Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

I recently finished this highly acclaimed novel. The first passage I underlined in the text was on page 32.  It took that long for my brain to learn the book's language.  It also took me that many pages to remember I could underline.  This is the first "real" book I've read in a long time.  I switched to reading on my iPhone when my kids were small. But after reading reviews of McBride's book, I knew I would never be able to digest it's modernist style in digital format.

Memorable quotes 
(Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, 2014)

"Going foot to foot to foot to foot. Spinning wheels round digging. Crunch as glass on the axel rod." p. 32

"Later it ran up me. Legs stomach knees chest up head. Like smoke in my lungs to be coughed out. I'd throw up excitement. What is it? Like a nosebleed. Like a freezing pain. I felt me not me. Turning to the sun. Feel the roast of it. Like sunburn. Like a hot sunstroke. Like globs dropping in. Through my hair. Spat skin with it. Blank my eyes the dazzle. Huge shatter. Me who is just new. Fallen out of the sky. What. Is lust it? That's it. The first splinter. I. Give in scared. If I would. Stop. Him. Oh God. Is a mortal mortal sin." p. 55

"I don't think I will be clean now. Think instead I'll have revenge for lots of all kinds of things. The start is. That is love." p. 61

"How would they ever understand my life is more than cider? Complex than that." p. 74

"Saying yes is the best of powers. It's no big thing the things they do." p. 77

"So so we are just the one of us now. Me." p. 90

"My heart go bang at no go back now no go back. Some new education begins." p. 91

"Will hear him tell me he's how old a lot oh God lotter than me. I am addling but good to be seen. It's very good to be seen." p. 95

"Wash my body on or off and think I'll be some new a disgrace. Slap in the alley with no doubt rats I am leaving. Epiphany. I am leaving home. I've picked up and left. Fresh. I'm already gone." p. 96

"I love the. Something of it all. Feeling ruined. Fucking. Off. I'm ready. Ready ready. To be this other one. To fill out the corners of this person who doesn't sit in photos on the mantel next to you." p. 98

"The answer to every single question is Fuck." p. 146

"Trains passing like teeth through my head." p. 151

"I walk the street. City. Running through my mouth. Running in my teeth the. Me eyes are. All the things. The said the done what there what's all this? That stuff. I could do. My. I walk the street. Who's him? That man. Who's him there having a looking at me he. Look at my. Tits. Ssss. Fuck word. No don't. Fuck that. No. Will. Not that. Not. That. But. If I want to then I can do. And it would fill me up fine. And I. I do. Do it. Take him back with me. Give him. The word. I want that. Hurt me. Until I am outside the pain." p. 163

"Me the thing but I. Think I know. Is that the reason for what's happened? Me? The thing. Wrong." p. 179

"Think. There's a there's a world's not this." p. 185

Useful links:

The White Review interview with Eimear McBride:

The New Yorker Review

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