Never getting older means stabbing people in the ear

Seems to me that reading quotation books is a little weird. It’s something you do solely for the purpose of collection, tiny personality-rhinestones to have and hold and maybe share if there is an appropriate occasion. (or tumble) I went through the Bartlett’s pretty faithfully in high school because high school is about personality-bedazzling, sort of. Out of all of the ones I underlined there are only two I can still remember, one remaining one of my favorite things ever written, and the other a quote from The Picture of Dorian Gray:

The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.

My memory is basically awful but I know these sentences like something you could hold in your hand because I repeat them in my head for no reason. “Dry-goods! What are American dry-goods” asked the Duchess, raising her large hands in wonder, and accentuating the verb. “American novels,” answered Lord Henry, helping himself to some quail.

I rarely really want to read anything English and even more rarely want to read anything from the 19th century but last week I decided I wanted to read The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was only today that I found it because I don’t have bookshelves, but I’ve finally read it. Turns out that quote doesn’t appear until nearly the end of the book, leaving me thinking for most of the novel that I’d made it up. But it is there, a few pages from the end, and what it is is something written to Dorian in a love letter. It is followed by this:

The phrases came back to his memory, and he repeated them over and over to himself.

Eerie, a little.


The stereotype of Young People Who Travel is that they will inevitably fall in love with someone foreign. But it seems to me that when traveling you, more likely, fall in love with nearly everyone you meet. Really, I think it’s likely you would normally fall in love with nearly everyone you meet but only when you stop being in familiar situations do you actually pay attention. The number of times the word “exquisite” is used in Picture : 16 One of the many people I fell in love with on my trip was Felipe who would insist that his English was very poor and then use words like “epigraph” and “coordinates” in his emails. We met at a bar, where he told me he’d only really read one book in his life, but he loved it. It was The Picture of Dorian Gray. He also told me he’d read another book, but then he changed his mind and said he’d actually just gone into a bar once called Jekyll and Hyde. He made me laugh.

I would like to email Felipe and tell him I read it, though that would be sort of bizarre I think. I looked it up: exquisito in Spanish. He was moving to Córdoba, which I never wanted to pronounce with the right emphasis. I may have embarrassed him when I questioned his love for Eddie Vedder. I think he’s probably read more than one book.


Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *