Everyman quotes

[…] eluding death seemed to have become the central business of his life and bodily decay his entire story. 71


Even in retirement he’s continued to have the air of an omnipotent being dedicated all his life to an important mission, but in those eleven months before he died he seemed pierced by bewilderment, dazed by his diminishment, dazed by his helplessness, dazed to think that the dying man enfeebled in a wheelchair […] could answer his name. 87


But lying – lying is cheap, contemptible control over the other person. It’s watching the other person acting on incomplete information – in other words, humiliating herself. Lying is so commonplace and yet, if you’re on the receiving end, it’s such an astonishing thing. The people you liars are betraying put up with a growing list of insults until you really can’t help but think less of them, can you? I’m sure that liars are skilful and persistent and devious as you reach the point where it’s the one you’re lying to, and not you, who seems like the one with the serious limitations. 121-2


[…] it is for her as it is for everyone. It’s because life’s most disturbing intensity is death. It’s because death is so unjust. It’s because once one has tasted life, death does not even seem natural. 169


They were just bones, bones in a box, but their bones were his bones, and he stood as close to the bones as he could, as though the proximity might link him up with them and mitigate the isolation born of losing his future and reconnect him with all that had gone. For the next hour and a half, those bones were the things that mattered most. They were all that mattered, despite the impingement of the neglected cemetery’s environment of decay. Once he was with those bones he could not leave them, couldn’t not talk to them, couldn’t not listen to them when they spoke. Between him and those bones there was a great deal going on, far more than now transpired between him and those still clad in their flesh. The flesh melts away but the bones endure. The bones were the only solace there was to one who put no stock in an afterlife and knew […] this was the only life he’d have […]

He couldn’t go. The tenderness was out of control. As was the longing for everyone to be living. And to have it all over again. 170-1


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