John Ajvide Lindqvist Quotes
“There was no one to be seen so she gave in freely to her sobs as she made her way home, pressed her arms against her stomach; the pain lodged in there like an ill-tempered foetus.
Let a person in and he hurts you.
There was a reason why she kept her relationships brief. Don't let them in. Once they're inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.”
“Who can really say how decisions are made, how emotions change, how ideas arise? We talk about inspiration; about a bolt of lightnng from a clear sky, but perhaps everything is just as simple and just as infinitely complex as the processes that make a particular leaf fall at a particularmoment. That point has been reached, that's all. It has to happen, and it does happen.”
“He had put his hand up in class, a declaration of existence, a claim that he knew something. And that was forbidden to him. They could give a number of reasons for why they had to torment him; he was too fat, too ugly, too disgusting. But the real problem was simply that he existed, and every reminder of his existence was a crime.”
“No respect for beauty – that was characteristic of today’s society. The works of the great masters were at most employed as ironic references, or used in advertising. Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, where you see a pair of jeans in place of the spark.
The whole point of the picture, at least as he saw it, was that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite, touched. There was a space between them a millimetre or so wide. And in this space – life. The sculptural size and richness of detail of this picture was simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasise the crucial void in its centre. The point of emptiness that contained everything.
And in its place a person had superimposed a pair of jeans.”
“You can plan for things, work towards them for years, and yet they never materialize. Or you can just happen to be in the right place at the right moment, and everything falls into place. If you want to believe in something like Fate, she's a capricious character. Sometimes she stand there blocking the doorway you were born to pass through, and sometimes she takes you by the hand and leads you through the minute you poke your nose out. And the stars gaze down and keep their counsel.”
“They stood there for a while, not saying anything. Then Eli said: 'Do you want to come in?'
Oskar didn't reply. Eli pulled on her T-shirt, lifted her hands, let them fall.
'I'm never going to hurt you.'
'I know that.'
'What are you thinking about?'
'That T-shirt. Is it from the trash room?'
'Have you washed it?'
Eli didn't answer.
'You're a little gross, you know that?'
'I can change, if you like.'
'Good. Do that.”
“Land and sea.
We may think of them as opposites; as complements. But there is a difference in how we think of them; the sea, and the land.
If we are walking around in a forest, a meadow or a town, we see our surroundings as being made up of individual elements. There are many different kinds of trees in varying sizes, those buildings, these streets. The meadow, the flowers, the bushes. Our gaze lingers on details, and if we are standing in a forest in the autumn, we become tongue-tied if we try to describe the richness around us. All this exists on land.
But the sea. The sea is something completely different. The sea is one.
We may note the shifting moods of the sea. What the sea looks like when the wind is blowing, how the sea plays with the light, how it rises and falls. But still it is always the sea we are talking about. We have given different parts of the sea different names for navigation and identification, but if we are standing before the sea, there is only one whole. The Sea.
If we are taken so far out in a small boat that no land is visible in any direction, we may catch sight of the sea. It is not a pleasant experience. The sea is a god, an unseeing, unhearing deity that does not even know we exist. We mean less than a grain of sand on an elephant's back, and if the sea wants us, it will take us. That's just the way it is. The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us.
To other gods we send our prayer: Protect us from the sea.”
“What does it take to break a person?
Torturers and interrogators would be able to provide statistics. This many nights without sleep, this many needles, this much water, this voltage of current on this many occasions.
But there is considerable variation in people's ability to withstand torture. Sometimes one can achieve the desired result simply by showing the instruments and explaining what is to be done with them. Sometimes it takes weeks; one may be forced to restart a heart which has given out from the pain, and even then one may not manage to break the subject down.
However, it is presumably possible to discern some kind of average. This many needles, this many blows to the soles of the feet, before most people are sufficiently destroyed to give up what they once held most dear.
But in everyday life?”