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Category: Elena Ferrante

Bait your hook, drop your line

“I think of writing as a long, tiring, pleasant seduction. The stories you tell, the words you use and work on, the characters you try to give life to, are only tools with which you circle around the evasive thing, unnamed and shapeless, which belongs only to you, and which is a sort of key to all the doors, the true reason that you spend so much of your life sitting at a table tapping the keys, filling pages. The question of every story is always: Is this the right story to seize what lies silent in the depths of me, that living thing which, if captured, spreads through all the pages and animates them? The answer is uncertain, even when one arrives at the end of a story. What happened in the lines, between the lines? Often, after struggles and joys, on the pages there is nothing—events, dialogues, dramatic turns, only this—and you’re frightened by your very desperation.” – Elena Ferrante, “The Author Is Purely a Name” (trans. Goldstein)

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Shits happen

“A long passage of life together, and you think he’s the only man you can be happy with, you credit him with countless critical virtues, and instead he’s just a reed that emits sounds of falsehood, you don’t know who he really is, he doesn’t know himself.  We are occasions.  We consummate life and lose it because in some long-ago time someone, in the desire to unload his cock inside us, was nice, chose us among women.  We take for some sort of kindness addressed to us alone the banal desire for sex.  We love his desire to fuck, we are so dazzled by it we think it’s the desire to fuck only us, us alone.  Oh yes, he who is so special and who has recognized us as special.  We give it a name, that desire of the cock, we personalize it, we call it my love.  To hell with all that, that dazzlement, that unfounded titillation.  Once he fucked me, now he fucks someone else, what claim do I have?  Time passes, one goes, another arrives.” – Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment (trans. Goldstein)