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Wisdom From The Blind Assassin

Wisdom From The Blind Assassin

Wisdom From The Blind Assassin
Danielle de Wolfe
06 August 2013

'Winning the Man Booker Prize' inhabits a very special place in our list of things we'd like to do but probably never will, alongside wrestle a shark and gain telekinetic powers. Hats off then to Margaret Atwood who was deservedly awarded for her complex and unforgettable novel The Blind Assassin.

And if, like us, you're maniacally making notes on how to potentially pick up the prize at a much later stage well here's one tip: make sure your book is crammed with incredibly wise sentences.

Here are the very best pieces of wisdom from The Blind Assassin:


“If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you'd be doomed. You'd be ruined as God. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone, ever again. You'd never dare to.” 

“Lose your temper and you lose the fight.” 

“Time rises and rises, and when it reaches the level of your eyes you drown.” 

“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” 

“Love is giving, marriage is buying and selling. You can't put love into a contract.” 

“Nevertheless, blood is thicker than water, as anyone knows who has tasted both.” 

“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one.” 

“Walking into the crowd was like sinking into a stew - you became an ingredient, you took on a certain flavour.” 

“Sympathy from strangers can be ruinous.” 

“Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.” 

“To pronounce the name of the dead is to make them live again.” 

“Some of the best things are done by those with nowhere to turn, by those who don't have time, by those who truly understand the word helpless. they dispense no thought with the calculation of risk and profit, they take no thought for the future, they're forced to spearpoint into the present tense.” 

“Beginnings are sudden, but also insidious. They creep up on you sideways, they keep to the shadows, they lurk unrecognized. Then, later, they spring.” 

“A sad pretty girl inspires the urge to console, unlike a sad old crone.” 

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date.” 

“Should is a futile word. It's about what didn't happen. It belongs in a parallel universe. It belongs in another dimension of space.” 

“The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.”“Don’t interfere with false gods, you’ll get the gold paint all over your hands.” 

“Nothing is more difficult than to understand the dead, I've found; but nothing is more dangerous than to ignore them.” 

“The French are connoisseurs of sadness, they know all kinds. This is why they have bidets.” 

“An unearned income encourages self-pity in those already prone to it.”