2023 Drive your plow over the bones of the dead

Author: Tokarczuk, Olga
Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Title: Drive your plow over the bones of the dead
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Year: 2009
Link: https://worldcat.org/en/title/1175678507

Pages 29 -30:

Death is at the gates, I thought. But then death is always at our gates, at every hour of the day and Night, I told myself. For the best conversations are with yourself. At least there's no risk of misunderstanding.

Page 47:

As I gazed at the black-and-white landscape of the Plateau I realized that sorrow is an important word for defining the world. It lies at the foundations of everything, it is the fifth element, the quintessence.

Page 113:

Maybe it means that he who suffers has special access to God, by a side door, he is blessed, he embraces some sort of truth which without suffering would be hard to comprehend. So in a way, the only person who's healthy is one who suffers, however strange it might sound. I think that this would be in harmony with the rest.

Page 114:

Children are soft and supple, open-minded and unpretentious. And they don't engage in the sort of small talk in which every adult is able to gabble their life away. Unfortunately, the older they are, the more they succumb to reason; ....

Pages 154 - 155:

The most ordinary stumps turned out to be entire kingdoms of Creatures that bored corridors, chambers and passages, and laid their precious eggs there. The larvae may not have been beautiful, but I was moved by their sense of trust -- they entrusted their lives to the trees, without imagining that these huge, immobile Creatures are essentially very fragile, and wholly dependent on the will of people too. ...
"From nature's point of view no creatures are useful or not useful. That's just a foolish distinction applied by people."

Page 167:

It occurred to me that he was a very good Person, this Boros. And it was a good thing he had his Ailments. Being healthy is an insecure state and does not bode well. It's better to be ill in a quiet way, then at least we know what we're going to die of.

Page 202:

"I used to have two Dogs. ... They taught me quite basic, plain and simple justice," I stopped talking for a moment, and then added: "We have a view of the world, but Animals have a sense of the world, do you see?"

Pages 232 - 233:

I happen to have occasionally entered a church and sat there in peace a while with the people. I've always liked the fact that people can be together in there, without having to talk to one another. ... It's a good thing that God exists, and even if he doesn't, gives us a place where we can think in peace. Perhaps that's the whole point of prayer -- to think to yourself in peace, to want nothing, to ask for nothing, but simply to sort out your own mind. That should be enough.

Page 273:

I have learned, however, that most Insects hibernate. Deep inside their anthill, the Ants cling to each other in a large ball and sleep like that until spring. I only wish people had the same sort of confidence in each other.


An academic review of the book: https://thehumandivine.org/2021/03/01/blake-misunderstood-review-of-olga-tokarczuks-drive-your-plow-over-the-bones-of-the-dead/

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