his jokes an hour earlier, he saw that they were worried, concerned for him. And so he ran off into the night, or day, or night, and found other people to be with, so that the mad party might continue...”Leonard
“My goal in life is to become an adjective”Leonard
“Madeline’s love troubles began when the French theory she was reading deconstructed the very notion of love.”
“It might not even be that great to marry your ideal. Probably, once you attained your ideal, you got bored and wanted another.”
“"I was worried that virginity was like getting your ears pierced. If you didn’t keep an earring in, the hole might close up. "”
“A Lover’s Discourse was the perfect cure for lovesickness. It was a repair manual for the heart, its one tool the brain. If you used your head, if you became aware of how love was culturally constructed and began to see your symptoms as purely mental, if you recognized that being “in love” was only an idea, then you could liberate yourself from its tyranny.”
“Just someone who knows, from personal experience, how attractive it can be to think you can save somebody else by loving them.”
“Listen, a girl’s not a watermelon you plug a hole in to see if it’s sweet.”
“Madeleine had a feeling that most semiotic theorists had been unpopular as children, often bullied or overlooked, and so had directed their lingering rage onto literature. They wanted to demote the author. They wanted a book, that hard-won, transcendent thing, to be a text, contingent, indeterminate, and open for suggestions. They wanted the reader to be the main thing. Because they were readers.Whereas Madeleine was perfectly happy with the idea of genius. She wanted a book to take her places she couldn't get to herself. She thought a writer should work harder writing a book than she did reading it. When it came to letters and literature, Madeleine championed a virtue that had fallen out of esteem: namely, clarity.”
“But it was so hard to kill your self off when you liked so many things about it.”
“It was the stupidity of the fortunate and beautiful, of everybody who got what they wanted in life and so remained unremarkable.”
“And the artists were the worst, the painters and the writers, because they believed they were living for art when they were really feeding their narcissism.”
I would say that this book could be read by an older teen...but certainly has many "grown up" ideas and experiences that I wouldn't want a pre-teen or young teen reading about. Sexual content, some graphic scenes describing sexual acts, drug use, and mature language about relationships.
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