Saturday, July 30, 2016

Quotes on what it's like to return

“Needless to say, my return to Palo Alto was a shock. The French and Italians have a word for the psychological state; it is called ‘the reentry,’ since it is their custom for the entire country to shut down, so to speak, while everyone takes an extended vacation.”
Charles Rowan Beye. My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. [Kindle Edition]

“The Greek word for 'return' is nostos. Algos means 'suffering.' So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.”
Milan Kundera, quoted in DangerousMinds.net, quoted again in The Week, Feb. 22, 2013. p. 19.

“But you can’t control a story and mine was a good one. People, even naturally respectful ones, felt emboldened in the telling because the assumption was that I would never choose to return. The police had placed my [rape] case in the inactive file when I left town; my friends, save Mary Alice, had done the same. Magically I became story, not person, and story implies a kind of ownership by the storyteller.”
Alice Sebold. Lucky. (1999) Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 2002. pp. 96-97.

"Aah that feeling when you finish a brilliant book and you are plunged back into life with a gnawing panic and a strange sense of loss."
Russell Crowe via Twitter

"...any such breaking-open is typically followed by a return to the old order: that is one reason why analysis is such a slow business. And to return to the position of phronimos [practical knowledge that enables ethical wisdom] may be the healthiest form of return. But analytic mindedness is not a constituent virtue of the phronimos; in this sense it is a departure from the ethical. It stands in a similar position with respect to the ethical virtues as Aristotle's contemplation did. It is, as it were, an existential sabbath from ethical life."
Jonathan Lear. Happiness, Death, and the Remainder of Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. p. 128.

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