Sunday, April 06, 2014

We are all comic characters

Lola's eyes gleamed with pleasure and interest as she listened to my tales of the cosmopolitans, all of them true but all fictions nevertheless. Shorn of intimacy and seen from a considerable distance, we are all comic characters, farcical buffoons who bumble through our lives, making fine messes as we go, but when you get close, the ridiculous quickly fades into the sordid or the tragic of the merely sad. It doesn't matter whether you are stuck in the provincial backwater of Bonden or wandering down the Champs-Élysées. The merely sad business about me was that I wanted to be admired, wanted to see myself as a shining reflection in Lola's eyes.
— from The Summer without Men, by Siri Hustvedt.

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