Quotes From "Vertigo" By W.G. Sebald

1
Tudo parecia organizado da melhor forma possível, como se de fato o mundo constasse somente de palavras, como se assim o próprio horror fosse trazido para dimensões seguras, como se para cada aspecto de uma coisa houvesse um reverso, para cada mal um bem, para cada dissabor um prazer, para cada infelicidade uma felicidade e para cada mentira um quinhão de verdade. W.G. Sebald
2
Once I am at leisure, said Salvatore, I take refuge in prose as one might in a boat. All day long I am surrounded by the clamour on the editorial floor, but in the evening I cross over to an island, and every time, the moment I read the first sentences, it is as if I were rowing far out on the water. It is thanks to my evening reading alone that I am still more or less sane. W.G. Sebald
3
There is something about my face in the mirrors that catch it. Even at a distance it will never be right again, not even to a casual glance. Beauty: it's the upkeep that costs, that's what Balzac said, not the initial investment. Joanna Walsh
4
There are so many of you, and you are still just the way I thought I'd grow up, with all that was enviably grown-up about you: the lace tops with modesty inserts, and the spangles as if for nights out, the stiff hair, the cardigans grown over with a fungus of secondary sexual characteristics--bristling with embroidery and drooping with labial frills. Joanna Walsh
5
We sit in the ruin, each reading a book, or three of us read out of four. Three different voices speak to us. We have taught the children to read again this week. Here, where there is no voice, apart from ours, they are desperate for any other. They will even sing to themselves, sometimes. The boy whistles. He makes his voice croak. He sings the same thing again, but breathing in. A bird echoes the first notes of Vivaldi. Joanna Walsh
6
Time slowed as metal shards enveloped her like shattered glass. None pierced her of course, but it seemed as though she might be able to reach out and pluck one from the sky. She settled for stretching out an imagined hand, palm upturned, and letting a shard fall through it untouched like the ghost she had become. G.S. Jennsen
7
God, she was beautiful. Hair a tangled mess, clothes torn, lips pale and swollen, skin streaked in dirt. And she was so damn beautiful and flawed and perfect. G.S. Jennsen
8
She didn’t want to be the savior of humanity. She never had. She didn’t want to be the vanguard–of destruction or salvation. What she had really wanted was to be a girl whose father lived to show her the stars. Instead she had been left to wander them alone. Until she discovered someone who saw the stars as she did. G.S. Jennsen
9
We–humanity–didn’t come this far by being afraid. Explorers and visionaries have willingly headed off to certain death for thousands of years and by doing so brought us to where we are today. No one has ever told us ‘no’ and succeeded in making it stick for long. We accede to these aliens’ demands and we’ll wither away. It may take centuries or even millennia, but we’ll be so busy cowering in fear we’ll forget to move forward. I say we fight. G.S. Jennsen
10
He steadied himself by resting one palm on her thigh and the other on the armrest, and rose to his knees. “I’ll be damned.”“ Possibly. But not today, I think. G.S. Jennsen
11
If humanity is annihilated because we were too busy squabbling with one another to manage a proper stand, we probably deserve the annihilation. G.S. Jennsen
12
His whisper continued to stream a silent cacophony of warnings, kill and damage reports and pleas for assistance. He allowed himself two seconds to watch it and came away with the sense they were losing. Not lost and not soon, but losing. G.S. Jennsen
13
He was terrified he was making the wrong choice. He relied on his instincts in his work but now he didn’t dare trust them. The wound of betrayal still burned raw in his chest and another cut might be the killing blow. But it was the end of the world and there may be no more second chances. G.S. Jennsen
14
You’re covered in blood again.”“ I really am.” “Why are you always covered in blood when I wake up after being unconscious?” “Usually for the same reason you were unconscious, I think. G.S. Jennsen
15
She burst into her hotel room pulling her blouse over her head with one hand while she yanked her shoes off with the other. No way was she going to face an alien invasion in heels and silk. G.S. Jennsen
16
You’re insane.”“ It’ll work.”“ Which does not alter the fact that you are insane. G.S. Jennsen
17
His punch knocked her back a meter into the wall. His fist had moved of his own volition, carrying a rage and frustration all its own. To his dismay, she didn’t fall. People so small as her always fell. No tears pooled in her eyes; instead they flared golden amber as she rubbed her jaw and pushed off the wall to stand rigid straight. A peculiar smile danced across her lips as blood trickled from the corner of her mouth and down her chin. G.S. Jennsen
18
The Artificial’s speech pattern was an idiosyncratic mix of awkward and colloquial. It was unexpectedly endearing. “I just have good instincts. Mostly I love being in space.” But you are not ‘in’ space. You are in your starship and your starship is in space. It is not so different than being on a planet. “Oh, Valkyrie, you have no idea.” Tell me then. G.S. Jennsen
19
So that’s why I say ‘never have anything you can’t walk away from.’ Especially a woman. For them, because this is a dangerous life we lead and you never know if or when it will blow back on those close to you."" And for you, because trust me when I tell you there exists no greater perdition than the guilt of causing the death of someone you love. G.S. Jennsen
20
She thought he might have said her name, but it was background radiation accompanying the hum in her ears and the symphony in her head––a song of quantum mechanics and trajectory calculations and astroscience physics and where to go, where to go, where to… G.S. Jennsen