Quotes from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers

“This part concerns the unshakable feeling one gets, one thinks, after the unthinkable and unexplainable happens–the feeling that, if this person can die, and that person can die, and this can happen and that can happen…well, then, what exactly is preventing anything from happening to this person, he around whom everything else happened? If people are dying, why won’t he?” – xxxiii

“But see, my father had as much patience for religion as he did for solicitors ringing the bell.”

“His brain is my laboratory, my depository. Into it I can stuff the books I choose, the television shows, the movies, my opinions about elected officials, historical events, neighbors, passersby. He is my twenty-four-hour classroom, my captive audience, forced to ingest everything I deem worthwhile.” – 49

“I want to save everything and preserve all this but also want it all gone–can’t decide what’s more romantic, preservation or decay. Wouldn’t it be something just to burn it all? Throw it all in the street?” – 122

“We’re kissing each other but so much more, kissing like warriors saving the world, at the end of the movie, the last two, the only two who can save everything.” – 148

“It’ll be hundreds of us, all running together on the beach, a herd of bare and hopeful flesh, sprinting from left to right, of course symbolizing all the things that that would obviously symbolize.” – 177

“Dignity is an affectation, cute but eccentric, like learning French or collecting scarves. And it’s fleeting and incredibly mercurial. And subjective. So fuck it.” – 217

“I fear that even if it is beautiful in the abstract, that my doing it knowing that it’s beautiful and worse, knowing that I will very soon be documenting it, that in my pocket is a tape recorder but just for that purpose – that all this makes this act of potential beauty somehow gruesome.” 399-400


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