Margo Lanagan Quotes
“You are pure-hearted, Branza, and lovely, and you have never done a moment's wrong. But you are a living creature, born to make a real life, however it cracks your heart. However sweet that other place was, it was not real. It was an artifact of your mam's imagination; it was a dream of hers and a desire; you could not have stayed there forever and called yourself alive. Now you are in the true world, and a great deal more is required of you. Here you must befriend real wolves, and lure real birds down from the sky. Here you must endure real people around you, and we are not uniformly kind; we are damaged and impulsive, each in our own way. It is harder. It is not safe. But it is what you were born to.”
“There is something about talking in the night, with the shreds of sleep around your ears, with the silences between one remark and another, the town dark and dreaming beyond your own walls. It draws the truth out of you, straight from its little dark pool down there, where usually you guard it so careful, and wave your hands over it and hum and haw to protect people's feelings, to protect your own . . . You can bring out the jaggedest feelings - if you are my wife and know how to state them calm - into the night quiet. They will float there for consideration, harming no one.”
“Now you are in the true world, and a great deal more is required of you. Here you must befriend real wolves, and lure real birds down from the sky. Here you must endure real people around you, and we are not uniformly kind; we are damaged and impulsive, each in our own way. It is harder. It is not safe. But it is what you were born to.”
“I felt freed to please myself, to find my way as I would, in a world that was much vaster than I had realized before, in which I was but one star-gleam, one wavelet, among multitudes. My happiness mattered not a whit more than the next person's - or the next fish's, or the next grass-blade's! - and not a whit less.”
“She hardly knew what to do, it had been so long since such strong feelings had borne down on her. It was like carrying another creature inside her, and nothing so benign and natural as a baby. Undamped, untamed, the pain and exultation of her attachment to them blew through Liga like a storm-wind carrying sharp leaves and struggling birds. How long she had known her daughters, and how well, and in what extraordinary vividness and detail! How blithely she had done the work of rearing them - it seemed to her now that she had had cause for towering, disabling anxieties about them; that what had seemed little plaints and sorrows in their childhoods were in fact off-drawings from much greater tragedies, from which she had tried to keep them but could not. And the joys she had had of them, too, their embraces and laughter - it was all too intense to be endured, this connection with them, which was a miniature of the connection with the forces that drove planet and season - the relentlessness of them, the randomness, the susceptibility to glory, to accident, to disaster. How soft had been her life in that other place, how safe and mild! And here she was, back where terrors could immobilize her, and wonders too; where life might become gulps of strong ale rather than sips of bloom-tea. She did not know whether she was capable of lifting the cup, let alone drinking the contents.”
“But heart's desires? My dear, I see by your misery - by this very request you are making - that you know more of true men's and women's hearts than once you did, than your mother's world permitted you to see. Such chipped and cracked and outright broken things they are, are they not? They have their illnesses too, and their impulses. And hearts are not always connected well to minds, and even if they are, minds are not always clear and commonsensical. A heart may desire a thing powerfully indeed, but that heart's desire might be what a person least needs, for her health, for her continuing happiness.”
“A good heart is when a girl that you loved, a girl who has pained
you and chosen another instead, places in your hands the means to her own ruin. And you could tell it to everyone. But you keep silent, because you can do that, too, and a good heart would do that, a fine man, a man who truly loved her....Let her be lucky now."- A Good Heart.”
“I knew that place should be my home, but after my night in Noer's mind it seemed a peculiar pile, its streets a maze, needlessly crowded, where we slender people, so naked of fur we must make extra skins for ourselves, muddled and ambled and skipped in our dance of alliances and enmities, offenses and fancies. We thought too much; we calculated too hard. I would rather have wandered among trees, with their more meaningful conversation. I would rather have been solitary and unharried, never required to speak nor account for myself to do anything else but what come natural.”
“You may never be entirely happy; few people are. You may never achieve your heart's desire in this world, for people seldom do. Sit by enough deathbeds, Branza, and you will hear your fill of stories of missed chances, and wrong turnings, and spurned opportunities for love. It is required of you only to be here, not to be happy.”
“...the night is suddenly vaster, colder, clearer.
All the stars zing; the mountains glitter; towns and villages gather like bright mould in the valley-seams and along the coasts.
Every movement in byre and bunny-hole, of leaf against leaf, of germ in soil and stream, turns and gleams and laminates every other, the whole world monstrously fancy, laced tight together, yet slopping over and unraveling in every direction, a grand brilliant wastage of the living an the dying.”
“But Urdda stood firm. 'Where do you come from, sir?'
'I come' - the littlee-man stalked towards her in a way that might have been menacing, had he been full-sized - 'from Smelly-bumhole Land. You may call me Mister Odiferous. Up through the arse of the world I come here, and when I'm finished I will squeeze myself back out it.”
“He was fine, and foreign, and he did not belong here. I held him close, not crushing, not waking him, letting him sleep, and I suffered. I had never felt such feelings before. I would do anything for him; I would do anything. Anything that was asked of me, that would increase his happiness or health, I would do, and willingly. So I told myself, rocking him, the winter sky white at the window.”
- Born: in Waratah, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
- Description: Margo Lanagan, born in Waratah, New South Wales, is an Australian writer of short stories and young adult fiction.
Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom by Gollancz in 2004, and in North America by HarperCollins in 2005. It includes the much-anthologized short story "Singing My Sister Down".Her short story collection White Time, originally published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in 2000, was published in North America by HarperCollins in August 2006, after the success of Black Juice.