Trích dẫn

The Sympathizer (Viet Thanh Nguyen)

“It seemed as much of a crime to commit a cliché to paper as to kill a man […]”

“Besides my conscience, my liver was the most abused part of my body.”

“Isn’t that what education is all about? Getting the student to sincerely say what the teacher wants to hear?”

“Some will undoubtedly find this episode obscene. Not I! Massacre is obscene. Torture is obscene. Three million dead is obscene. Masturbation, even with an admittedly nonconsensual squid? Not so much. I, for one, am a person who believes that the world would be a better place if the word “murder” made us mumble as much as the word “masturbation.” Still, […]”

“As Hegel said, tragedy was not the conflict between right and wrong but right and right , a dilemma none of us who wanted participate in history could escape.”

“It is always better to admire the best among our foes rather than the worst among our friends.”

“Country music was the most segregated kind of music in America, where even whites played jazz and even blacks sang in the opera. Something like country music was what lynch mobs must have enjoyed while stringing up their black victims. Country music was not necessarily lynching music, but no other music could be imagined as lynching’s accompaniment. Beethoven’s Ninth was the opus for Nazis, concentration camp commanders, and possibly President Truman as he contemplated atomizing Hiroshima, classical music the refined score for the high-minded extermination of brutish hordes. Country music was set to the more humble beat of the red-blooded, bloodthirsty American heartland.”

“I am merely noting that the creation of native prostitutes to service foreign privates is an inevitable outcome of a war of occupation, one of those nasty little side effects of defending freedom that all the wives, sisters, girlfriends, mothers, pastors, and politicians in Smallville, USA, pretend to ignore behind waxed and buffed walls of teeth as they welcome their soldiers home, ready to treat any unmentionable afflictions with the penicillin of American goodness.”

“…nothing is more precious than independence and freedom…”

1984 (George Orwell)

“Who controls the past, […] controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

“By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.”

“[…] she had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones.”

“The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim – for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives – is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal.”

“The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.”

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing trick with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.”

“If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality.”

“Sanity is not statistical.”

“Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad.”

“You were the dead; theirs was the future. But you could share in that future if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the body, and passed on the secret doctrine that two plus two make four.”

“One does not establish a dictatorship to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

“[…] no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

A Wild Sheep Chase (Haruki Murakami)

“Most people, they’re trying to escape from boredom, but I’m trying to get into the thick of boredom.”

“There’s that kind of money in the world. It aggravates you go have it, makes you miserable to spend it, and you hate yourself when it’s gone. And when you hate yourself, you feel like spending money. Except there’s no money left. And no hope.”

“I’d lost my hometown, lost my teens, lost my wife, in another three months I’d lose my twenties.”

Finance and the Good Society (Robert J. Shiller)

“[…] even though doves are to us the symbol of peace, if one cages two of them close together, putting them in an artificial environment where they cannot separate from each other, the stronger of the two will torture the other to death, without the arousal of any inhibition.”

“Modern society is the result of centuries of thinking about how to manage human aggressive tendencies and avoid situations in which people are confronted with others’ selfish behavior, resentments become intolerable, and aggression turns into open violence.”

“The key to achieving our goals and enhancing human values is to maintain and continually improve a democratic financial system that takes account of the diversity of human motives and drives. We need a system that allows people to make complex and incentivizing deals to further their goals, and one that allows an outlet for our aggressions and lust for power. It must be a system that redirects the inevitable human conflicts into a manageable arena, an arena that is both peaceful and constructive.”

Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

“On Sundays, I didn’t wind my spring.”

Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie)

“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

“Memory’s truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else’s version more than his own.”

“What can’t be cured must be endured.”

“I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time.”

“optimism is a disease”

“For every snake, there is a ladder; for every ladder, a snake”

“Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence […]”

“To pickle is to give immortality […]”

“One day, perhaps, the world may taste the pickles of history. They may be too strong for some palates, their smell may be overpowering, tears may rise to eyes; I hope nevertheless that it will be possible to say of them that they possess the authentic taste of truth . . . that they are, despite everything, acts of love.”

Hear the Wind Sing (Haruki Murakami)

“All things pass. None of us can manage to hold on to anything. In that way, we live our lives.”

Pinball, 1973 (Haruki Murakami) 

“All things should have both an entrance and an exit. That’s just the way it is.”

“The pinball machine and Hitler’s rise share one common trait. Greeted warily when they surfaced at that particular moment in history, their mythic aura stemmed more from the rapid pace of evolution than from any inherent quality. Evolution of the sort that moves forward on three wheels, namely Technology, Capital Investment, and Human Desire.”

“Each day was a carbon copy of the last. You needed a bookmark to tell one from another.”

“Just about anything looks better from a distance.”

The Vegetarian (Han Kang)

“As for women who were pretty, intelligent, strikingly sensual, the daughters of rich families—they would only have served to disrupt my carefully ordered existence.”

“She’s a good woman, he thought. The kind of woman whose goodness is oppressive.”

“There’s nothing wrong with keeping quiet, after all, hadn’t women traditionally been expected to be demure and restrained?”

“Quietly, she breathes in. The tree by the side of the road are blazing, green fire undulating like the rippling flanks of a massive animal. In-hye stares fiercely at the trees. As if waiting for an answer. As if protesting against something. The look in here eyes is dark and insistent.”

The Refugees (Viet Thanh Nguyen)

“We shared a passion for words, but I preferred the silence of writing while she loved to talk.”

“Then came stories of terror like the one about the reporter, the moral being that life, like the police, enjoys beating people now and again.”

“In a country where possessions counted for everything, we had no belongings except our stories.”

“He tried to forget what he’d discovered, how little other lives mattered to him when his own was at stake.”

“Are you going to be the kind of person who always pays the asking price?” my mother demanded. “Or the kind who fights to find out what something’s really worth?”

“Beautiful people can’t let on that they need ugly people. But without the ugly, the beautiful wouldn’t look half so good.”

“Arthur thought of what he had done, what he was doing, or what he should have done, but Louis thought only of what he would do.”

“I guess oil was to be found in every part of the world, just like anger and sorrow.”

“Can you love someone you don’t remember? Can you love someone you don’t know?”

“A woman can’t fall in love with a man for whom she feels sorry.”

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