Posts Tagged ‘quotes’
Half way through High John The Conqueror Jim Younger makes a bold stab at a nomination for the Bad Sex In Fiction Award:
Jenny dragged me to the floor and rammed my head between her legs. I licked but my mouth was dry. No matter, she was wet enough for both of us. I drank greedy for five minutes or so while she wailed and bucked, arching her back and pounding my hurdies with her heels. By now hot-dog Geordie was a straining greyhound in the slips. Jenny flung me up and around until goo-gam Geordie was gooming her tonsils. Jenny was a sucking tornado, turning me inside out. I stuck my finger full-length in her arsehole and nearly had a stroke when she bite me, but it did the trick. We came together, rolling over, and I thumped my head on the wall. Jenny spat out Geordie like he was gristle she’d found in a pie. I peeled my face off her quim and sat up on her belly, facing her, but I couldn’t see as my eyelids were stuck together with vaginal sludge. I blinked into the light – diver surfacing – and watched poor wee Geordie dump a few smears of egg white flecked with blood in Jenny’s belly button.
Alas the judges ignored his contribution.
It’s a huge misfortune, this will-o’-the-wisp attraction exercised by London on young men of brains. They come here to be degraded, or to perish, when their true sphere is a life of peaceful remoteness. The type of man capable of success in London is more or less callous and cynical. If I had the training of boys, I would teach them to think of London as the last place where life can be lived worthily.
George Gissing, New Grub Street, 1891
Somehow, without me really noticing, this month marked the end of a decade spent living in London. God knows how this happened. I promised myself when I moved here that it was only for ten years, tops, but now I imagine I will be here for the Olympics at least.
“London’s kind to the confident. Otherwise, what is there? Get on the tube in the morning and people stare straight into your face from less than one foot distance. That’s no way to live.”
M John Harrison, ‘The Good Detective’, 2007
I’ve had a west, north, south and east postcode. I’ve been bombed on my birthday. I’ve been sad and I’ve been happy and I’ve been in limbo. I guess I’ve changed a lot over this period but the only think that comes to mind when I think about how living in London has changed me is this:
I can now use chopsticks
It hit her hard when she first saw it, the day after, in the newspaper. The man headlong, the towers behind him. The mass of the towers filled the frame of the picture. The man falling, the towers continuous, she thought, behind him. The enormous soaring lines, the vertical column stripes. The man with blood on his shirt, she thought, or burn marks, and the effect of the columns behind him, the composition, she thought, darker stripes for the nearer tower, the north, lighter for the other, and the mass, the immensity of it all, and the man set set almost precisely between the rows of darker and lighter stripes. Headlong, free fall, she thought, and this picture burnt a hole in her mind and heart, dear God, he was a falling angel and his beauty was horrific.
Don DeLillo, Falling Man, 2007
DeLillo’s character is discussing Richard Drew’s infamous photo from which the novel takes its name. It is the obvious cover for the book but at the same time it is not the sort of image that you can slap text over and use a sales pitch. Instead the publishers have used a photo by Katy Day Weisberger which takes the opposite approach, moving back, rising up, relegating the Twin Towers themselves to the back cover. It is an equally fitting companion to the work DeLillo has produced. (The UK paperback cover also removes the clever but perhaps ill-judged typographical trick from the original cover.)
And you glance out the window for a moment, distracted by the sound of small kids playing a made-up game in a neighbour’s yard, some kind of kickball maybe, and they speak your voice, or piggy-back races on the weedy lawn, and it’s your voice you hear, essentially, under the glimmerglass sky, and you look at the things in the room, offscreen, unwebbed, the tissued grain of the desk alive in the light, the thick lived tenor of things, the argument of things to be seen and eaten, the apple core going sepia in the lunch tray, and the dense measures of experience in a random glance, the monk’s candle reflected in the slope of the phone, hours marked in Roman numerals, and the glaze of the wax, and the curl of the braided wick, and the chipped rim of the mug that holds your yellow pencils,skewed all crazy, and the plied lives of the simplest surface, the slabbed butter melting on the crumbled bun, and the yellow of the yellow of the pencils, and you try to imagine the word on the screen becoming a thing in the world, taking all its meaning, its sense of serenities and contentments out into the streets somehow, its whisper of reconcilliation, a word extending itself forever outwards, a tone of agreement or treaty, the tone of repose, the sense of molifying silence, the tone of hail and farewell, a tone that carries the sunlit ardour of an object deep in drenching noon, the arguement of binding touch, but its only a sequence of pulses on a dullish screen and all it can do is make you pensive – a word that spreads a longing through the raw sprawl of the city and out across the dreaming bourns and orchards to the solitary hills.
Don DeLillo, Underworld, 1997
Oh my face is unappealing
And my thoughts are unoriginal
I did experiments with substances
But all it did was make me ill
And I used to do the I Ching
But then I had to feed the meter
Now I can’t see into the future
But at least I can use the heater
Oh and I could be a genius
If I just put my mind to it
And I, I could do anything
If only I could get round to it
Oh we were brought up on the Space Race
Now they expect you to clean toilets
When you’ve seen how big the world is
How can you make do with this?
Jarvis Cocker, Glory Days, 1998
We could’ve called this record We Are Unreasonable People, but we’ve beat the angry-fuck-you thing to death and murder is still illegal. Instead, Matador Records chooses to celebrate our 10th or 11th year in the entertainment business by ignoring the first 7 or 8 and refreshing your recent memory glands. Many styles, sounds and zodiac signs are represented here. If you get dizzy, please consult our websites for a waiver absolving us if you fall down and break something.
Now we’re beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows). Cigarettes Are Nice. Feet Are Nice. Police Are Nice. Typhoons Are Nice. James Woods is Nice. So may of our early years were spent in a confusing haze: resentment and sexual tension combined to form an inarticulate rage, as typified by our last compilation, Fuck You, You Fuck, Vol II. Everything is better now. Everything Is Nice.
Everything Is Nice, Madator Records, 1999