Quotes from A Single Man – Christopher Isherwood

“With that body which sprawled stark naked, gaping wide in shameless demand, underneath Jim’s nude body? Gross in sucking vulva, sly truthless greedy flesh, in all the bloom and gloss and arrogant resilience of youth, demanding that George shall step aside, bow down and yield to the female prerogative, hide his unnatural head in shame. I am Doris. I am woman. I am Bitch. Mother. Nature. The Church and the Law and the State exist to support me. I claim my biological rights.” – 95-96

“He pictures the evening he might have spent, snugly at home, fixing the food he has bought, then lying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself slowly sleepy. At first glance this is an absolutely convincing and charming scene of domestic contentment. Only after a few instants does George notice the omission that makes it meaningless. What is left out of the picture is Jim lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading; the two of them absorbed in their books yet so completely aware of each others’ presence.” – 114-115

“Thinking what an absurd and universally accepted bit of nonsense it is that your best friends must necessarily be the ones who best understand you. As if there weren’t far too much understanding in the world already; above all, that understanding between lovers, celebrated in song and story, which is actually such torture that no two of them can bear it without frequent separations or fights.” – 122-123

“As for Geo, these waves are much too big for him. They seem truly tremendous, towering up, blackness unrolling itself out of blackness, mysteriously and awfully sparkling, then curing over in a thundering slap of foam which is sparked with phosphorus.” – 162

“I’m like a book you have to read. A book can’t read itself to you. It doesn’t even know what it’s about. I don’t know what I’m about.” – 176


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