Homer & Langley

By E.L. Doctorow; Published In 2009
Genres: Fiction, Historical, New York
And she understood as I did that when you sat down and put your hands on the keys, it was not just a piano in front of you, it was a universe.

And so do people pass out of one's life and all you can remember of them is their humanity, a poor fitful thing of no dominion, like your own.

Christ, what I wouldn't give to be something other than a human being.

Dimmi, Homer, possiamo davvero dirci liberi, se lo siamo solo quando ce lo permettono? (pag. 98)

Grandmamma had been the last connection to our past. I had understood her as some referent moral authority to whom we paid no heed, but by whose judgments we measured our waywardness.

Homer, maybe you can tell me why I am fatally attracted to women who are no more than mirrors of myself.

I knew he was the real thing because when he laughed other men at the table laughed with him.

I'm Homer, the blind brother.

I remember holding her in my arms and absolving God of meaninglessness.

It was innocents who died, not those born with the strength of no illusions.

Jacqueline, for how many days have I been without food. There was a crash, the whole house shook. Where is Langley? Where is my brother?

She's some kind of Socialist-anarchist-anarcho-syndicalist-Communist. Unless you're one of them you can't tell exactly what any of them are.

The bad news is that if we do in fact get off the earth we will contaminate the rest of the universe with our moral insufficiency.

The images of things are not the things in themselves.

There is music in words, and it can be heard you know, by thinking.

The ultimate technological achievement will be escaping from the mess we've made. There will be none after that because we will reproduce everything that we did on earth, we'll go through the whole sequence all over again somewhere else, and people will read my paper as prophecy, and know that having gotten off one planet, they will be able to destroy another with confidence.

We had a joke, Langley and I: Someone dying asks if there is life after death. Yes, comes the answer, only not yours.

You have to know someone to want to kill him.