On the tenderness of night.

Published June 6, 2012 by mandileighbean

I missed Venus in Transit. The next one won’t occur until 2117.

“If you’re in love, it ought to make you happy.  You ought to laugh.”

“…the excitement that swept everyone up into it and was inevitably followed by his own form of melancholy, which he never displayed but at which she guessed.  This excitement about things reached an intensity out of proportion to their importance, generating a really extraordinary virtuosity with people.  Save among a few of the tough-minded and perennially suspicious, he had the power of arousing a fascinated and uncritical love.  The reaction came when he realized the waste and extravagance involved.  He sometimes looked back with awe at the carnivals of affection he had given, as a general might gaze upon a massacre he had ordered to satisfy an impersonal bloodlust.”

“She must go there, she must not make him wait for her.  She kept thinking, ‘Why don’t you go?’ and then suddenly, ‘Or let me go if you don’t want to.'”

“After three-quarters of an hour of standing around, he became suddenly involved in a human contact.  It was just the sort of thing that was likely to happen to him when he was in the mood of not wanting to see any one.  So rigidly did he sometimes guard his exposed self-consciousness that frequently he defeated his own purposes; as an actor who underplays a part sets up a craning forward, a stimulated emotional attention in an audience, and seems to create in other an ability to bridge the gap he has left open.  Similarly we are seldom sorry for those who need and crave our pity – we reserve this for those who, by other means, make us exercise the abstract function of pity.”

“‘God, am I like the rest after all?’ – So he used to think starting awake at night – ‘Am I like the rest?'”

“The truth was that for some months he had been going through that partitioning of the things of youth wherein it is decided whether or not to die for what one no longer believes.  In the dread white hours in Zurich staring into a stranger’s pantry across the upshine of a streetlamp, he used to think that he wanted to be good, he wanted to be kind, he wanted to be brave and wise, but it was all pretty difficult.  He wanted to be loved, too, if he could fit it in.”

“…but I suppose you must touch life to spring from it.”

“Good manners are an admission that everybody is so tender that they have to be handled with gloves.  Now, human respect – you don’t call a man a coward or a liar lightly, but if you spend your life sparing people’s feelings and feeding their vanity, you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them.”

“If you’re happy in this mess, then I can’t help you and I’m wasting my time.”

“I never understood what common sense meant applied to complicated problems – unless it means that a general practitioner can perform a better operation than a specialist.”

“I think we should do something spectacular. I feel that all our lives have been too restrained.”

-Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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