Here was a thing that would grow old; here was a thing that would turn beautiful and lose that beauty, that would inherit the grace but also the bad ear and flawed figure of her mother, that would smile too much and squint too often and spend the last decades of her life creaming away the wrinkles made in youth until she finally gave up and wore a collar of pears to hide a wattle; here was the ordinary sadness of the world.
Here is a writer possessing the greatest talent: that of fully inhabiting the lives of others. Spargo conjures up these two as no one has done before. Scott and Zelda become, in Spargo's remarkable novel, not people of history but of literature, and reminders of what we fight for, what we fail to win, and the beauty that abides between. A marvel of a book.
A lover exists only in fragments, a dozen or so if the romance is new, a thousand if we're married to him, and out of those fragments our heart constructs an entire person. What we each create, since whatever is missing is filled by our imagination, is the person we wish him to be. The less we know him, of course, the more we love him. And that's why we always remember that first rapturous night when he was a stranger, and why this rapture returns only when he's dead.
No one would have known, from how he held my hand, [that] over the years of heartache he had hatched a plot to change my life forever. He held his grip and would not let me go. I do not know what joins the parts of an atom, but it seems what binds one human to another is pain.
For me, the historical and genealogical library is the one I use. I'm working on, I'll say, it's a time travel novel. I haven't written very much of it. That's the dirty secret of the Cullman center: The writers don't write their fiction there, they just do their research.
Perhaps love is a minor madness. And as with madness, it's unendurable alone. The one person who can relieve us is of course the sole person we cannot go to: the one we love. So instead we seek out allies, even among strangers and wives, fellow patients who, if they can't touch the edge of our particular sorrow, have felt something that cuts nearly as deep.