Sunday, August 8, 2010

From: Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

There were worse reasons to keep a person hostage. You keep someone always for what he or she is worth to you, for what you can trade her for, money or freedom or somebody else you want more. Any person can be a kind of trading chip when you find a way to hold her. So to hold someone for a song, because the thing longed for was the sound of her voice, wasn't it all the same?


As if music was a separate thing you could drive yourself into, make love to, fuck.


Gen, in his genius for languages, was often at a loss for what to say when left with only his own words... It had occurred to him in his life that he had the soul of a machine and was only capable of motion when someone else turned the key. He was very good at working and he was very good at being by himself. Sitting alone in his apartment with books and tapes, he would pick up languages the way other men picked up women, with smooth talk and then later, passion.


"I'll shoot you, too, if I have to. Show me how to peel an eggplant. I've shot men over less than an eggplant."


He had never been so easy inside his own skin. He thought at once he had never been so alive and so much a ghost.

~ Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

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