14 March 2011

Words of wisdom: because Prentice's dad is a hell of a lot smarter than mine is.

"Telling us straight, or through his stories, my father taught us that there was, generally, a fire at the core of things, and that change was the only constant, and that we - like everybody else - were both the most important people in the universe, and utterly without significance, depending, and that individuals mattered before their institutions, and that people were people, much the same everywhere, and when they appeared to do things that were stupid or evil, often you hadn't been told the whole story, but that sometimes people did behave badly, usually because some idea had taken hold of them and given them an excuse to regard other people as expendable (or bad), and that was part of who we were too, as a species, and it wasn't always possible to know that you were right and they were wrong, but the important thing was to keep trying to find out, and always to face the truth. Because truth mattered."

From Iain Banks, 'The Crow Road' (thanks Chris).

What's the best piece of advice that's been handed down to you?


├Źna said...

Veronia A. Shofstall has seen me through with this poem-
"After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman not the grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn."

little t said...

I like this exerpt- thinking of adding the book to my 'to-reads' list.

Is it a good novel?

fluff and fripperies said...

Mmm, to be honest I'm a bit conflicted about it. On the one hand, it's a good story, I like the characters and some of the writing is lovely. On the other hand, it jumps back and forward quite a lot which was quite confusing, and meant I lost momentum, so it's taken me a while to read and I keep forgetting where I am. On the whole yes, worth reading, but with minor frustrations...

Jen said...

The thing about this is that the punctuation drives me crazy! I like what's he is saying though.