He experienced the singular pleasure of watching people he loved fall in love with other people he loved.
It had always seemed to him a very plush kind of problem, a privilege, really, to consider whether life was meaningful or not.
But these were days of self-fulfilment, where settling for something that was not quite your first choice of a life seemed weak-willed and ignoble. Somewhere, surrendering to what seemed to be your fate had changed from being dignified to being a sign of your own cowardice. There were times when the pressure to achieve happiness felt almost oppressive, as if happiness were something everybody should and could attain, and that any sort of compromise in its pursuit was somehow your fault.
The balance—between resignation and hope—shifted by day, by the hour, sometimes by the minute. He was always, always trying to decide how he should be—if his thoughts should be of acceptance or escape.
He envied this in them, this ability they had to still be awestruck, the faith they maintained that life, adulthood, would keep presenting them with astonishing experiences, that their marvellous years were not behind them.
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person -- sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty -- and you get to pick three of those things. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.
— Dar nu e treaba lui, ripostează el, disperat. E treaba mea. — Tocmai asta e, Jude. Că e treaba lui. Asta înseamnă să fii într-o relaţie – nu pricepi încă? Nu pricepi că nu poţi să faci pur şi simplu ce vrei tu? Nu pricepi că, atunci când te răneşti pe tine, îl răneşti şi pe el?
But now he knew: you always sacrificed something. The question was what you sacrificed.
What he knew, he knew from books, and books lied, they made things prettier.
Between their rise in the thirteenth century and their sudden fall in the seventeenth, when the line abruptly ended, the Medicis produced three popes, two queens, and many Florentine rulers, and they supported the work of Galileo, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli - a veritable parade of geniuses.
I've always thought that one of the least successful encounters is meeting a writer one admires. For one thing, writers are generally much kinder, more empathetic, more generous people on the page than they are in person.
Anyone who has been to India - specifically Rajasthan, the rich and kingly region in the country's northwest - knows that when it comes to adornment, Indians do not think like other people.
The original Grand Tour would generally begin in Belgium or the Netherlands before moving through Paris, Geneva, Spain, Italy, and perhaps Greece.
I wanted to write a story about colonization and about Hawaii. I went to college right at the height of identity politics, and that's how I always read 'The Tempest,' for example.
I think there are patterns of the aftermath of colonization that you see echoed in cultures and communities across the world.
Photography is always a kind of stealing. A theft from the subject. Artists are assaulters in a lot of ways, and the viewer is complicit in that assault.
Jaipur, like Florence or Kyoto, other artisan-rich cities to which it roughly compares, has always been known for its craftsmanship.
In Mumbai, the air is saltier. The sea is roilier. The traffic is snarlier. The pinks are pinker. The ostentation is crazier.
I think for a lot of people, friendship is a relationship that gets devalued once they move on to what people consider to be more important relationships: once you find a partner or when you have kids.
It's a funny thing about cities: Some have brief, bright moments of cultural and political dominance, decades- or centuries-long spells when they seem the center of their particular nation, or region, or empire... only to later fall into obscurity and disrepair, never to regain their former glory.