I am beginning to understand the true difference between youth and age. Young people have time to make plans and think of new ideas. Older people need their whole energy to keep up with what's already been set in motion.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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Isn't the universe full of gaseous elements?

Here's a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they'd intended to write.

Beauty - the beauty Peter craves - is this, then: a human bundle of accidental grace and doom and hope. Mizzy must have hope, he must, he wouldn't shine like this if he were in true despair, and of course he's young, who in this world despairs more exquisitely than the young, it's something the old tend to forget.

Heaven only knows why we love it so.

Maybe – let's not rule it out – this will be the song that cuts clean, the one that matters, the one that sheds standard-issue romance and reveals, under its old skin, a raw blood-red devotion deeper than comfort, a desire profounder than schoolboy satisfaction, a yearning cold and immaculate and unstoppable as snow.

There's no comfort, it seems, in the world of objects.

A certain slightly cruel disregard for the feelings of living people is simply part of the package. I think a writer, if he's any good, is not an entirely benign entity in the world.

She is an attractive, robust, fleshy, large-headed woman several years younger than Laura (it seems that every one, suddenly, is at least slightly younger than she).

You don't have to matter any more than you do right now.

She is not a writer at all, really; she is merely a gifted eccentric.

Where did the boy genius go? He had been, as a child, expected to be a neurosurgeon, or a great novelist. And now he's considering (or, okay, refusing to consider) law school. Was the burden of his potential too much for him?

They hope they'll learn to be happier together. They also yearn, sometimes, for the point at which misery becomes so profound as to leave them no alternative.

Who has more power than a child? She can be as cruel as she wants to be. He can't.

Morning, Peter, she calls.