Saturday, November 5, 2011

Come. We must go deeper.

Michael Ondaatje, Booker Prize 1992

"Everything is biographical, Lucian Freud says. What we make, why it is made, how we draw a dog, who it is we are drawn to, why we cannot forget. Everything is collage, even genetics. There is the hidden presence of others in us, even those we have known briefly. We contain them for the rest of our lives, at every border we cross.
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"What he would say, he cannot say to this woman whose openness is like a wound, whose youth is not mortal yet. He cannot alter what he loves most in her, her lack of compromise, where the romance of the poems she loves still sits with ease in the real world. Outside these qualities he knows there is no order in the world."
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"We die containing the richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if in rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if into trees, fears we have hidden in as if in caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography- to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.”
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"Come. We must go deeper, with no justice and no jokes."  

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