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On the Fallibility of Human Memory

“When I get out of here, if I’m ever able to set this down, in any form, even in the form of one voice to another, it will be a reconstruction then too, at yet another remove. It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances, too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many flavours, in the air or on the tongue, half-colours, too many.” — Offred (The Handmaid’s Tale)

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On Living Life on One’s own Terms

“I admired my Mother in someways, although things between us were never easy. She expected too much from me, I felt. She expected me to vindicate her life for her, and the choices she’d made. I didn’t want to live my life on her terms. I didn’t want to be the model offspring, the incarnation of her ideas. We used to fight about that. I am not your justification for existence, I said to her once.” — Offred (The Handmaid’s Tale)

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On Life

“The world goes on whether we choose for it to do so or in defiance of us. And I, like millions of mankind, walk and move, generally by force of habit, in a long caravan that ascends and descends, encamps, then proceeds on its way. Life in this caravan is not altogether bad. You no doubt are aware of this. The going may be hard by day, the wilderness sweeping out before us like shoreless seas; we pour sweat, our throats are parched with thirst, and we reach the frontier beyond which we think we cannot go. Then the sun sets, the air grows cool, and millions of stars twinkle in the sky.”

— Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North p.51

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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle: On the inextricability of life, pain and identity 

“‘A life without pain: it was the very thing that I had dreamed of for years, but now that I had it, I couldn’t find a place for myself within it. A clear gap separated me from it, and this caused me great confusion. I felt as if I was not anchored to the world — this world that I had hated so passionately; this world that I had reviled for its unfairness and injustice; the world where at least I knew who I was. Now the world has ceased to be the world, and I had ceased to be me.'” — Creta Kano 

p.99

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