Monday, January 23, 2012

Line By Line: Téa Obreht, The Tiger's Wife

“Come on, is your heart a sponge or a fist?”

“Suddenness," he says. " You do not prepare, you do not explain, you do not apologize. Suddenly, you go. And with you, you take all contemplation, all consideration of your own departure. All the suffering that would have come from knowing comes after you are gone, and you are not a part of it.”

“Everything necessary to understand my grandfather lies between two stories: the story of the tiger’s wife, and the story of the deathless man. These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories of his life – of my grandfather’s days in the army; his great love for my grandmother; the years he spent as a surgeon and a tyrant of the University. One, which I learned after his death, is the story of how my grandfather became a man; the other, which he told to me, is of how he became a child again.”

“I felt my voice had fallen through and through me, and I couldn't summon it back to tell him or myself anything at all.”

“When your fight has purpose—to free you from something, to interfere on the behalf of an innocent—it has a hope of finality."

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