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

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project/beach-house

Keith Gessen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Mary Gaitskill, Catherine Lacey, Kate Folk, Thomas Pynchon

“It’s so nice here,” I whispered. Sam didn’t know it, but this was my final attempt. I was giving him one last chance to reveal some soft part of himself he’d kept hidden.

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—p.30 Out There (3) by Kate Folk 1 year, 3 months ago

She tried to explain to him about the level you reach, with both feet in, when you lose your fear, you lose it all, you've penetrated the moment, slipping perfectly into its grooves, metal-gray but soft as latex, and now the figures are dancing, each pre-choreographed exactly where it is, the flash of knees under pearl-colored frock as the girl in the babushka stoops to pick up a cobble, the man in the black suitcoat and brown sleeveless sweater grabbed by policemen one on either arm, trying to keep his head up, showing his teeth, the older liberal in the dirty beige overcoat, stepping back to avoid a careening demonstrator, looking back across his lapel how-dare-you or look-out-not-me, his eyeglasses filled with the glare of the winter sky. There is the moment, and its possibilities.

She even tried, from what little calculus she'd picked up, to explain it to Franz as At approaching zero, eternally approaching, the slices of time growing thinner and thinner, a succession of rooms each with walls more silver, transparent, as the pure light of the zero comes nearer. . . .

But he shook his head. "Not the same, Leni. The important thing is taking a function to its limit. At is just a convenience, so that it can happen."

He has, had, this way of removing all the excitement from things with a few words. Not even well-chosen words: he's that way by instinct. [...]

ugh i love this

beach house inspo?

—p.161 by Thomas Pynchon 1 year, 6 months ago

Susan was thirty-five years old, and Leisha thirty-four. When they were friends, Susan was an aspiring writer and Leisha an actress. Whenever she had a positive image of Leisha—a rarity during these last six years—she saw them together in Leisha’s apartment drinking tea, drinking wine, snorting coke, something, and talking about their careers. Leisha had loved the word “career.” “I think it’s going to happen for you really first,” she’d say. “Like boom, your career’s just going to skyrocket—I mean it.”

It hadn’t. Susan had spent most of her New York years typing, proofreading or coat-checking, selling an article maybe twice a year. Little by little she had given up trying to make it as a writer and had taken an entry-level position with a journal that she didn’t think much of. Her editorial career didn’t exactly skyrocket, but it puttered along nicely. In Chicago, where she lived now, she edited a pretentious TV magazine and occasionally wrote film reviews for a local entertainment guide that paid almost nothing but gave her a chance to pontificate about aesthetics. When she thought about the magazine, she despised it and considered herself a failure; when she didn’t think about it, she would catch herself enjoying the work and decide that it was where she belonged.

—p.88 Connection (85) by Mary Gaitskill 1 year, 1 month ago

Stephanie hung up feeling vaguely humiliated. She thought of her job at Christine’s, almost so she could feel worse, but felt strangely comforted instead. This made no sense to her, but she accepted the comfort. She wished that she could tell Sandra about her real job, but she didn’t dare. Perhaps Sandra wouldn’t be shocked, but she would think it was self-destructive and insulting to women. Well, maybe it was. She never got any writing done while she was hooking. Somehow the idea of coming home after a day at Christine’s and sitting down to write was impossible; her thoughts were clotted by the clamoring, demanding ghosts of the men she’d seen that day. She needed to make herself a nourishing meal and sit still and take care of herself, as her mother used to say. Working at Christine’s was a time for making money and resting her brain, she told herself. Writing would come later.

—p.116 Trying to Be (105) by Mary Gaitskill 1 year, 1 month ago

It was just at the point when things were finally cracking up for me that I ran into Lauren and her father on Madison Avenue. Jillian, my fiancée, was visiting her family in California and I, I had raced up to New York in our car. I didn’t know what I was going to do there, in fact the people I contacted to announce my trip were people I barely knew—but the main thing was to get out of our apartment. The life I had then was slipping away, I could feel it, and I had developed the notion that some nudge, some shift or alternately some miracle, might help me fit everything back into place. I would hold on to Jillian, I hoped, and last until the next election, and then we’d see.

—p.9 Keith: The Vice President’s Daughter (I) (9) by Keith Gessen 1 year, 1 month ago

Most of these places had declined or changed—they were not for me, just then—but Morris Binkel’s articles in the New American were a different story. His mind was ablaze. It was his belief that American culture was corrupt; that it was filled with phonies, charlatans, morons, and rich people. Also their dupes. Binkel called for a renewal of an adversary culture—the young writers of today, said Binkel, were social climbers, timid and weak; they stood around at parties in New York waiting to be noticed, waiting to be liked. He reserved his especial scorn for his own people, for young Jewish writers, who had once been the bravest and the most outrageous, and now were the most timid, the most polished, kowtowing to their elders’ ideas of orthodoxy and demeanor. (None of them, I read between the furious lines of Binkel, could lift a couch in a Mount Vernon apartment and toss it in the back of a U-Haul truck.) No one spoke anymore from the heart, said Binkel, and it was a shame.

norman finkelstein i assume???

—p.62 Keith: Isaac Babel (59) by Keith Gessen 1 year, 1 month ago

The apartment had a message. The message said: I am an orphan. Abby and Olivia asked Madeleine what she and Leonard did together and she never had an answer. They didn’t do anything. She came to his apartment and they lay down on the mattress and Leonard asked her how she was doing, really wanting to know. What did they do? She talked; he listened; then he talked and she listened. She’d never met anyone, and certainly not a guy, who was so receptive, who took everything in. She guessed that Leonard’s shrink-like manner came from years of seeing shrinks himself, and though another of her rules was to never date guys who went to shrinks, Madeleine began to reconsider this prohibition. Back home, she and her sister had a phrase for serious emotional talks. They called it “having a heavy.” If a boy approached during one, the girls would look up and give warning: “We’re having a heavy.” And the boy would retreat. Until it was over. Until the heavy had passed.

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—p.60 by Jeffrey Eugenides 4 months, 2 weeks ago

As the cab crossed the river, Madeleine took off her cap and gown. The interior of the car smelled of air freshener, something noninterventionist, like vanilla. Madeleine had always liked air fresheners. She’d never thought anything about it until Leonard had told her that it indicated a willingness, on her part, to avoid unpleasant realities. “It isn’t like the room doesn’t smell bad,” he’d said. “It’s just that you can’t smell it.” She’d thought she’d caught him in a logical inconsistency, and had cried out, “How can a room smell bad if it smells nice?” And Leonard had replied, “Oh, it still smells bad all right. You’re mistaking properties with substance.”

These were the kinds of conversations she had with Leonard. They were part of why she liked him so much. You could be going anywhere, doing anything, and an air freshener would lead to a little symposium.

—p.118 by Jeffrey Eugenides 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Often X made the argument that our supposedly liberal society was illogically puritanical about age differences in romantic partners, that “some” fourteen-year-olds were more mature and capable than adults well over twice their age. I agreed this was a possibility, but it seemed sagacious teens were in shorter supply than lecherous adults, and lust itself has a transfiguring effect, a way of taking action and justifying it later. I’d once had a professor who’d pursued me while I was his student, and though I was technically and legally mature enough to consent, the imbalance of power seemed to me a warning. To this, X groaned: Didn’t I know that personal experience blurred the truth? And furthermore, she said, the professor obviously hadn’t been appealing enough to me, so it wasn’t an adequate example. I did not bring up the fact I’d been quite attracted to him, as I never mentioned any attractions I’d had in the past; I even found it difficult, in her presence, to remember them clearly, so completely my sense of desire and sexuality seemed to rest in her hands. We never reached a conclusion to this disagreement; we simply concluded and re-concluded that there was no use bickering over abstractions, though abstractions continued to be the sole subject of our bickering.

this is funny. maybe bh inspo? for arguments

—p.137 Connie (137) by Catherine Lacey 2 months, 1 week ago

Once I theorized aloud that X’s circadian rhythms might have been abnormal, that they might have worked differently from those of the average person, but she asked me to explain how, precisely, circadian rhythms “worked” in this supposedly “average person.” What did I know definitively about such rhythms, and could I cite any reputable studies, and was my understanding of this so-called biological process up-to-date? Of course, I had no such information at hand and had to cede the discussion to her; that is, I had to stop talking.

This happened not infrequently—this realization of how little I actually knew and how much I repeated or relied upon information about things of which I had no direct understanding. Though such probing of someone’s ignorance may seem hostile, even controlling, I did not experience it as such. Instead, it had the result of deepening my understanding of everything, of relying less upon shorthand, and though I did eventually read extensively about circadian rhythms, there were not, at that time, enough credible studies on jet lag to convince X of its existence.

definitely similar to BH lol

—p.197 Gioia (195) by Catherine Lacey 2 months, 1 week ago