Today I finished Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. God, what a marvelous book. I'm not even going to bother with the movie, because there's no way that book could possibly be made into a film, not that I can see. Two quotes:
Because here's the truth: Life is catastrophe. The basic fact of existence, of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do is catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous "Our Town" nonsense everyone talks – the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, life you are too wonderful to grasp, etc. For me, and I'll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it, better never born than born into this cesspool sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no do-overs...no way forward but age and loss and no way out but death....Does it make any sense at all to know that it ends badly for all of us, even the happiest of us, and that we all lose everything that matters in the end, and yet to know as well, despite all this, as cruelly as the game is stacked, that it's possible to play it with a kind of joy?
~ and ~
Why do I care about all the wrong things and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way, how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet, for me anyway, all that's worth living for lies in that charm. A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand – we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are.