Expecting a novel to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society—to help solve our contemporary problems—seems to me a peculiarly American delusion. To write sentences of such authenticity that refuge can be taken in them: isn't this enough? Isn't it a lot?
There is between sleep and us something like a pact, a treaty with no secret clauses, and according to this convention it is agreed that, far from being a dangerous, bewitching force, sleep will become domesticated and serve as an instrument of our power to act. We surrender to sleep, but in the way that the master entrusts himself to the slave who serves him.
We can never put enough distance between ourselves and what we love. To think that God is, is still to think of him as present; this is a thought according to our measure, destined only to console us. It is much more fitting to think that God is not, just as we must love him purely enough that we could be indifferent to the fact that he should not be. It is for this reason that the atheist is closer to God than the believer.
As reason returned to me, memory came with it, and I saw that even on the worst days, when I thought I was utterly and completely miserable, I was nevertheless, and nearly all the time, extremely happy. That gave me something to think about. The discovery was not a pleasant one. It seemed to me that I was losing a great deal. I asked myself, wasn't I sad, hadn't I felt my life breaking up? Yes, that had been true; but each minute, when I stayed without moving in a corner of the room, the cool of the night and the stability of the ground made me breathe and rest on gladness.
I lean over you, your equal, offering you a mirror for your perfect nothingness, for your shadows which are neither light nor absence of light, for this void which contemplates. To all that which you are, and, for our language, are not, I add a consciousness. I make you experience your supreme identity as a relationship, I name you and define you. You become a delicious passivity.
I got on the phone with the president of my label and I said, "Obviously, I write songs in a lot of styles and play a lot of different kinds of music. We're getting toward the end of our business collaboration. If you could envision a record that you wanted to hear from me, what kind of record would it be?" It wasn't like asking him to fill an order, it was really just a conversation. For all the things I'd ever asked him, this was one thing I'd never asked, and I don't know why. So I was curious. And the thing that he was most interested in hearing was a solo record.