Jonathan Safran Foer Quotes

/ Author List / Jonathan Safran Foer

1. “She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.”

Tags : Grief Mourning Sadness Sorrow Suffering
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

2. “Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”

Tags : Desperate Life Losing Love Nostalgia Pain Regret Solitude

3. “Why do beautiful songs make you sad?' 'Because they aren't true.' 'Never?' 'Nothing is beautiful and true.”

Tags : Beauty Music Sadness
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

4. “One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”

Tags : Family
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

5. “I feel too much. That's what's going on.' 'Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?' 'My insides don't match up with my outsides.' 'Do anyone's insides and outsides match up?' 'I don't know. I'm only me.' 'Maybe that's what a person's personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.' 'But it's worse for me.' 'I wonder if everyone thinks it's worse for him.' 'Probably. But it really is worse for me.”

Tags : Alone Differences Emotions Loneliness People Personality
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

6. “She let out a laugh, and then she put her hand over her mouth, like she was angry at herself for forgetting her sadness.”

Tags : Laugh Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

7. “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

Tags : Happiness Sadness

8. “He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others--the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.”

Tags : Sadness
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

9. “Why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”

Tags : Future Inspirational Life
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

10. “I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.”

Tags : Close Extremely Foer Incredibly Jonathan Living Loud Safran
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

11. “I put my hands into the pockets of all his jackets”

Tags : Hands Pockets Things That I Do Touch
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

12. “...This is a kiss. It is what happens when lips are puckered and pressed against something, sometimes other lips, sometimes a cheek, sometimes something else. It depends...This is my heart. You are touching it with your left hand, not because you are left-handed, although you might be, but because I am holding it against my heart. What you are feeling is the beating of my heart. It is what keeps me alive.”

Tags : Lovely
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

13. “Darling,You asked me to write you a letter, so I am writing you a letter. I do not know why I am writing you this letter, or what this letter is supposed to be about, but I am writing it nonetheless, because I love you very much and trust that you have some good purpose for having me write this letter. I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.Your father”

Tags : Father Letter Understand
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

14. “(What are your ghosts like?)(They are on the insides of the lids of my eyes.)(This is also where my ghosts reside.)(You have ghosts?)(Of course I have ghosts.)(But you are a child.)(I am not a child.)(But you have not known love.)(These are my ghosts, the spaces amid love.)”

Tags : Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

15. “Every moment before this one depends on this one.”

Tags : Moment
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

16. “Elsewhere the paper notes that vegetarians and vegans (including athletes) 'meet and exceed requirements' for protein. And, to render the whole we-should-worry-about-getting-enough-protein-and-therefore-eat-meat idea even more useless, other data suggests that excess animal protein intake is linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers. Despite some persistent confusion, it is clear that vegetarians and vegans tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores. ”

Tags : Food Health Meat Veganism Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

17. “I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.”

Tags : Distance Longing Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

18. “Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I've discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory-- disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.”

Tags : Animals Factory Farming Meat Science Veganism Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

19. “Needless to say, jamming deformed, drugged, overstressed birds together in a filthy, waste-coated room is not very healthy. Beyond deformities, eye damage, blindness, bacterial infections of bones, slipped vertebrae, paralysis, internal bleeding, anemia, slipped tendons, twisted lower legs and necks, respiratory diseases, and weakened immune systems are frequent and long-standing problems on factory farms.”

Tags : Animals Factory Farming Meat Science Veganism Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

20. “This brings me back to the image of Kafka standing before a fish in the Berlin aquarium, a fish on which his gaze fell in a newly found peace after he decided not to eat animals. Kafka recognized that fish as a member of his invisible family- not as his equal, of course, but as another being that was his concern.”

Tags : Animals Kafka Veganism Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

21. “I thought about all of the things that everyone ever says to each other, and how everyone is going to die, whether it's in a millisecond, or days, or months, or 76.5 years, if you were just born. Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives are like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped.”

Tags : Death Dying
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

22. “Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.”

Tags : Death Grief Life Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

23. “It's true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don't mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.”

Tags : Death Dying Fear
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

24. “I got tired, I told him. Not worn out, but worn through. Like one of those wives who wakes up one morning and says I can't bake any more bread.You never bake bread, he wrote, and we were still joking.Then it's like I woke up and baked bread, I said, and we were joking even then. I wondered will there come a time when we won't be joking? And what would it look like? And how would that feel?When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table.I spent my life learning to feel less.Every day I felt less.Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

Tags : Emotion Growing Up

25. “It's so hard to express yourself.' I understand this.'I want to express myself.'The same is true for me.' I'm looking for my voice.' It's in your mouth.' I want to do something I'm not ashamed of.'Something you are proud of, yes?' Not even. I just don't want to be ashamed.”

Tags : Expression Individuality
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

26. “Do you think I'm wonderful? she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple. No, he said. Why? Because so many girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon. You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are.”

Tags : Uncommon Uniqueness
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

27. “Jacob wrestled with God for the blessing. He wrestled with Esau for the blessing. He wrestled with Isaac for the blessing, with Laban for the blessing, and in each case he eventually prevailed. He wrestled because he recognized that the blessings were worth the struggle. He knew that you only get to keep what you refuse to let go of.”

Tags : Jacob
Source : Here I Am

28. “I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.”

Tags : Atheism Faith God
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

29. “Between any two beings there is a unique, uncrossable distance, an unenterable sanctuary. Sometimes it takes the shape of aloneness. Sometimes it takes the shape of love.”

Tags : Aloneness Love Relationships
Source : Here I Am

30. “With writing, we have second chances.”

Tags : Writing
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

31. “Why are you leaving me?He wrote, I do not know how to live.I do not know either but I am trying.I do not know how to try.There were some things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So i buried them and let them hurt me”

Tags : Emotion Love

32. “I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”

Tags : Happiness Thinking Wisedom

33. “Isn’t it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn’t going to be room to bury anyone anymore? For my ninth birthday last year, Grandma gave me a subscription to National Geographic, which she calls “the National Geographic.” She also gave me a white blazer, because I only wear white clothes, and it’s too big to wear so it will last me a long time. She also gave me Grandpa’s camera, which I loved for two reasons. I asked why he didn’t take it with him when he left her. She said, “Maybe he wanted you to have it.” I said, “But I was negative-thirty years old.” She said, “Still.” Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!”

Tags : Dead Funny Weird

34. “...people with nothing to declare carry the most.”

Tags : Burdens Carry Life Nothing Struggles
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

35. “Songs are as sad as the listener.”

Tags : Music Perception
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

36. “I can forgive you for leaving, but not for coming back.”

Tags : Forgive Forgiveness

37. “I wanted to tell her everything, maybe if I'd been able to, we could have lived differently, maybe I'd be there with you now instead of here. Maybe... if I'd said, 'I'm so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything,' maybe that would have made the impossible possible. Maybe, but I couldn't do it, I had buried too much too deeply inside me. And here I am, instead of there.”

Tags : Love Regret
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

38. “The mistakes I've made are dead to me. But I can't take back the things I never did.”

Tags : Life Mistakes Regret
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

39. “We are being very nomadic with the truth, yes?”

Tags : Truthfulness
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

40. “It felt as if an only life should be better than good enough, but how many efforts for more have ended with having nothing?”

Tags : Good Enough Quality Of Life
Source : Here I Am

41. “What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look through your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong �as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone? How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass �a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make �you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has �been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, �would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it in any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re �afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness �of ravens”?”

Tags : Anger Bonsai Change Confession Cruelty Death Fear Feeling Happiness Insomnia Intelligence Kindness Love Memories Money Perception Potential Sacrifice Secrets Spoiled Talent Youth

42. “He spent the next weeks blocking scenes of the bureaucrat fucking his wife. On the floor with cooking ingredients. Standing, with socks still on. In the grass of the yard of their new and immense house. He imagined her making noises she never made for him and feeling pleasures he could never provide because the bureaucrat was a man, and he was not a man. Does she suck his penis? he wondered. I know this is a silly thought, a thought that will only bring me pain, but I can't free myself of it. And when she sucks his penis, because she must, what is he doing? Is he pulling her hair back to watch? Is he touching her chest? Is he thinking of someone else? I'll kill him if he is.”

Tags : Affairs Humor Marriage Sex
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

43. “If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.”

Tags : Life Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

44. “It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.”

Tags : Emptiness Life
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

45. “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.”

Tags : Life
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

46. “She wanted more, more slang, more figures of speech, the bee's knees, the cats pajamas, horse of a different color, dog-tired, she wanted to talk like she was born here, like she never came from anywhere else”

Tags : Culture English Slang
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

47. “Only a few months into our marriage, we started marking off areas in the apartment as "Nothing Places," in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be nonexistent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist, the first was in the bedroom, by the foot of the bed, we marked it off with red tape on the carpet, and it was just large enough to stand in, it was a good place to disappear, we knew it was there but we never looked at it, it worked so well that we decided to create a Nothing Place in the living room, it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear while in the living room, and sometimes one simply wants to disappear, we made this zone slightly larger so that one of us could lie down in it, it was a rule that you never would look at that rectangle of space, it didn't exist, and when you were in it, neither did you, for a while that was enough, but only for a while.”

Tags : Disappearance
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

48. “My dream went all the way back to the beginning. The rain rose into the clouds, and the animals descended the ramp.”

Tags : Beginning Dreams Noah S Ark
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

49. “I hated myself for going, why couldn't I be the kind of person who stays?”

Tags : Leaving Staying
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

50. “But that slip of paper wouldn't disappear, ever, and neither would the image of his prostrate wife, and neither would the thought that if he could, it might greatly improve his life to end it.”

Tags : Grief Infidelity Permanence Suicide

51. “(You do not have to be shamed in my closeness. Family are the people who must never make you feel ashamed.)(You are wrong. Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.)(And you are deserving of shame?)(I am. I am trying to tell you.) 'We were stupid,' he said, 'because we believed in things.''Why is this stupid?''Because there are not things to believe in.'(Love?)(There is no love. Only the end of love.)(Goodness?)(Do not be a fool.)(God?)(If God exists, He is not to be believed in.)”

Tags : Belief Family God Love Shame
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

52. “People around the world were moving from one place to another. No one was staying.”

Tags : Life Moving The World Traveling
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

53. “He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.”

Tags : Father Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

54. “God loves the plagiarist. And so it is written, 'God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them." God is the original plagiarizer. With a lack of reasonable sources from which to filch - man created in the image of what? the animals? - the creation of man was an act of reflexive plagiarizing; God looted the mirror. When we plagiarize, we are likewise creating in the image and participating in the completion of Creation.”

Tags : Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer Plagiarism Writing
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

55. “We believed in our grandmother’s cooking more fervently than we believed in God.”

Tags : Grandmothers
Source : Eating Animals

56. “I ran rather than walked, anxious to lose my way. All I wanted was to be unsure.”

Tags : Page 80 Uncertainty
Source : Tree of Codes

57. “I realized that your mother couldn't see the emptiness, she couldn't see anything...All of the words I'd written to her over all of those years, had I never said anything to hear at all?”

Tags : Blind Blindness Writing
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

58. “The paper, the stapler, the staples, the tape. It makes me sick. Physical things. Forty years of loving someone becomes staples and tape.”

Tags : Forty Love Stapler Staples Tape
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

59. “I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.”

Tags : Love

60. “Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips. So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are. And the more you wage war.”

Tags : Sweetness
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

61. “If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish, what would be our argument against being eaten?”

Tags : Inspirational Life Thought Provoking
Source : Eating Animals

62. “Being reliable is something. Being good.”

Tags : Good Reliable Something
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

63. “She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her. Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life.”

Tags : Life Struggle
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

64. “We spent our lives making livings.”

Tags : Life Work
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

65. “...and when is enough proof enough?”

Tags : Evidence Faith Proof
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

66. “I'm so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything”

Tags : Personal

67. “I can't count the times that upon telling someone I am vegetarian, he or she responded by pointing out an inconsistency in my lifestyle or trying to find a flaw in an argument I never made. (I have often felt that my vegetarianism matters more to such people than it does to me.)”

Tags : Vegetarianism Vegetarians
Source : Eating Animals

68. “Do you eat chicken because you are familiar with the scientific literature on them and have decided that their suffering doesn't matter, or do you do it because it tastes good?”

Tags : Animals Chicken Factory Farms Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

69. “Ironically, the utterly unselective omnivore -- "I'm easy; I'll eat anything" -- can appear more socially sensitive than the individual who tries to eat in a way that is good for society.”

Tags : Food Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

70. “Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose, keep in touch (or don't), care about birthdays, waste and lose time, brush their teeth, feel nostalgia, scrub stains, have religions and political parties and laws, wear keepsakes, apologize years after an offense, whisper, fear themselves, interpret dreams, hide their genitalia, shave, bury time capsules, and can choose not to eat something for reasons of conscience. The justifications for eating animals and for not eating them are often identical: we are not them.”

Tags : Animals Ethics Humans Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

71. “Not responding is a response - we are equally responsible for what we don't do.”

Tags : Animal Rights Food Safety Non Fiction Vegetarinism
Source : Eating Animals

72. “Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?”

Tags : Animal Rights Vegan Vegetarian
Source : Eating Animals

73. “If we are not given the option to live without violence, we are given the choice to center our meals around harvest or slaughter, husbandry or war. We have chosen slaughter. We have chosen war. That's the truest version of our story of eating animals.Can we tell a new story?”

Tags : Animal Rights Cruelty
Source : Eating Animals

74. “It shouldn't be the consumer's responsibility to figure out what's cruel and what's kind, what's environmentally destructive and what's sustainable. Cruel and destructive food products should be illegal. We don't need the option of buying children's toys made with lead paint, or aerosols with chlorofluorocarbons, or medicines with unlabeled side effects. And we don't need the option of buying factory-farmed animals.”

Tags : Animal Cruelty Animal Rights Capitalism Ecology Sustainability Vegan Vegetarian
Source : Eating Animals

75. “This isn't animal experimentation, where you an imagine some proportionate good at the other end of the suffering. This is what we feel like eating. Tell me something: Why is taste, the crudest of our sense, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other sense? If you stop and think about it, it's crazy. Why doesn't a horny person has as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it?”

Tags : Animal Cruelty Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

76. “Scientific studies and government records suggest that virtually all (upwards of 95 percent of) chickens become infected with E. coli (an indicator of fecal contamination) and between 39 and 75 percent of chickens in retail stores are still infected. Around 8 percent of birds become infected with salmonella (down from several years ago, when at least one in four birds was infected, which still occurs on some farms). Seventy to 90 percent are infected with another potentially deadly pathogen, campylobacter. Chlorine baths are commonly used to remove slime, odor, and bacteria.Of course, consumers might notice that their chickens don't taste quite right - how good could a drug-stuffed, disease-ridden, shit-contaminated animal possibly taste? - but the birds will be injected (or otherwise pumped up) with "broths" and salty solutions to give them what we have come to think of as the chicken look, smell, and taste. (A recent study by Consumer Reports found that chicken and turkey products, many labeled as natural, "ballooned with 10 to 30 percent of their weight as broth, flavoring, or water.”

Tags : Animal Cruelty Health Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

77. “We can't plead ignorance, only indifference. Those alive today are the generations that came to know better. We have the burden and the opportunity of living in the moment when the critique of factory farming broke into the popular consciousness. We are the ones of whom it will be fairly asked, What did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?”

Tags : Vegan Vegetarian
Source : Eating Animals

78. “Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.”

Tags : Animals Vegetarian Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

79. “The choice-obsessed modern West is probably more accommodating to individuals who choose to eat differently than any other culture has ever been, but ironically, the utterly unselective omnivore - “I’m easy; I’ll eat anything” - can appear more socially sensitive than the individual who tries to eat in a way that is good for society. Food choices are determined by many factors, but reason (even consciousness) is not generally high on the list.”

Tags : Animal Rights Ethics Nonfiction Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

80. “The persistence of the story of animal consent into the contemporary era tells of a human appreciation of the stakes, and a desire to do the right thing.”

Tags : Animal Rights Ethics Nonfiction Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

81. “Before child labor laws, there were businesses that treated their ten-year-old employees well. society didn’t ban child labor because it’s impossible to imagine children working in a good environment, but because when you give that much power to businesses over powerless individuals, it’s corrupting. When we walk around thinking we have a greater right to eat an animal than the animal has a right to live without suffering, it’s corrupting.”

Tags : Animal Rights Child Labor Ethics Nonfiction Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

82. “A simple trick from the backyard astronomer: if you are having trouble seeing something, look slightly away from it. The most light-sensitive parts of our eyes (those we need to see dim objects) are on the edges of the region we normally use for focusing. Eating animals has an invisible quality. Thinking about dogs, and their relationship to the animals we eat, is one way of looking askance and making something invisible visible.”

Tags : Animal Rights Ethics Nonfiction Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

83. “It’s much easier to be cruel than one might think.”

Tags : Cruelty Kindness

84. “It can be challenge enough to have to eat with myself.”

Tags : Documentary Food Food Safety Non Fiction Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

85. “Because sometimes people who seem goodend up being not as good as you might have hoped.”

Tags : Facade False Hope Good People Truth
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

86. “Ich versuche mich an alles zu erinnern, was ich getan habe, Oskar. Und alles, was ich nicht getan habe. Die Fehler, die ich begangen habe, sind mir egal. Aber was ich nie getan habe, kann ich auch nicht zurücknehmen.”

Tags : Foer
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

87. “«Il peggio arrivò verso la fine. Moltissime persone morirono proprio alla fine, e io non sapevo se avrei resistito un altro giorno. Un contadino, un russo, Dio lo benedica, vide in che stato ero, entrò in casa e ne uscì con un pezzo di carne per me.»«Ti salvò la vita.»«Non lo mangiai.»«Non lo mangiasti?»«Era maiale. Non ero disposta a mangiare maiale.»«Perché?»«Che vuol dire perché?»«Come? Perché non era kosher?»«Certo.»«Ma neppure per salvarti la vita?»«Se niente importa, non c'è niente da salvare.»”

Tags : Eating Animals Foer Se Niente Importa
Source : Eating Animals

88. “La biodiversità era stata rimpiazziata dall'uniformità genetica, nelle università i dipartimenti di scienze animali erano diventati dipartimenti di scienze zootecniche, un'attività economica un tempo dominata dalle donne era ormai passata in mano ai maschi, e pollicoltori esperti erano stati rimpiazzati da dipendenti stipendiati. Non ci fu un colpo di pistola a segnare l'inizio della corsa verso il basso. Il terreno si inclinò e tutti scivolarono giù.”

Tags : Eating Animals Foer J S Foer Se Niente Importa
Source : Eating Animals

89. “What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or justcrack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of “Yellow Submarine,” which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d’être, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I’d train it to say, “Wasn’t me!” every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, “Ce n’étais pas moi!”What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboard down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.”

Tags : Humor Sounds

90. “Not responding is a response--we are equally responsible for what we don't do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.”

Tags : Animals Eating Meat Responsibility Slaughter
Source : Eating Animals

91. “We need a better way to talk about eating animals. We need a way that brings meat to the center of public discussion in the same way it is often at the center of our plates. This doesn't require that we pretend we are going to have a collective agreement. However strong our intuitions are about what's right for us personally and even about what's right for others, we all know in advance that our positions will clash with those of our neighbors. What do we do with that most inevitable reality? Drop the conversation, or find a way to reframe it?”

Tags : Animals Eating Food Meat Vegans Vegetarianism Vegetarians
Source : Eating Animals

92. “The hardest part of writing is not to get the ideas but to remember, why it is important to get them.”

Tags : Interview

93. “...des verstorbenen Philosophen Pinchas T., der in seiner einzigen bedeutenden Abhandlung "An den Staub: vom Menschen bist du, und zum Menschen sollst du werden" argumentierte, es sei theoretisch möglich, das Leben und die Kunst gegeneinander auszutauschen.”

Tags : German Kunst Leben Philosophie Staub
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

94. “At the end of my dream, Eve put the apple back on the branch. The tree went back into the ground. It became a sapling, which became a seed.”

Tags : Eve Rewind Tree

95. “I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time.”

Tags : Mute Suffering Writing
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

96. “se nada importa, não há nada a salvar”

Tags : Mantra

97. “[...]It is as if after surviving so much, there was no longer reason to survive.”

Tags : Dead Life Survival Survivor
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

98. “That is what death is like. It doesn't matter what uniforms the soldiers are wearing. It doesn't matter how good the weapons are. I thought if everyone could see what I saw, we would never have war anymore.”

Tags : Death Soldiers War Weapons
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

99. “Touching him was always so important to me. It was something I lived for. I never could explain why. Little, nothing touches. My fingers against his shoulder. The outsides of our thighs touching as we squeezed together on the bus. I couldn't explain it, but I needed it. Sometimes I imagined stitching all of our little touches together. How many hundreds of thousands of fingers brushing against each other does it take to make love? Why does anyone ever make love?”

Tags : Love Make Love Touching
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

100. “When I heard your organization was recording testimonies, I knew I had to come. She died in my arms, saying 'I don't want to die.' That is what death is like. It doesn't matter what uniforms the soldiers are wearing. It doesn't matter how good the weapons are. I thought if everyone could see what I saw, we would never have war anymore.”

Tags : Death War
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

101. “Verlegenheid is als je je afkeert van iets wat je wilt. Schaamte is als je je afkeert van iets wat je niet wilt.”

Tags : Shame Shyness
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

102. “There are many premium writers, yes? Tolstoy, yes? He wrote War, and also Peace, which are both premium books.”

Tags : Amusing Humor
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

103. “There's nothing wrong with not understanding yourself.”

Tags : Life People
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

104. “Sometimes people who seem good end up being not as good as you might have hoped, you know?”

Tags : Advice Jofer People
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

105. “She extended a hand that I didn't know how to take, so I broke its fingers with my silence.”

Tags : Silence
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

106. “He promised us that everything would be OK. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be OK. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.”

Tags : Father Promises
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

107. “So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!”

Tags : Books
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

108. “Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn't someone, somewhere, laughing?”

Tags : Happiness Philosophy
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

109. “I read the first chapter of A Brief History of Time when Dad was still alive, and I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn't even matter if I existed at all. When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. "Which problem?" "The problem of how relatively insignificant we are." He said, "Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimeter?" I said, "I'd probably die of dehydration." He said, "I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?" I said, "I dunno, what?" He said, "Think about it." I thought about it. "I guess I would have moved one grain of sand." "Which would mean?" "Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?" "Which would mean you changed the Sahara." "So?" "So? So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for millions of years. And you changed it!" "That's true!" I said, sitting up. "I changed the Sahara!" "Which means?" he said. "What? Tell me." "Well I'm not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I'm just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter." "Yeah? If you hadn't done it, human history would have been one way..." "Uh-huh?" "But you did do it, so...?" I stood on the bed, pointing one of my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: "I changed the course of human history!" "That's right." "I changed the universe!" "You did." "I'm God!" "You're an atheist." "I don't exist!" I fell back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together.”

Tags : Athiesm Existance Fathers And Sons

110. “I said I kicked a French chicken in the stomach once." "Huh?" "It said, 'Oeuf.'" "What is that?" "It's a joke. Do you want to hear another, or have you already had un oeuf?”

Tags : French Joke
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

111. “A map such as that one is worth many hundreds, and as luck will have it, thousands of dollars. But more than this, it is a remembrance of that time before our planet was so small. When this map was made, I thought, you could live without knowing where you were not living.”

Tags : Life Maps Wanderlust
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

112. “We know, at least, that this decision (ending factory farming) will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve publish health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in history.”

Tags : Animals Environment Factory Farming
Source : Eating Animals

113. “I don't mind if smiles come at my expense, I'm a small price to pay.”

Tags : Puns
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

114. “It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us...on the inside, looking out.”

Tags : Illumination Life Past

115. “I am always sad, I think. Perhaps this signifies that I am not sad at all, because sadness is something lower than your normal disposition, and I am always the same thing. Perhaps I am the only person in the world, then, who never becomes sad. Perhaps I am lucky.”

Tags : Life Sadness
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

116. “I went to a tattoo parlor and had YES written onto the palm of my left hand, and NO onto my right palm, what can I say, it hasn't made my life wonderful, its made life possible, when I rub my hands against each other in the middle of winter I am warming myself with the friction of YES and NO, when I clap my hands I am showing my appreciation through the uniting and parting of YES and NO, I signify "book" by peeling open my hands, every book, for me, is the balance of YES and NO, even this one, my last one, especially this one. Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”

Tags : Grief Love Sadness

117. “SADNESS OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood [sic]; Humor sadness; Sadness of love wit[hou]t release; Sadne[ss of be]ing smart; Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean]; Sadness of having options; Sadness of wanting sadness; Sadness of confusion; Sadness of domes[tic]ated birds, Sadness of fini[shi]ng a book; Sadness of remembering; Sadness of forgetting; Anxiety sadness...”

Tags : Sadness
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

118. “I don't think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.”

Tags : Happiness Life
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

119. “I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time......why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time, my greatest regret is how much I believed in the future.”

Tags : Future Life

120. “I went to my grandmother, your great-great-grandmother, and asked her to write a letter. She was my mother's mother. Your father's mother's mother's mother. I hardly knew her. I didn't have any interest in knowing her. I have no need for the past, I thought, like a child. I did not consider that the past might have a need for me.What kind of letter? my grandmother asked.I told her to write whatever she wanted to write.You want a letter from me? she asked.I told her yes.Oh, God bless you, she said.The letter she gave me was sixty-seven pages long. It was the story of her life. She made my request into her own. Listen to me.”

Tags : Family History Past
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

121. “However much we obfuscate or ignore it, we know that the factory farm is inhumane in the deepest sense of the word. And we know that there is something that matters in a deep way about the lives we create for the living beings most within our power. Our response to the factory farm is ultimately a test of how we respond to the powerless, to the most distant, to the voiceless--it is a test of how we act when no one is forcing us to act one way or another.”

Tags : Eating Factory Farm Integrity Powerless
Source : Eating Animals

122. “But I knew the truth and that's why I was so sad. Every moment before this one depends on this one. Everything in the history of the world can be proven wrong in one moment.”

Tags : History Life Moments Paths
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

123. “Sam enjoyed knowledge. The accumulation and distribution of facts gave him a feeling of control, of utility, of the opposite of the powerlessness that comes with having a smallish, underdeveloped body that doesn't dependably respond to the mental commands of a largish, overstimulated brain.”

Tags : Brain Control Facts Knowledge Power Smarts
Source : Here I Am

124. “It's nice to believe that when confronted with facts people will just suddenly respond to them but, in fact, most people don't really work like that.”

Tags : Facts Truth Vegan Vegetarian

125. “Highs and lows make you feel that things matter, but they're nothing." "So what's something?" "Being reliable is something. Being good.”

Tags : Feelings Good
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

126. “When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

Tags : Details Feelings Happiness Life Old Sadness
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

127. “August has passed, and yet summer continues by force to grow days. They sprout secretly between the chapters of the year, covertly included between its pages.”

Tags : August Imagery Page 109 Summer Time
Source : Tree of Codes

128. “Young friends, whose string-and-tin-can phone extended from island to island, had to pay out more and more string, as if letting kites go higher and higher. They had more and more to tell each other, and less and less string. The boy asked the girl to say "I love you" into her can, giving her no further explanation. And she didn't ask for any, or say "That's silly," or "We're too young for love," or even suggest that she was saying "I love you" because he asked her to. Instead she said, "I love you." The words traveled through the long, long string. The boy covered his can with a lid, removed it from the string, and put her love for him on a shelf in his closet. Of course, he never could open the can, because then he would lose its contents. It was enough just to know it was there.”

Tags : Inspirational Love Sweet
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

129. “There are only so many times that you can utter ‘It does not hurt’ before it begins to hurt even more than the hurt. You become enlightened of the feeling of feeling hurt, which is worse, I am certain, than the existent hurt.”

Tags : Hurt

130. “There were things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So I buried them, and let them hurt me.”

Tags : Buried Heart Ache Hurt Untold Things
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

131. “This is the sixty-nine," I told him, presenting the magazine in front of him. I put my fingers -- two of them -- on the action, so that he would not overlook it. "Why is it dubbed sixty-nine?" he asked, because he is a person hot on fire with curiosity. "It was invented in 1969. My friend Gregory knows a friend of the nephew of the inventor." "What did people do before 1969?" "Merely blowjobs and masticating box, but never in chorus.”

Tags : Humor Humorous Sex
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

132. “From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be mistaken for light--a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes.In about one and a half centuries--after the lovers who made the glow will have long been laid permanently on their backs--metropolises will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Shtetls will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples, invisible.The glow is born from the sum of thousands of loves: newlyweds and teenagers who spark like lighters out of butane, pairs of men who burn fast and bright, pairs of women who illuminate for hours with soft multiple glows, orgies like rock and flint toys sold at festivals, couples trying unsuccessfully to have children who burn their frustrated image on the continent like the bloom a bright light leaves on the eye after you turn away from it.Some nights, some places are a little brighter. It's difficult to stare at New York City on Valentine's Day, or Dublin on St. Patrick's. The old walled city of Jerusalem lights up like a candle on each of Chanukah's eight nights...We're here, the glow...will say in one and a half centuries. We're here, and we're alive.”

Tags : Sex
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

133. “What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?”

Tags : Dreaming Feeling Life And Death
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

134. “I am not a bad person," he said. "I am good person who has lived un a bad time.”

Tags : Bad Person
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

135. “The factory farm has succeeded by divorcing people from their food, eliminating farmers, and ruling agriculture by corporate fiat.”

Tags : Factory Farming Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

136. “Our response to the factory farm is ultimately a test of how we respond to the powerless, to the most distant, to the voiceless - it is a test of how we act when no one is forcing us to act one way or another. Consistency is not required, but engagement with the problem is.”

Tags : Ethics Factory Farming Nonfiction Vegetarian
Source : Eating Animals

137. “We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory-disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.”

Tags : Ethics Factory Farming Nonfiction Phylosophy Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

138. “Rationally, factory farming is so obviously wrong, in so many ways. In all of my reading and conversations, I've yet to find a credible defense of it. But food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, and identity.”

Tags : Animals Factory Farming Food Nonfiction

139. “...that's the business model. How quickly can they be made to grow, how tightly can they be packed, how much or little can they eat, how sick can they get without dying. This isn't animal experimentation, where you can imagine some proportionate good at the other end of the suffering. This is what we feel like eating... Why doesn't a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it? It's easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it... How riveting wold the sound of a tortured animal need to be to make you want to hear it that badly?”

Tags : Chickens
Source : Eating Animals

140. “People care about animals. I believe that. They just don’t want to know or to pay. A fourth of all chickens have stress fractures. It’s wrong. They’re packed body to body, and can’t escape their waste, and never see the sun. Their nails grow around the bars of their cages. It’s wrong. They feel their slaughters. It’s wrong, and people know it’s wrong. They don’t have to be convinced. They just have to act differently. I’m not better than anyone, and I’m not trying to convince people to live by my standards of what’s right. I’m trying to convince them to live by their own.”

Tags : Animal Rights Animals Slaughter Veganism Vegetarian

141. “When I was old enough to take baths in the bathtub, and to know I had a penis and a scrotum and everything, I asked her not to sit in the room with me. "Why not?" "Privacy." "Privacy from what? From me?" I didn't want to hurt her feelings, because not hurting her feelings is another of my raisons d'etre. "Just privacy," I said...She agreed to wait outside, but only if I held a ball of yarn, which went under the bathroom door and was connected to the scarf she was knitting. Every few seconds she would give it a tug, and I had to tug back--undoing what she had just done--so that she could know I was OK.”

Tags : Bathtub
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

142. “He looked so much like me, I could tell that he saw it, too, we shared the smile of recognizing ourselves in each other, how many imposters do I have? DO we all make the same mistakes, or has one of us gotten it right, or even just a bit less wrong, am I the imposter?”

Tags : Imposters Look Alike Mistakes
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

143. “War! We go on killing each other to no purpose! It is war waged by humanity against humanity, and it will only end when there’s no one left to fight.”

Tags : Humanity And Society War War And Society
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

144. “But the future lay open, a thousand kaleidoscopic possibilities with a small quick heartbeat, delicate and impatient”

Tags : Imagery Inspirational Pages 63 64 Poetic
Source : Tree of Codes

145. “desperately knocking against the blind little world, i loosened one of its planks, opening a window to a new, wider world. There, spread out, was a profusion of geography, of atmosphere, of full empty air.”

Tags : Imagery Pages 68 69 Poetic
Source : Tree of Codes

146. “faces pressed against the pane, full of little, content with sawdust tears.”

Tags : Imagery Page 46 Poetic
Source : Tree of Codes

147. “Era un genio della tristezza, e in essa si tuffava distinguendone i molti fili, apprezzandone le sfumature più sottili. Era un prisma attraverso cui la tristezza poteva suddividersi enl suo infinito sprettro. Brod, inventrice delle 613 Tristezze”

Tags : Sadness Tristezza

148. “The ground is still filled iwth rings, and money, and pictures, and Jewish things. I was only able to find a few of them, but they fill the earth." The hero did not ask me once what she was saying. I am not certain if he knew what she was saying, or if he knew not to inquire.”

Tags : Jewish Jews Shoah Wwii
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

149. “E allora quanta sofferenza è accettabile? È questa la base di tutto, ed è questo che ognuno di noi deve chiedersi. Quanta sofferenza sei disposto a tollerare per il tuo cibo?”

Tags : Life Style Vegan Vegetarian
Source : Eating Animals

150. “Anyone who believes that a second is faster than a decade did not live life.”

Tags : Life Live Life Time
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

151. “I knew that we were sharing something with our eyes, but I didn't know what, and I didn't know if it mattered.”

Tags : Connection With People
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

152. “Rabbi, I feel no despair anymore. For seventy years I had only nightmares, but I have no nightmares anymore. I feel only gratitude for my life, for every moment I lived. Not only the good moments. I feel gratitude for every moment of my life. I have seen so many miracles.”

Tags : Grandfathers
Source : Here I Am

153. “she also liked to remember that there could be no such thing as an intentional imperfection. People are always mistaking something that looks good for something that feels good.”

Tags : Imperfection Mistakes The Human Condition
Source : Here I Am

154. “She was not cryingWhich surprised me very muchBut I understand nowThat she had found placesFor her melancholyThat were behind more masksThan only her eyes”

Tags : Melancholy
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

155. “I've read every letter that you've sent me these past two years. In return, I've sent you many form letters, with the hope of one day being able to give you the proper response you deserve. But the more letters you wrote to me, and the more of yourself you gave, the more daunting my task became. I'm sitting beneath a pear tree as I dictate this to you, overlooking the orchards of a friend's estate. I've spent the past few days here, recovering from some medical treatment that has left me physically and emotionally depleted. As I moped about this morning, feeling sorry for myself, it occurred to me, like a simple solution to an impossible problem: today is the day I've been waiting for. You asked me in your first letter if you could be my protege. I don't know about that, but I would be happy to have you join me in Cambridge for a few days. I could introduce you to my colleagues, treat you to the best curry outside India, and show you just how boring the life of an astrophysicist can be. You can have a bright future in the sciences, Oskar. I would be happy to do anything possible to facilitate such a path. It's wonderful to think what would happen if you put your imagination toward scientific ends. But Oskar, intelligent people write to me all the time. In your fifth letter you asked, "What if I never stop inventing?" That question has stuck with me. I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers.But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, "Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open." I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on. What if you never stop inventing? Maybe you're not inventing at all. I'm being called in for breakfast, so I'll have to end this letter here. There's more I want to tell you, and more I want to hear from you. It's a shame we live on different continents. One shame of many. It's so beautiful at this hour. The sun is low, the shadows are long, the air is cold and clean. You won't be awake for another five hours, but I can't help feeling that we're sharing this clear and beautiful morning. Your friend, Stephen Hawking”

Tags : Letter Stephen Hawking
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

156. “Long before man traveled into space, rabbis debated how one would observe Shabbat there-not because they anticipated space travel but because Buddhists strive to live with questions and Jews would rather die.”

Tags : Buddhism Humor Jews
Source : Here I Am

157. “Weeks passed like boats waiting to sail into the starless dawn, we were full of aimless endless darkness.”

Tags : Boredom
Source : Tree of Codes

158. “Today, it isn't unusual for meat to travel almost halfway around the globe to reach your supermarket. The average distance our meat travels hovers arounf fifteen hundred miles.”

Tags : Animals Food For Thought Meat
Source : Eating Animals

159. “What about guns with sensors in the handles that could detect if you were angry, and if you were, they wouldn't fire, even if you were a police officer?What about skyscrapers made with moving parts, so they could rearrange themselves when they had to, and even open holes in their middles for planes to fly through?”

Tags : Guns Planes Skyscrapers
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

160. “Ultimately, the controversy around PETA may have less to do with the organization than with those of us who stand in judgment of it - that is, with the unpleasant realization that "those PETA people" have stood up for the values we have been too cowardly or forgetful to defend ourselves.”

Tags : Eating Animals Peta

161. “A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, 'Everything is possible again.' It was the perfect thing to write because that was exactly how it felt.”

Tags : Children Family Fatherhood Love Motherhood Parenthood
Source : Eating Animals

162. “As we drove, I imagined we were standing still and the world was coming toward us.”

Tags : Drive World
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

163. “Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine's Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.”

Tags : Appreciation Christmas Holidays Thankful Thanksgiving
Source : Eating Animals

164. “In sickness and in sickness. That is what I wish for you. Don't seek or expect miracles. There are no miracles. Not anymore. And there are no cures for the hurt that hurts most. There is only the medicine of believing each other's pain, and being present for it.”

Tags : Marriage Mothers
Source : Here I Am

165. “When I was nine, I had a babysitter who didn't want to hurt anything. She put it just like that when I asked her why she wasn't having chicken with my older brother and me: "I don't want to hurt anything." [...] What our babysitter said made sense to me, not only because it seemed true, but because it was the extension to food of everything my parents had taught me. We don't hurt family members. We don't hurt friends or strangers. We don't even hurt upholstered furniture. My not having thought to include animals in that list didn't make them the exceptions to it. It just made me a child, ignorant of the world's workings. Until I wasn't. At which point I had to change my life.”

Tags : Vegetarianism Ethics

166. “Anyone who suggests that there is a perfect symbiosis between the farmers' interest and the animals' is probably trying to sell you something (and it's not made of tofu)”

Tags : Vegetarianism Ethics
Source : Eating Animals

167. “Flea-Market vendors are frozen mid-haggle. Middle-aged women are frozen in the middle of their lives. The gavels of frozen judges are frozen between guilt and innocence. On the ground are the crystals of the frozen first breaths of babies, and those of the last gasps of the dying.”

Tags : Freeze Sixth Borough
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

168. “... we decided to create a Nothing Place in the living room, it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear while in the living room, and sometimes one simply wants to disappear, we made this zone slightly larger so that one of us could lie down in it, it was a rule that you never would look at that rectangle of space, it didn't exist, and when you were in it, neither did you, for a while that was enough, but only for a while, we required more rules, on our second anniversary we marked off the entire guest room as a Nothing Place, it seemed like a good idea at the time, sometimes a small patch at the foot of the bed or a rectangle in the living room isn't enough privacy, the side of the door that faced the guest room was Nothing, the side that faced the hallway was Something, the knob that connected them was neither Something nor Nothing. The walls of the hallway were Nothing, even pictures need to disappear, especially pictures, but the hallway itself was Something, the bathtub was Nothing, the bathwater was Something, the hair on our bodies was Nothing, of course, but once it collected around the drain it was Something, we were trying to make our lives easier, trying, with all of our rules, to make life effortless. But a friction began to arise between Nothing and Something, in the morning the Nothing vase cast a Something shadow, like the memory of someone you've lost, what can you say about that, at night the Nothing light from the guest room spilled under the Nothing door and stained the Something hallway, there's nothing to say. It became difficult to navigate from Something to Something without accidentally walking through Nothing, and when Something—a key, a pen, a pocketwatch—was accidentally left in a Nothing Place, it never could be retrieved, that was an unspoken rule, like nearly all of our rules have been. There came a point, a year or two ago, when our apartment was more Nothing than Something, that in itself didn't have to be a problem, it could have been a good thing, it could have saved us. We got worse. I was sitting on the sofa in the second bedroom one afternoon, thinking and thinking and thinking, when I realized I was on a Something island. "How did I get here," I wondered, surrounded by Nothing, "and how can I get back?" The longer your mother and I lived together, the more we took each other's assumptions for granted, the less was said, the more misunderstood, I'd often remember having designated a space as Nothing when she was sure we had agreed that it was Something, our unspoken agreements led to disagreements, to suffering, I started to undress right in front of her, this was just a few months ago, and she said, "Thomas! What are you doing!" and I gestured, "I thought this was Nothing," covering myself with one of my daybooks, and she said, "It's Something!" We took the blueprint of our apartment from the hallway closet and taped it to the inside of the front door, with an orange and a green marker we separated Something from Nothing. "This is Something," we decided. "This is Nothing." "Something." "Something." "Nothing." "Something." "Nothing." "Nothing." "Nothing." Everything was forever fixed, there would be only peace and happiness, it wasn't until last night, our last night together, that the inevitable question finally arose, I told her, "Something," by covering her face with my hands and then lifting them like a marriage veil. "We must be." But I knew, in the most protected part of my heart, the truth.”

Tags : Nothing Something
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

169. “...Food serves two parallel purposes: it nourishes and it helps you remember. Eating and storytelling are inseparable—the saltwater is also tears; the honey not only tastes sweet, but makes us think of sweetness; the matzo is the bread of our affliction.”

Tags : Culture Family Food Mythology Religion Stories Veganism Vegetarianism
Source : Eating Animals

170. “...only someone who'd never been an animal would put up a sign saying not to feed them....”

Tags : Animals Humor
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

171. “The animals are those things that God likes but doesn't love.”

Tags : Animals
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

172. “We are breeding creatures incapable of surviving in any place other than the most artificial settings. We have focused the awesome power of modern genetic knowledge to bring into being animals that suffer more.”

Tags : Animals Humanism Suffering
Source : Eating Animals

173. “I thought about life, about my life, the embarrassments, the little coincidences, the shadows of alarm clocks on bedside tables. I thought about my small victories and everything I'd seen destroyed, I'd swum through mink coats on my parents' bed while they hosted downstairs, I'd lost the only person I could have spent my only life with, I'd left behind a thousand tons of marble, I could have released sculptures, I could have released myself from the marble of myself. I'd experienced joy, but not nearly enough, could there be enough? The end of suffering does not justify the suffering, and so there is no end to suffering, what a mess I am, I thought, what a fool, how foolish and narrow, how worthless, how pinched and pathetic, how helpless. None of my pets know their own names, what kind of person am I?”

Tags : Contemplative

174. “If I’d been someone else in a different world I’d've done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.”

Tags : Life World
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

175. “I kept thinking how they were all names of dead people, and how names are basically the only thing dead people keep.”

Tags : Death Jonathan Safran Foer

176. “Then I have some bad news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.”

Tags : Future Jofer
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

177. “I’m not smarter than you, I’m more knowledgeable than you, and that’s only because I’m older than you. Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents.”

Tags : Children Fiction Parents
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

178. “He saw what they either couldn't see or couldn't allow themselves to see, and that only made him more pissed, because being less stupid than one's parents is repulsive, like taking a gulp from a glass of milk that you thought was orange juice.”

Tags : Parents
Source : Here I Am

179. “To feel alone is to be alone.”

Tags : Alone Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

180. “When she woke up crying for one of her nightmares, the Kolker would stay with her, brush her hair with his hands, collect her tears in thimbles for her to drink the next morning (The only way to overcome sadness is to consume it, he said), and more than that: once her eyes closed and she fell back asleep, he was left to bear the insomnia. There was a complete transfer, like a speeding billiard ball colliding with a resting one. Should Brod feel depressed - she was always depressed - the Kolker would sit with her until he could convince her that it’s OK. It is. Really. And when she would move on with her day, he would stay behind, paralysed with a grief he couldn’t name and that wasn’t his. Should Brod become sick, it was the Kolker that would be bedridden by week’s end. Should Brod feel bored, knowing too many languages, too many facts, with too much knowledge to be happy, the Kolker would stay up all night studying her books, studying the pictures, so the next day he could try to make the kind of small talk that would please his young wife.”

Tags : Love Nightmares Sadness

181. “Food for her is not food, it is terror, dignity, gratitude, vengeance, joyfulness, humiliation, religion, history, and, of course, love. As if the fruit she always offered us were picked from the destroyed brances of out family tree.”

Tags : Amazing Food Insprinational Life
Source : Eating Animals

182. “Writing's funny, it's like walking down a hall in the dark looking for the light switch, and suddenly you find it, flip it on, and then you discover the hallway you passed through is papered with the novel you've written.”

Tags : Stories Storytelling Writing

183. “From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be confused for light - a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes.In about one and a half centuries - after the lovers who made the glow will have long since been laid permanently on their backs - the metropolitan cities will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Towns will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples invisible.”

Tags : Love Time
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

184. “I wanted to cry but I didn't, I probably should have cried, I should have drowned us there in the room ending our suffering.”

Tags : Sad
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

185. “...he was leaving me. I wondered if I should stop him. If I should wrestle him to the ground and force him to love me. I wanted to hold his shoulders down and shout into his face.”

Tags : Hurting Leaving Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

186. “It hurts me when you do not want to hurt me.”

Tags : Hurting Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

187. “The disgraced Usurer Yankel D took the baby girl home that evening... He made a bed of crumpled newspaper in a deep baking pan and gently tucked it in the oven, so that she wouldn't be disturbed by the noise of the small falls outside... When he pulled her out to feed her or just hold her, her body was tattooed with the newsprint... Sometimes he would rock her to sleep in his arms, and read her left to right, and know everything he needed to know about the world. If it wasn't written on her, it wasn't important to him.”

Tags : Children Life Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

188. “we laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged.”

Tags : Laughs
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

189. “And this is what living next to a waterfall is like, Safran. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Yor great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love”

Tags : Love Pain Self Growth
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

190. “All that mattered was him looking at me”

Tags : Attention Him Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

191. “And how can you say I love you to someone you love? I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her. Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, Oskar. It's always necessary.”

Tags : Fate Life Love
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

192. “Highs and lows make you feel that things matter, but they're nothing.”

Tags : Highs Life Lows Nothing Truth
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

193. “Thomas! What are you doing!" and I gestured, "I thought this was Nothing," covering myself with one of my daybooks ,and she said, "It's Something!”

Tags : Nothing Someting Undressing
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

194. “What is suffering? I'm not sure what it is, but I know that suffering is the name we give to the origin of all the sighs, screams, and groans — small and large, crude and multifaceted — that concern us. The word defines our gaze even more than what we are looking at.”

Tags : Suffering
Source : Eating Animals

195. “It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about “Eleanor Rigby.” It’s true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?”

Tags : Beatles Loneliness
Source : Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

196. “So She had to satisfy herself with the idea of love-loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she loved loving love, as love loves loving, and was able, in that way, to reconcile herself with a world that fell so short of what she would have hoped for.”

Tags : Disappointment Hope Love
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

197. “If we communicated with something like music, we would never be misunderstood, because there is nothing in music to understand...... But until we find this new way of speaking, until we can find a nonapproximate vocabulary, nonsense words are the best thing we've got. Ifactifice is one such word.”

Tags : Music
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

198. “Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled.”

Tags : Memory
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

199. “Memories are small prayers to God, if we believed in that sort of thing.”

Tags : Memory
Source : Everything Is Illuminated

200. “And so it was when anyone tried to speak: their minds would become tangled in remembrance. Words became floods of thought with no beginning or end, and would drown the speaker before he could reach the life raft of the point he was trying to make. It was impossible to remember what one meant, what, after all of the words, was intended.”

Tags : Memory
Source : Everything Is Illuminated