19 November, 2014


"A veces imagino lo maravilloso que sería que me llamases sólo porque sí, simplemente como alguien que tiene sed y bebe un vaso de agua, pero eso ya sé que es pedirte demasiado, nunca finjas conmigo una sed que no sientas."—José Saramago, El Hombre Duplicado.

He was just drifting slowly off when Maria da Paz came and whispered in his ear, How wonderful it would be if you were to phone me just because you felt like it. She would probably have said the rest of the sentence too, but he had already got out of bed, pulled on his dressing gown over his pajamas and was dialing her number. Maria da Paz asked Is that you, and he replied, Yes, it’s me, I was thirsty and I’ve come to ask for a glass of water.' —José Saramago, The Double.

04 November, 2014

― Virginia Woolf, 'On Being Ill'

“Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature” 


“Finally, to hinder the description of illness in literature, there is the poverty of the language.  English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache.  It has all grown one way.  The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.  There is nothing ready made for him.  He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the people of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.  Probably it will be something laughable.”