‘The Reconstructionist’ quotes

I am faithful to houses, and this house is it for me. Like a good marriage, this domiciliary love requires exclusive attention. 29

 

... the education one gains from marriage is rarely limited to the sexual and sentimental. 78

It's a curse to be talented when what you long for is genius. 82

Leaving once, and you only ever leave once, prepares you for other departures. 84

Anyone who prefers animals to humans is telegraphing to the world a deeper despair than they know. 92

No one is more cruel than an honest lover who is not in love. It’s strange that through the centuries an invincible stratagem for capturing and unwilling heart has never been devised. 97

The curse of sex, its true torment, is not that it has the power to seduce us, but that it only has the power to seduce us. There is, alas, no pleasure or pain or mad combination of the two, which can make an unwilling man or woman stay. What is the mysterious force which makes the bond unbreakable? Perhaps it is the power of dreams. And me? I’m awake all the time.99

Sometimes we are caught in a web of femaleness, but there is also a bond that works between men. It is less powerful but it has its own grace.201

Human life is very short.

Over the years I have learned that a woman can cause havoc. A story as old as Helen of Troy or as new as Margaret Price of Tullamore Co. Offaly...
That for some, love is an alien invasion and they feel terror that it might sicken and die inside them.
That children disappoint as often as they dazzle. 
That some people have a desire to suffer. And if they don’t find suffering in one place, they’ll search for it in another.
That there seems to be more love of sex than sexual love [...]
That you don’t really know something, until you are ready to deal with its consequences. A lesson most often learned in your fifties, an underrated decade in which your character finds you out. 
That passionate commitment to a public cause often provides a smoke-screen for private sins.
That unendurable illness must in the end be endured and that what people look for when they’re dying is their past. Heaven for them is not going forward towards the light, but backwards into the reflection of lost time and love. 
That a decent lie has saved more people than we know. And saving your life has as much moral weight as a fixation on an impossible absolute – truth. Who can say that a life based on illusion is anymore fragile than one based on reality?
That to live your life is not so simple as to cross a field. 114
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