Let me wake up next to you, have coffee in the morning and wander through the city with your hand in mine, and I'll be happy for the rest of my fucked up little life.
I thought that if I owned nothing, had nothing, was nothing, I would have nothing left to lose, and I wouldn't be scared anymore. Because my whole life I’ve been so damn scared. Scared to live because I was scared to die. But at the same I was so scared of living, so I wanted to die. Or maybe so scared of dying that I refused to live. You don't have to be afraid to fall, when you're already on the ground. You don't have to be scared to lose someone, when there's no one around to lose.
It's a very cheery thing to come into London by any of these lines which run high and allow you to look down upon the houses like this.I thought he was joking, for the view was sordid enough, but he soon explained himself.Look at those big, isolated clumps of buildings rising up above the slates, like brick islands in a lead-coloured sea.The board-schools.Light-houses, my boy! Beacons of the future! Capsules with hundreds of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future.
I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.
Unreal City, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,I had not thought death had undone so many.Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,To where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours With a dead sound on the final stock of nine.There I saw one I knew, and stopped him crying: 'Stetson!You, who were with me in the ships at Mylae!That corpse you planted last year in your garden,Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!You! hypocrite lecteur!-mon semblable,-mon frere!
Do you realise that people die of boredom in London suburbs? It's the second biggest cause of death amongs the English in general. Sheer boredom...
Fidelity is a living, breathing entity. On wobbly footing, it can wander, becoming something different entirely.
Is Dust immortal then, I ask'd him, so that we may see it blowing through the Centuries? But as Walter gave no Answer I jested with him further to break his Melancholy humour: What is Dust, Master Pyne?And he reflected a little: It is particles of Matter, no doubt.Then we are all Dust indeed, are we not?And in a feigned Voice he murmered, For Dust thou art and shalt to Dust return. Then he made a Sour face, but only yo laugh the more.
...I never once believed what they wanted us to believe - that we as black people are inferior to whites...
You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be.
6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days,and I still don’t know which month it was thenor what day it is now.Blurred out linesfrom hangovers to coffeeAnother vagabond lost to love.4am alone and on my way.These are my finest moments.I scrub my skinto rid me from youand I still don’t know why I cried.It was just something in the way you took my heart and rearranged my insides and I couldn’t recognise the emptiness you left me with when you were done. Maybe you thought my insides would fit better this way, look better this way, to you and us and all the rest.But then you must have changed your mindor made a wrongbecause why did youleave?6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days,and I still don’t know which month it was thenor what day it is now.I replace cafés with crowded bars and empty roads with broken bottlesand this town is healing me slowly but still not slow or fast enough because there’s no right way to do this.There is no right way to do this.There is no right way to do this.
I wander through each chartered street,Near where the chartered Thames does flow;A mark in every face I meet,Marks of weakness, marks of woe.In every cry of every man,In every infant’s cry of fear,In every voice, in every ban,The mind-forged manacles I hear:How the chimney-sweeper’s cryEvery blackening church appals,And the hapless soldier’s sighRuns in blood down palace-walls.But most, through midnight streets I hearHow the youthful harlot’s curseBlasts the new-born infant’s tear,And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.
On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes,the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.I wipe them away with a black woolly gloveAnd try not to notice I've fallen in loveOn Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:This is nothing. you're high on the charm and the drink.But the juke-box inside me is playing a songThat says something different. And when was it wrong?On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hairI am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care.the head does its best but the heart is the boss-I admit it before I am halfway across
Novelists,’ said Ivo, ‘are to the nineties what cooks were to the eighties, hairdressers to the seventies and pop-stars to the sixties… Merely, you know, an expression of the Zeitgeist, Nobody actually reads novels any more, but it’s a fashionable thing to be a novelist – as long as you don’t entertain people of course. I sometimes think,’ said Ivo, his eyes like industrial diamonds, ‘that my sole virtue is, I’m the only person in London who has no intention of writing any kind of novel, ever.
In a public dialogue with Salman in London he [Edward Said] had once described the Palestinian plight as one where his people, expelled and dispossessed by Jewish victors, were in the unique historical position of being 'the victims of the victims': there was something quasi-Christian, I thought, in the apparent humility of that statement.
London is one of the world's centres of Arab journalism and political activism. The failure of left and right, the establishment and its opposition, to mount principled arguments against clerical reaction has had global ramifications. Ideas minted in Britain – the notion that it is bigoted to oppose bigotry; 'Islamophobic' to oppose clerics whose first desire is to oppress Muslims – swirl out through the press and the net to lands where they can do real harm.
I was free with every road as my home. No limitations and no commitments. But then summer passed and winter came and I fell short for safety. I fell for its spell, slowly humming me to sleep, because I was tired and small, too weak to take or handle those opinions and views, attacking me from every angle. Against my art, against my self, against my very way of living. I collected my thoughts, my few possessions and built isolated walls around my values and character. I protected my own definition of beauty and success like a treasure at the bottom of the sea, for no one saw what I saw, or felt the same as I did, and so I wanted to keep to myself. You hide to protect yourself.
But a progressive policy needs more than just a bigger break with the economic and moral assumptions of the past 30 years. It needs a return to the conviction that economic growth and the affluence it brings is a means and not an end. The end is what it does to the lives, life-chances and hopes of people. Look at London. Of course it matters to all of us that London's economy flourishes. But the test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners.
The city which lay below was a charnel house built on multi-layered bones centuries older than those which lay beneath the cities of Hamburg or Dresden. Was this knowledge part of the mystery it held for her, a mystery felt most strongly on a bell-chimed Sunday on her solitary exploration of its hidden alleys and squares? Time had fascinated her from childhood, its apparent power to move at different speeds, the dissolution it wrought on minds and bodies, her sense that each moment, all moments past and those to come, were fused into an illusory present which with every breath became the unalterable, indestructible past. In the City of London these moments were caught and solidified in stone and brick, in churches and monuments and in bridges which spanned the grey-brown ever-flowing Thames. She would walk out in spring or summer as early as six o'clock, double-locking the front door behind her, stepping into a silence more profound and mysterious than the absence of noise. Sometimes in this solitary perambulation it seenmed that her own footsteps were muted, as if some part of her were afraid to waken the dead who had walked thse streets and had known the same silence.
So none of the young men we encountered during our season gave you hot pants for them?Belinda! Your language. I've been mingling with Americans. Such fun. So Naughty.
The sad fact is, there are 7.220.400.641 people on the planet, but right now I haven't got a single one to talk to.
Why do you always rescue me? — Every Cinderella needs a fairy godmother. But sometimes your fairy godmother needs you right back.
Love puts itself first, and makes its own plans. It maps you out instead. Maybe that's what makes it perfect
They say that life is just a blank chain, and precious moments are the beads we hang off it to make it beautiful.
My Best Friend and I have spent plenty of time together, despite me being in my First Ever Relationship. This is because friends should always come first.
One of the the things she most liked about the city -apart from all its obvious attractions, the theatre, the galleries, the exhilarating walks by the river- was that so few people ever asked you personal questions.
From the top of the bus she could see the vast bowl of London spreading out to the horizon: splendid shops with mannequins in the window, interesting people and already a much bigger world.
And I'll close by saying this. Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people, I learned, but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilisation, and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason, most especially in its current, most virulent form of Islamic Jihad. Daniel Pearl's revolting murderer was educated at the London School of Economics. Our Christmas bomber over Detroit was from a neighboring London college, the chair of the Islamic Students' Society. Many pogroms against Jewish people are being reported from all over Europe today as I'm talking, and we can only expect this to get worse, and we must make sure our own defenses are not neglected. Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, this—this pest, by its right name; to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it's probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that its hatred towards us is a compliment, and resolving (some of the time, at any rate) to do a bit more to deserve it. Thank you.
Darkness. The door into the neighboring room is not quite shut. A strip of light stretches through the crack in the door across the ceiling. People are walking about by lamplight. Something has happened. The strip moves faster and faster and the dark walls move further and further apart, into infinity. This room is London and there are thousands of doors. The lamps dart about and the strips dart across the ceiling. And perhaps it is all delirium...Something had happened. The black sky above London burst into fragments: white triangles, squares and lines - the silent geometric delirium of searchlights. The blinded elephant buses rushed somewhere headlong with their lights extinguished. The distinct patter along the asphalt of belated couples, like a feverish pulse, died away. Everywhere doors slammed and lights were put out. And the city lay deserted, hollow, geometric, swept clean by a sudden plague: silent domes, pyramids, circles, arches, towers, battlements.
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their mee
Smoke curls among the ruins of East London. Many of the buildings have burned to the ground or split like exploded rocks. Small lights bloom like a sea of candles. Even this rain will never put them all out.
The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.
Lisbon, to me, is the Lisbon of Pessoa. Just like London is Woolf’s, or rather, Mrs. Dalloway’s. Barcelona is Gaudí's and Rome is da Vinci’s. You see them in every crevice and hear their echoes in every cathedral. I’d like to be the child, or rather, the mother of a city but I neither have a home nor a resting place. My race is humankind. My religion is kindness. My work is love and, well, my city is the walls of your heart.
How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the London cloud-bank. It shines on a good many folk, but on none, I dare bet, who are on a stranger errand than you and I. How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!
He had heard the voice of London that lives and breathes beneath the rumble of traffic, a voice like the continual high-pitched shriek you hear when you put your head beneath the waves of the sea. It is the sound of millions and millions of creatures living and struggling and dying and being born. It commands those who hear it to eat or be eaten..