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Content tagged 'Susanna Kaysen'

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  1. I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.
    • 0 replies
    • 110 views


  2. Why did she do it? Nobody dared to ask. Because - what courage! Who had the courage to burn herself? Twenty aspirin, a little slit alongside the veins of the arm, maybe even a bad half hour standing on a roof: We’ve all had those. And somewhat more dangerous things, like putting a gun in your mouth. But you put it there, you taste it, it’s cold and greasy, your finger is on the trigger, and you find that a whole world lies between this moment and the moment you’ve been planning, when you’ll pull the trigger. That world defeats you. You put the gun back in the drawer. You’ll have to find another way.
    What was that moment like for her? The moment she lit the match. Had she already tried roofs and guns and aspirins? Or was it just an inspiration?
    I had an inspiration once. I woke up one morning and I knew that today I had to swallow fifty aspirin. It was my task: my job for the day. I lined them up on my desk and took them one by one, counting. But it’s not the same as what she did. I could have stopped, at ten, or at thirty. And I could have done what I did do, which was go onto the street and faint. Fifty aspirin is a lot of aspirin, but going onto the street and fainting is like putting the gun back in the drawer.
    She lit the match.
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    • 1185 views


  3. It’s important to cultivate detachment.  One way to do this is to practice imagining yourself dead, or in the process of dying.  If there’s a window, you must imagine your body falling out of that window.  If there’s a knife, you must imagine the knife piercing your skin.  If there’s a train coming, you must imagine your torso flattened under its wheels.  These excercises are necessary to achieving the proper distance.
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    • 407 views


  4. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.
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    • 352 views


  5. Robert Lowell also didn’t come while I was there. Sylvia Plath had come and gone. What is it about meter and cadence and rhythm that makes their makers mad?
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    • 430 views


  6. Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers, or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness?
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    • 351 views


  7. My ambition was to negate. The world, whether dense or hollow, provoked only my negations. When I was supposed to be awake, I was asleep; when I was supposed to speak, I was silent; when a pleasure offered itself to me, I avoided it. My hunger, my thirst, my loneliness and boredom and fear were all weapons aimed at my enemy, the world. They didn’t matter a whit to the world, of course, and they tormented me, but I got a gruesome satisfaction from my sufferings. They proved my existence. All my integrity seemed to lie in saying No.
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    • 393 views


  8. Of course I was sad and puzzled. I was eighteen, it was spring, and I was behind bars.
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    • 262 views


  9. I know what it’s like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can’t. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.
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    • 2691 views


  10. Scar tissue has no character. It’s not like skin. It doesn’t show age or illness or pallor or tan. It has no pores, no hair, no wrinkles. It’s like a slip cover. It shields and disguises what’s beneath. That’s why we grow it; we have something to hide.
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    • 333 views


  11. People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up there as well. I can’t answer the real question. All I can say is, it’s easy.
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    • 386 views

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