...we take comfort in the symmetries we find in life because they suggest a design where there is none.— Nicole Krauss
The most heartwarming Nicole Krauss quotes that are little-known but priceless
Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
there are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.
One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn’t, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.
I want to say somewhere: I've tried to be forgiving.
And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.
What about you? Are you happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.
To hike out alone in the desert; to sleep on the valley floor on a night with no moon, in the pitch black, just listening to the boom of silence: you can't imagine what that's like.
At the end, all that's left of you are your possessions.
Perhaps that's why I've never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that's why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.
For her I changed pebbles into diamonds, shoes into mirrors, I changed glass into water, I gave her wings and pulled birds from her ears and in her pockets she found the feathers, I asked a pear to become a pineapple, a pineapple to become a lightbulb, a lightbulb to become the moon, and the moon to become a coin I flipped for her love.
That's what I do. Watch movies and read. Sometimes I even pretend to write, but I'm not fooling anyone. Oh, and I go to the mailbox.
So many words get lost. They leave the mouthand lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past.
I've reached the age where bruises are formed from failures within rather than accidents without.
The accolades, just like the scrapes and bruises, fade in the end, and all you're left with is your ambition.
...after all, who isn't a survivor from the wreck of childhood?
What is literature, really? Boiled down to a single sentence, I'd say it's this: an endless conversation about what it means to be human. And to read literature is to engage in that conversation.
To me, this is the singular privilege of reading literature: we are allowed to step into another's life.
I always wrote little things when I was younger.
My first opus was a book of poems put down in a spiral notebook at five or six, handsomely accompanied by crayon illustrations.
...our eyes locked in one of those looks that sometimes happen between strangers, when both wordlessly agree that reality contains sinkholes whose depths neither can ever hope to fathom.
Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was Queen and he was King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark they parted with leaves in their hair.
Only later did I come to understand that to be a mother is to be an illusion.
No matter how vigilant, in the end a mother can't protect her child - not from pain, or horror, or the nightmare of violence, from sealed trains moving rapidly in the wrong direction, the depravity of strangers, trapdoors, abysses, fires, cars in the rain, from chance.
An average of seventy-four species become extinct every day, which was one good reason but not the only one to hold someone's hand.
And if the man who once upon a time had been a boy who promised he'd never fall in love with another girl as long as he lived kept his promise, it wasn't because he was stubborn or even loyal. He couldn't help it.
If it weren't for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it.
Wittgenstein once wrote that when the eye sees something beautiful, the hand wants to draw it. I wish I could draw you.
After all who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of their loneliness
When I got older I decided I wanted to be a real writer.
I tried to write about real things. I wanted to describe the world, because to live in an undescribed world was too lonely.
. . . I would have let him go one finger at a time, until, without his realizing, he'd be floating without me. And then I thought, perhaps that is what it means to be a [parent] - to teach your child to live without you.
At night the sky is pure astronomy.
All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen.
The truth is the thing I invented so I could live.
She was gone, and all that was left was the space where you'd grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence.
Part of me is made of glass, and also, I love you.
lonely people are always up in the middle of the night.
All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist
No, what I felt was the torment of waiting, stuck between the end of one sentence and the beginning of the next which might or might not bring a hail storm, plane crash, poetic justice, or a miraculous reversal.
I left the library. Crossing the street, I was hit head-on by a brutal loneliness. I felt dark and hollow. Abandoned, unnoticed, forgotten, I stood on the sidewalk, a nothing, a gatherer of dust. People hurried past me. and everyone who walked by was happier than I. I felt the old envy. I would have given anything to be one of them.
No, I don't harbor any mystical ideas about writing, Your Honor, it's work like any other kind of craft; the power of literature, I've always thought, lies in how willful the act of making it is.
Holding hands, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together.
Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been
At times I believed that the last page of my book and the last page of my life were one and the same, that when my book ended I'd end, a great wind would sweep through my rooms carrying the pages away, and when the air cleared of all those fluttering white sheets the room would be silent, the chair where I sat empty.
The misery of other people is only an abstraction something that can be sympathized with only by drawing from one's own experiences. But as it stands, true empathy remains impossible. And so long as it is, people will continue to suffer the pressure of their seemingly singular existence.
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.
It took seven languages to make me; it would be nice if I could have spoken just one.
I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I'm out, I'll buy a juice even when I'm not thirsty. If the store is crowded I'll even go so far as dropping change all over the floor, nickels and dimes skidding in every direction. All I want is not to die on a day I went unseen.
I feel really strongly about not wanting to overly guide the reader about what he or she should think. I really trust the reader to know for themselves and not to need too much. You have your own imagination, your own experiences, your own feelings, and a novel wants ultimately to ask questions. It doesn't assert anything, or shouldn't, I think.
There are times when the kindness of strangers only makes things worse because one realizes how badly one is in need of kindness and that the only source is a stranger.
I am always coming up with architectural metaphors when I think about writing.
But I think one of the things that draw us to literature is that it gives us this very attractive illusion that there is meaning in the world - things connect.
He learned to live with the truth. Not to accept it, but to live with it.
I wished to punish her for her intolerable stoicism, which made it impossible for me to ever be truly needed by her in the most profound ways a person can need another, a need that often goes by the name of love.
...larger than life...I've never understood that expression. What's larger than life?
For me, the most powerful way to write about something is through the absence of it. Rather than writing about what it was to become a new mother, I wrote, for example, a father facing death and addressing his estranged son about the regrets of his relationship.