• But can I say, now that she is dead, long dead that I only half believed in her. I wanted, I needed her to revolt. I know, revolutions take vast energy like volcanic eruptions. I know. And the sick must husband their resources even as they are resourceful for their husbands. But I couldn't help wanting for her, couldn't help the feeling that she'd given in, that she had measured out with coffee spoons what it was that she might ask of life and having found it lacking, tragically, gapingly lacking, had decided none-the-less to accept her modest share. I wanted her ignoble, irresponsible, unreasonable, petty, grasping, fucking greedy for the lot of it, jostling and spitting and clawing for every grain of life

    Claire Messud
  • She wanted to remind him, whether his family was there or not. She wanted. And wanted. And endured in her wanting: the damp seat, the dry chicken, more champagne, the headache the champagne brought, the midges, the chat, his failure, no refusal, to look, look at me, I caused a thunderstorm with my passion and I sit here shaking under my skin and you don't notice because you're trying so hard not to notice, but all the people at the table there are really only you and me and you know it, the air is charged with it, it's a heat, a hot wind, and Marina and Seely are a sham next to it, Annabel ceases to exist, is simply obliterated in the gale of it, this isn't a fantasy, not my imagination, I can tell by the way you lift your fork, by the set of your jaw, by that sixth cigarette you are smoking me, or would if you could; but how long can we sustain it, how long till eruption, till the storm returns again and they can all see what it is, what it really is?

    Claire Messud
  • I want to make a difference. But get a job? I worry that will make the ordinary, like everybody else

    Claire Messud
  • It was supposed to say "Great Artist" on my tombstone, but if I died right now it would say "such a good teacher/daughter/friend" instead; and what I really want to shout, and want in big letters on that grave, too, is FUCK YOU ALL

    Claire Messud
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