Dan Chaon Quotes.

1. "How can you come to understand your life when even the beginning is so complicated: a single cell imprinted with the color of your eyes and the shape of your face the pattern on your palm and the moods that will shadow you through your life. How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

2. "What if she never knows the end of the story? She shudders, and her mind continues to lurch forward into the future, that simple expectation of time passing - another moment, and another moment. It seems impossible that it will abruptly cease. It seems impossible that you will never know what happens next, that the thread you've been following your whole life will just... cut off, like a book with the last pages torn out. That doesn't seem fair, she thinks."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

3. "It's hard to believe that this is how it's done. That this is how we get here into the world, by accident or design, the microscopic pieces of ourselves borne by fluids and blood and growing into a tiny kingdom of cells inside someone else's body It seems so difficult to become alive. So improbable."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

4. "The baby's large eyes settled on him, and though this has been one of his happiest nights in his whole life, it made him melancholy. He had read somewhere that babies are instinctively drawn to faces, that they will fixate even on drawings or abstract, facelike shapes, and round objects with markings that might resemble eye-mouth-nose. It was information that struck him as terribly sad, terribly lonely - to imagine the infants of the world scoping the blurry atmosphere above them for faces the way primitive people scrutinized the stars for patterns, the way castaways stare at the moon, the blinking of a satellite. It made him sad to think of the baby gathering information - a mind, a soul, slowly solidifying around these impressions, coming to understand cause and effect, coming out of a blank or fog into reality. Into a reality. The true terror, Jonah thought, the true mystery of life was not that we are all going to die, but that we were all born, that we were all once little babies like this, unknowing and slowly reeling in the world, gathering it loop by loop like a ball of string. The true terror was that we once didn't exist and then, through no fault of our own, we had to."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

5. "The true terror Jonah thought the true mystery of life was not that we are all going to die but that we were all born that we were all once little babies like this unknowing and slowly reeling in the world gathering it loop by loop like a ball of string. The true terror was that we once didn't exist and then through no fault of our own we had to."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

6. "It's hard to believe that this is how it's done. That this is how we get here into the world, by accident or design, the microscopic pieces of ourselves borne by fluids and blood and growing into a tiny kingdom of cells inside someone else's body. It seems so difficult to become alive. So improbable. . . How can it be possible? she wonders. How can you come to understand your life when even the beginning is so complicated: a single cell imprinted with the color of your eyes and the shape of your face, the pattern on your palm and the moods that will shadow you through your life. How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments, each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives, shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

7. "Her name...was Mrs. marina Orlova, and she had grown up in Siberia. Later, she would tell him that she loathed the American custom of constantly smiling: "They are like chimpanzees," she said, in her bitter exclamatory voice. She grimaced, baring her teeth grotesquely. "Eee!" she said. "I smile at you! Eee! It is repulsive."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

8. "The first time she had tried to kill herself, she had intuited that there was no escape. She had seen, with sudden clarity, that her life was a series of boxes, a maze that she would run and run through and never find an exit, and she thought, almost peacefully, I don't want it. I don't want my life."
- Dan Chaon, You Remind Me of Me

9. "I have to admit that most of the time I read in the same way that I smoke and chew gum and jiggle my leg a lot. I read a lot, but at the same time I’m not a particularly good or diligent or discriminating reader. I go through maybe close to a thousand or more books a year, but a lot of times I’ll only read bits and pieces of any one individual text. There are even certain works that are very important to me (Like Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, for example) that I probably haven’t ever read all the way through from beginning to end, just certain passages over and over. I tend to read at stuff, rather that through it, if that makes any sense, and maybe there’s something a little bit rodent-like about it, like a gerbil gnawing on woodchips in those, tiny, rapid obsessive bites."
- Quote by Dan Chaon

10. "I can't understand how people can settle for having just one life. I remember we were in English class and we were talking about that poem by - that one guy. David Frost. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood-' You know this poem, right? 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could, to where it bent in the undergrowth-" "I loved that poem. But I remember thinking to myself: Why? How come you can't travel both? That seemed really unfair to me."
- Quote by Dan Chaon

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