"도시는 온종일 안개에 덮여 있었다. 언제 어디서부터 그 안개가 피어오르기 시작했는지 모를 일이었다. 마치도 기민한 점령군의 병사들처럼 그것은 소리 없이 스며들어와 집집의 지붕들을 내리덮고, 벽보가 어지러이 붙어 있는 골목골목을 돌아다니며 대문마다의 문패를 훑어보기도 하고, 더러는 담을 넘어와 열린 창문을 통해 함부로 남의 집 침실까지 훔쳐보기도 하면서 어느 틈에 도시를 완전히 장악해버리고 말았다. 어디를 보아도 모두 안개뿐이었다. 안개. 안개."
"소설가는 뛰어난 거짓말을 함으로써, 현실에 가까운 허구를 만들어냄으로써, 진실을 어딘가 다른 곳으로 끌어내고 그곳에 새로운 빛을 비출 수 있기 때문입니다. 진실을 있는 그대로 파악하고, 정확하게 묘사하는 일은 사실상 불가능합니다. 그렇기 때문에 우리는 진실을 꾀어내 허구가 있는 곳으로 옮겨놓고, 허구의 형태로 치환하여 진실의 끝자락이라도 붙잡으려 애쓰는 것입니다."
"나처럼 겉으로 보기에는 멀쩡하지만 속은 곪아 있는, 애매한 사람들이 궁금하다. 세상은 아주 밝거나 지나치게 어두운 부분에만 초점을 맞추고 있는 것 같다. 나의 우울을 이해하지 못했던 주변의 반응이 떠오른다. 도대체 어떤 모습과 상황이어야 이해받을 수 있을까. 아니 이해의 영역이긴 할까? 아무쪼록 '나만 그런 게 아니었네' 혹은 '세상에 이런 사람도 있네'라는 감상이 남는 책이 되었으면 하는 바람이다."
"Ifemelu showed her the cover of the novel. She did not want to start a conversation. Especially not with Kelsey. She recognized in Kelsey the nationalism of liberal Americans who copiously criticized America but did not like you to do so; they expected you to be silent and grateful, and always reminded you of how much better than wherever you had come from America was."
"The core argument of this book is that African Americans were unconstitutionally denied the means and the right to integration in middle-class neighborhoods, and because this denial was state-sponsored, the nation is obligated to remedy it."
"Do you know what she came for? Blue eyes. New, blue eyes, she said. Like she was buying shoes. "I'd like a pair of new blue eyes." She must have asked you for them for a very long time, and you hadn't replied."
"It is comforting, however, and a source of profound relief to think that man is only a recent invention, a figure not yet two centuries old, a new wrinkle in our knowledge, and that he will disappear again as soon as that knowledge has discovered a new form."
"In February 1989, Eva Ansley and I opened out new nonprofit law center in Tuscaloosa, dedicated to providing free, quality legal services to condemned men and women on death row in Alabama. We never thought it would be easy, but it turned out to be even harder than we had expected."
"You may think, as I once did, that I’m primarily in the business of serving good food. Actually, though, food is secondary to something that matters even more. In the end, what’s most meaningful is creating positive, uplifting outcomes for human experiences and human relationships. Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard."
"As a historian, I cannot give people food or clothes--but I can try to offer some clarity, thereby helping to level the global playing field. If this empowers even a handful of additional people to join the debate about the future of our species, I have done my job."
The majestic piece serves as the canon of sociological and historical interpretation of art. It's brain-catching and rather comprehensive than what it is widely and simplistically recognized with a particular label--Marxist.
"소년은 곧 밖으로 뛰어나왔다. 그리고 신기롭게 주위를 둘러보았다. 이곳은 가평이 아니라 서울이다. 나는 그렇게도 오고 싶어 마지않았던 서울에 기어코 오고야 말았다--이 생각이 소년의 눈에 보이는 것, 귀에 들리는 것, 그 모든 것에 감격을 주었다. 아무리 시골서 처음 올라온 소년의 마음에라도, 결코 그다지는 신기로울 수 없고, 또 아름다울 수 없는 이곳 '천변풍경'이, 오직 이곳이 서울이라는 그 까닭만으로, 그렇게도 아름다웠고, 또 신기하였다."
"Extreme events and disasters pose exceptional challenges for governments and societies, but their potential to cause physical damage and social suffering makes them crucial tests of social protection systems."
"And it has now been more than twenty years since I became a page OK'er--a position that exists only at The New Yorker, where you query-proofread pieces and manage them, with the editor, the author, a fact checker, and a second proofreader, until they go to press."
"The fact of this transformation-the fact, that is, that financial markets now appear as a force of their own while simultaneously mediating an increasing range of social relations-is incontrovertible."
"Those people and organizations who use culture toward their own ends know that the rational is no match for the affective. And we are thus quite vulnerable to the tools deployed by the most powerful forces in society."
"For every patriot fighting for a free Korea, or for any unlucky Korean bastard fighting on behalf of Japan, there were ten thousand compatriots on the ground and elsewhere who were just trying to eat. In the end, your belly was your emperor."
"What he had done was a crime only in retrospect, and he had always been a law-abiding citizen, because Hitler's orders, which had had certainly executed to the best of his ability, had possessed "the force of law" in the Third Reich."
"The puzzle is about why the relatively small numbers that give the word minority its most simple meaning and usually imply political and military weakness do not prevent minorities from being objects of fear and of rage."
"Examining and exploring how communication is employed to link gender and power can create a child-like sense of wonderment in us. It can disappoint. It can infuriate. It can make us smile at the human condition. It can make us shake our head in concern."
Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and in-depth analysis on America's declining social engagement. Concisely written, but invites readers to think about multi-dimensional reasons and consequences of community collapse.
"Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday."
July 29, 2017
"She didn't listen to him, her body and soul oriented now toward another universe where people were avid to know, to understand-and, in the phrase Jean had used with great self-satisfaction, “become what they truly were.”"