Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

52

[...] I gave him the stories on a Friday so they were in his home for three nights and two days. Lying there somewhere in his house. Absorbing this environment that I could never go to. His Saturdays. His Sundays. Who was he on those days? What clothes did he wear? Where did he sit? Where did he read my stories? Near a long window, on his own, of course. In an armchair but not a big one, not a soft squidgy one, something quite elegant and angled towards the window that might be a door and the garden beyond really was like a jungle, full of vines and brambles, rosehips and elderberries, little birds, apples, pears, old trees and startling ferns. I was with him. I’d done it, I’d crossed over a boundary. I was somewhere I shouldn’t be. I was with him – and he was with me. All weekend I felt him with me, wherever I went, all day and at night. He was with me very strongly when I lay in the dark, it was almost as if I was made of him. Writing could do that. Here was a way of reaching someone, of being with them, when you were not and never could be. Here was where we met. Here was where the distinction between us blurred. When he returned my story to me the following Tuesday the paper was covered with him – touching it was like touching his skin. My fingertips slowly spread out and up the pages. Here and there in pencil he had written comments, brief and encouraging. They meant nothing to me, but I liked to see his handwriting beside mine, sometimes overlapping mine. It was unlined paper. I wrote with a fountain pen. I still do.

—p.52 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] I gave him the stories on a Friday so they were in his home for three nights and two days. Lying there somewhere in his house. Absorbing this environment that I could never go to. His Saturdays. His Sundays. Who was he on those days? What clothes did he wear? Where did he sit? Where did he read my stories? Near a long window, on his own, of course. In an armchair but not a big one, not a soft squidgy one, something quite elegant and angled towards the window that might be a door and the garden beyond really was like a jungle, full of vines and brambles, rosehips and elderberries, little birds, apples, pears, old trees and startling ferns. I was with him. I’d done it, I’d crossed over a boundary. I was somewhere I shouldn’t be. I was with him – and he was with me. All weekend I felt him with me, wherever I went, all day and at night. He was with me very strongly when I lay in the dark, it was almost as if I was made of him. Writing could do that. Here was a way of reaching someone, of being with them, when you were not and never could be. Here was where we met. Here was where the distinction between us blurred. When he returned my story to me the following Tuesday the paper was covered with him – touching it was like touching his skin. My fingertips slowly spread out and up the pages. Here and there in pencil he had written comments, brief and encouraging. They meant nothing to me, but I liked to see his handwriting beside mine, sometimes overlapping mine. It was unlined paper. I wrote with a fountain pen. I still do.

—p.52 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
74

[...] Strange to think but when I first wrote the tale I hadn’t yet read a single word by Italo Calvino, Jean Rhys, Borges, or Thomas Bernhard, nor Clarice Lispector. I had read Of Mice and Men, and Lolita, and ‘Kubla Khan’, and The Diary of a Young Girl. I had not yet read The Go-Between or Wuthering Heights or ‘A Season in Hell’ or Orlando. I had read Jacob’s Room and Nausea and The Fall and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and ‘The Hollow Men’ and many Imagist poems, one of which had snow in it and a white leopard I think, or, more accurately, it was a leopard that had no outline – maybe it was penned by Ezra Pound, I don’t remember. I hadn’t yet read A Sport and a Pastime or Wittgenstein’s Mistress or Moon Tiger or ‘The Pedersen Kid’ or ‘A Girl of the Zeitgeist’ or ‘The Letter of Lord Chandos’ or ‘The Trouble With Following the Rules’. I had read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and A Sentimental Journey and One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Silence of the Lambs and The Sea, the Sea, which I bought from a stall at Glastonbury festival and read lying down in the top field with a paper cup of chai tea and a packet of Jaffa Cakes. [...] I had not yet read Cassandra at the Wedding or The Calmative or Unfinished Ode to Mud or Birds of America or The Grass Is Singing or The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge or The Man of Feeling: ‘Manur lowers his glasses though he does not take them off, and peering over the top of them with eyes accustomed to being flattered by the things of this world, he does not reply immediately’ is a line I’ve copied out of Marías’s novella with a trembling hand into more than one notebook. I had read Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and The German Ideology, by Marx and Engels, which we all referred to as ‘The GI’, and On Liberty by John Stuart Mill, and a book on ethics and animals by Peter Singer, and a badly printed book by Edmund Burke – the letters were so thick and small and all cramped together, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I had not read Das Kapital nor anything by John Rawls and I still haven’t, and I certainly hadn’t read anything at that time by Vivian Gornick or Natalia Ginzburg or Lynne Tillman or Joan Didion or Renata Adler or Janet Malcolm or Marina Warner or bell hooks or Anne Garréta. [...]

it's cheap but i do like this

—p.74 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Strange to think but when I first wrote the tale I hadn’t yet read a single word by Italo Calvino, Jean Rhys, Borges, or Thomas Bernhard, nor Clarice Lispector. I had read Of Mice and Men, and Lolita, and ‘Kubla Khan’, and The Diary of a Young Girl. I had not yet read The Go-Between or Wuthering Heights or ‘A Season in Hell’ or Orlando. I had read Jacob’s Room and Nausea and The Fall and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and ‘The Hollow Men’ and many Imagist poems, one of which had snow in it and a white leopard I think, or, more accurately, it was a leopard that had no outline – maybe it was penned by Ezra Pound, I don’t remember. I hadn’t yet read A Sport and a Pastime or Wittgenstein’s Mistress or Moon Tiger or ‘The Pedersen Kid’ or ‘A Girl of the Zeitgeist’ or ‘The Letter of Lord Chandos’ or ‘The Trouble With Following the Rules’. I had read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and A Sentimental Journey and One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Silence of the Lambs and The Sea, the Sea, which I bought from a stall at Glastonbury festival and read lying down in the top field with a paper cup of chai tea and a packet of Jaffa Cakes. [...] I had not yet read Cassandra at the Wedding or The Calmative or Unfinished Ode to Mud or Birds of America or The Grass Is Singing or The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge or The Man of Feeling: ‘Manur lowers his glasses though he does not take them off, and peering over the top of them with eyes accustomed to being flattered by the things of this world, he does not reply immediately’ is a line I’ve copied out of Marías’s novella with a trembling hand into more than one notebook. I had read Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and The German Ideology, by Marx and Engels, which we all referred to as ‘The GI’, and On Liberty by John Stuart Mill, and a book on ethics and animals by Peter Singer, and a badly printed book by Edmund Burke – the letters were so thick and small and all cramped together, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I had not read Das Kapital nor anything by John Rawls and I still haven’t, and I certainly hadn’t read anything at that time by Vivian Gornick or Natalia Ginzburg or Lynne Tillman or Joan Didion or Renata Adler or Janet Malcolm or Marina Warner or bell hooks or Anne Garréta. [...]

it's cheap but i do like this

—p.74 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
81

[...] Showalter’s study argues that cultural notions about how women ought to conduct themselves have made women mad – a point of view I shared, though in a more nascent unspecified form. It was just a feeling really. As I read on this feeling soon began to deepen and darken emphatically and as it did so another feeling surged upwards with such force it winded me and that feeling was very distinct, it was outrage, it was outrage because it was obvious wasn’t it, so absolutely obvious, that if a person has no autonomy, no income, has so many restrictions imposed upon the course of their life and their daily round, is belittled, undermined, ignored, is misinterpreted on and on, is in the dark sexually, goes up to bed without knowing when or if their husband will come home, spends hours and hours and hours alone or with three children all under the age of six, of course they are going to go out of their mind. What are they supposed to do? Carry on cooking and cleaning day in day out and open their legs with a smile whenever it’s required, just as normal? Surely only an incapacitated sort of person with barely any of their faculties intact would be capable of putting up with conditions such as these. And there you have it. I didn’t finish reading The Female Malady. It was unbearable. It roused in me an inherent anger that was ancient and bloodthirsty. After having several extremely violent nightmares I returned it to Natasha and admitted I couldn’t finish it and she confessed to me that it had overwhelmed her also and she hadn’t been able to finish it either. [...]

—p.81 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Showalter’s study argues that cultural notions about how women ought to conduct themselves have made women mad – a point of view I shared, though in a more nascent unspecified form. It was just a feeling really. As I read on this feeling soon began to deepen and darken emphatically and as it did so another feeling surged upwards with such force it winded me and that feeling was very distinct, it was outrage, it was outrage because it was obvious wasn’t it, so absolutely obvious, that if a person has no autonomy, no income, has so many restrictions imposed upon the course of their life and their daily round, is belittled, undermined, ignored, is misinterpreted on and on, is in the dark sexually, goes up to bed without knowing when or if their husband will come home, spends hours and hours and hours alone or with three children all under the age of six, of course they are going to go out of their mind. What are they supposed to do? Carry on cooking and cleaning day in day out and open their legs with a smile whenever it’s required, just as normal? Surely only an incapacitated sort of person with barely any of their faculties intact would be capable of putting up with conditions such as these. And there you have it. I didn’t finish reading The Female Malady. It was unbearable. It roused in me an inherent anger that was ancient and bloodthirsty. After having several extremely violent nightmares I returned it to Natasha and admitted I couldn’t finish it and she confessed to me that it had overwhelmed her also and she hadn’t been able to finish it either. [...]

—p.81 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
87

[...] I vowed not to give or lend him any more books after that and whenever he asked me what I was reading subsequently I would answer most mellifluously, ‘Something that you’d find very dull but that I happen to like a great deal.’ And we’d both laugh at that, which was better than the air turning sour, and then he’d tell me all about the life of the great man he was currently reading up on and it seemed to me that the biographies he read were always very flattering, I was surprised he was taken in by them – that he read biography ‘in a state of bovine equanimity’ as Janet Malcolm memorably puts it in her gripping investigation of the subject, and then I realised he really did want to believe in greatness and had no interest in reading a more critical or even-handed assessment of this or that man’s life, and I realised too that he wanted very much to impress upon me this idea of greatness which was so fundamental to his outlook, so sometimes I suspected that he wasn’t telling me the full story, that he was glossing over the parts of this or that man’s life – including his own – that were not so great at all, as such I invariably found what he told me lacking in nuance and credibility and so boring therefore and he probably sensed that, which again made things a bit strained between us, but of course it would never occur to him to say ‘something that you’d find very dull but that I happen to like a great deal’ whenever I asked him what he was reading. I hadn’t read any Georges Perec or Robert Musil or Hermann Hesse or Stefan Zweig or Paul Bowles. The boyfriend who recommended Seize the Day gave me The Sheltering Sky, I still have it, he wrote inside it. I was amazed by that book, totally seduced by it [...]

chortled at 'bovine'

—p.87 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] I vowed not to give or lend him any more books after that and whenever he asked me what I was reading subsequently I would answer most mellifluously, ‘Something that you’d find very dull but that I happen to like a great deal.’ And we’d both laugh at that, which was better than the air turning sour, and then he’d tell me all about the life of the great man he was currently reading up on and it seemed to me that the biographies he read were always very flattering, I was surprised he was taken in by them – that he read biography ‘in a state of bovine equanimity’ as Janet Malcolm memorably puts it in her gripping investigation of the subject, and then I realised he really did want to believe in greatness and had no interest in reading a more critical or even-handed assessment of this or that man’s life, and I realised too that he wanted very much to impress upon me this idea of greatness which was so fundamental to his outlook, so sometimes I suspected that he wasn’t telling me the full story, that he was glossing over the parts of this or that man’s life – including his own – that were not so great at all, as such I invariably found what he told me lacking in nuance and credibility and so boring therefore and he probably sensed that, which again made things a bit strained between us, but of course it would never occur to him to say ‘something that you’d find very dull but that I happen to like a great deal’ whenever I asked him what he was reading. I hadn’t read any Georges Perec or Robert Musil or Hermann Hesse or Stefan Zweig or Paul Bowles. The boyfriend who recommended Seize the Day gave me The Sheltering Sky, I still have it, he wrote inside it. I was amazed by that book, totally seduced by it [...]

chortled at 'bovine'

—p.87 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
93

[...] Sometimes I think of asking for it back. But I can’t bring myself: ‘Can I have my book back please?’ No, I am just quite unable to say that. I can buy it again of course, and one day that’s what I’ll do I expect. And as I go along reading it again I’ll underline sentences here and there once more, but they won’t be the same sentences – it’s very likely that the sentences I’ll underline in future will be different from the sentences I underlined in the past, when I was in Tangier – you don’t ever step into the same book twice after all.

pretty funny [the larger context is that some flowers get run over and he keeps telling the story]

—p.93 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Sometimes I think of asking for it back. But I can’t bring myself: ‘Can I have my book back please?’ No, I am just quite unable to say that. I can buy it again of course, and one day that’s what I’ll do I expect. And as I go along reading it again I’ll underline sentences here and there once more, but they won’t be the same sentences – it’s very likely that the sentences I’ll underline in future will be different from the sentences I underlined in the past, when I was in Tangier – you don’t ever step into the same book twice after all.

pretty funny [the larger context is that some flowers get run over and he keeps telling the story]

—p.93 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
95

[...] Later that same year I went to New York and various people at a party asked me what had I been reading lately and when I said Anaïs Nin many of them were noticeably thrown off guard – Nin was not à la mode and hadn’t been for aeons – they had nothing up their sleeve at all to say in response and replied, in a dismissive yet wistful sort of way, that they’d read her years ago, when they were at college – as if that was the only time in life that Anaïs Nin should be read. I said it really was worth reading her again. I said that I’d been particularly struck by the way she writes about sexual relations as a way of uprooting herself, of remaining unfixed, of transgressing the familiar lines of her personality. In fact, if anything – though I did not say this – Nin should be read later on in life, when one has solidified and feels so very sure of themselves and would perhaps benefit from coming undone, from perhaps going out of their minds. Nin did not shy away from the phantoms and fantasies that haunt and goad us – on the contrary, she cajoled and probed them. Sex, as far as she was concerned, was as much an existential adventure as it was an erotic one. [...]

—p.95 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Later that same year I went to New York and various people at a party asked me what had I been reading lately and when I said Anaïs Nin many of them were noticeably thrown off guard – Nin was not à la mode and hadn’t been for aeons – they had nothing up their sleeve at all to say in response and replied, in a dismissive yet wistful sort of way, that they’d read her years ago, when they were at college – as if that was the only time in life that Anaïs Nin should be read. I said it really was worth reading her again. I said that I’d been particularly struck by the way she writes about sexual relations as a way of uprooting herself, of remaining unfixed, of transgressing the familiar lines of her personality. In fact, if anything – though I did not say this – Nin should be read later on in life, when one has solidified and feels so very sure of themselves and would perhaps benefit from coming undone, from perhaps going out of their minds. Nin did not shy away from the phantoms and fantasies that haunt and goad us – on the contrary, she cajoled and probed them. Sex, as far as she was concerned, was as much an existential adventure as it was an erotic one. [...]

—p.95 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
114

[...] Graham Greene. Gore Vidal. Nabokov. E. M. Forster. So many men for the simple reason I wanted to find out about men, about the world they lived in and the kinds of things they got up to in that world, the kinds of things too that they thought about as they drifted out of train stations, hung about foreign ports, went up and down escalators, barrelled through revolving doors, looked out of taxi windows, lost a limb, swirled brandy around a crystal tumbler, followed another man, undressed another man’s wife, lay down upon a lawn with arms folded upon their chest, cleaned their shoes, buttered their toast, swam so far out to sea their head looked like a small black dot. I wanted to know the things they felt sad about, regretted, felt enlivened by, drawn towards, were obsessed with. [...]

—p.114 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Graham Greene. Gore Vidal. Nabokov. E. M. Forster. So many men for the simple reason I wanted to find out about men, about the world they lived in and the kinds of things they got up to in that world, the kinds of things too that they thought about as they drifted out of train stations, hung about foreign ports, went up and down escalators, barrelled through revolving doors, looked out of taxi windows, lost a limb, swirled brandy around a crystal tumbler, followed another man, undressed another man’s wife, lay down upon a lawn with arms folded upon their chest, cleaned their shoes, buttered their toast, swam so far out to sea their head looked like a small black dot. I wanted to know the things they felt sad about, regretted, felt enlivened by, drawn towards, were obsessed with. [...]

—p.114 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
181

[...] Dale was very sweaty, I didn’t like that I didn’t want it dripping on me – was he enjoying it? – I don’t know I don’t know what it must feel like to be right the way inside a woman who likes you a great deal but really doesn’t want you to be doing that and has said so and isn’t moving a single muscle, is just lying there, maybe he thought that that’s what women did, protest a bit then just lie there, staring into space wincing now and then when they felt a drop of sour booze sweat land on their delicate female skin, poor Dale. [...]

—p.181 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Dale was very sweaty, I didn’t like that I didn’t want it dripping on me – was he enjoying it? – I don’t know I don’t know what it must feel like to be right the way inside a woman who likes you a great deal but really doesn’t want you to be doing that and has said so and isn’t moving a single muscle, is just lying there, maybe he thought that that’s what women did, protest a bit then just lie there, staring into space wincing now and then when they felt a drop of sour booze sweat land on their delicate female skin, poor Dale. [...]

—p.181 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago
200

We were students of literature but we didn’t read in order to become clever and pass our exams with the highest commendations – we read in order to come to life. We were supremely adept at detecting metaphors, signs, analogies, portents – in books, and in our immediate realities. We confused life with literature and made the mistake of believing that everything going on around us was telling us something, something about our own little existences, our own undeveloped hearts, and, most crucially of all, about what was to come. What was to come? What was to come? We wanted to know, we wanted to know what lay ahead of us very very much, it was all we could think about and it was so unclear – yet at the same time it was all too clear. He was from the valley. I was from the fastest growing town in Europe. Where we came from people left school and found a job, often in the same trade or firm where at least one close relative worked already, and then, soon after, you got married and moved into a starter home and had two or three children, and you’d work all the overtime going and after a while you’d have the house extended or you’d move into a bigger one, and there would be nice things, TVs and barbeques, and a fortnight’s holiday abroad once a year, and it’s not bad, it’s not a bad lot, yet we couldn’t say why exactly but neither me nor Dale were cut out for that. We could tell, had always known it – the encroaching inevitability of that life path had been a source of anxiety to us both since we were approximately eleven years old. We tried to keep that anxiety at bay with reading, with writing, with alcohol, with fantasies, with all the strength and imagination that those things gave us, and were on the lookout, always, for signs, proofs, indications, merest hints that we had promise, that we were special, that our lives would take a different turn. [...]

—p.200 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

We were students of literature but we didn’t read in order to become clever and pass our exams with the highest commendations – we read in order to come to life. We were supremely adept at detecting metaphors, signs, analogies, portents – in books, and in our immediate realities. We confused life with literature and made the mistake of believing that everything going on around us was telling us something, something about our own little existences, our own undeveloped hearts, and, most crucially of all, about what was to come. What was to come? What was to come? We wanted to know, we wanted to know what lay ahead of us very very much, it was all we could think about and it was so unclear – yet at the same time it was all too clear. He was from the valley. I was from the fastest growing town in Europe. Where we came from people left school and found a job, often in the same trade or firm where at least one close relative worked already, and then, soon after, you got married and moved into a starter home and had two or three children, and you’d work all the overtime going and after a while you’d have the house extended or you’d move into a bigger one, and there would be nice things, TVs and barbeques, and a fortnight’s holiday abroad once a year, and it’s not bad, it’s not a bad lot, yet we couldn’t say why exactly but neither me nor Dale were cut out for that. We could tell, had always known it – the encroaching inevitability of that life path had been a source of anxiety to us both since we were approximately eleven years old. We tried to keep that anxiety at bay with reading, with writing, with alcohol, with fantasies, with all the strength and imagination that those things gave us, and were on the lookout, always, for signs, proofs, indications, merest hints that we had promise, that we were special, that our lives would take a different turn. [...]

—p.200 by Claire-Louise Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago