Collected Quotes: Hurry Down Sunshine

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[…] a paradox of psychiatry: mental illness is recognized by the patient’s distorted thoughts, but treatment is largely indifferent to their content.
— Hurry Down Sunshine | Page – 104


[…] the same words that her eyes could not decipher on the page, her tongue, freed from the fixed symbols of language, mastered with a deftness that allowed for puns, recitations, arguments, speeches, if she deigned to deliver them-all attesting to a bewilderingly sharp intelligence.
— Hurry Down Sunshine | Page 7


[…] madness. What other disease is verifiable solely from the social affect of its victim?
Hurry Down Sunshine | Page – 87


If [she] had been in an accident or come down with some overtly physical disease, I would not hesitate to tell him about it, confident that his sympathies would flow in my direction as a matter of course. But psychosis defies empathy; few people who have not experienced it up close but the idea of a behavioral disease. It has the ring of an excuse, a license for self-absorption on the most extreme scale. It suggests that one chooses madness and not the other way around. [Like] when [some] refer to someone as ‘crazy,’ [they] mean uninhibited, rebellious, creative. It’s a form of praise.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Pages – 86 to 87


[…] I feel as if I’ve been struck with social amnesia, that my facility for casual conversation, for the necessary small talk that greases the wheel of reasonable cooperative exchange, has been lost.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Pages 67


[…]I have little faith to draw from, either in medicine or God.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Pages 57


Symptoms feel like intricate secrets; causes are elusive, cures unknown.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Pages 56


[…] how does one defeat […] a disease without defeating oneself?
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 50


Her evolution. Her journey. I wanted to believe […]. I wanted to believe in her breakthrough, her victory, the delayed efflorescence of her mind. But how does one tell the difference between Plato’s ‘divine madness’ and gibberish? between enthousiamos (literally, to be inspired by a god) and lunacy? between the prophet and the ‘medically mad?’
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 49


‘Put her away.’ The phrase has its impact. […] ‘We’ll have to put you away. Do you want to be put away?’ Like some unwanted household object, I used to think, that for vague reasons of moral attachment can’t be discarded outright.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 48


Permitted. Required. The language of punishment.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 46


We all fear at some point that ‘our’ world and ‘the’ world are hopelessly estranged.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 38


The truth comes disguised as suffering.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 128


How does the man apologize for the boy?
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 132


If what I say ends up sounding like a complaint, then I’m saying it wrong.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 133


I couldn’t accept the fact that [she] was so nonchalant about her natural talents, while I was struggling to figure out whether I possessed any at all.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 148


The matter of who exactly she is now after her manic attack continues to pester [her]. At home, she asks, ‘Does this mean that everything I believe while I was crazy is bullshit?’ How much must she repudiate? How does she sort out what she can safely keep from her mania, and what she has to discard?
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 209

The Rest

Possibilities don’t help me. I need to know.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 223


I have a knack for fooling people into believing I’m in control. They go along with me, when I’m a total mess. It’s a little scary.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 223


I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 218 (Bob Dylan)


Better old demons than new gods.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 222


[They] avoid actual contact with each other, as if repelled by their competing intensities.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 141


You [have] a false notion of sophistication.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” – Page 134


Better is such a relative term.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 121


[…] you’ve always been so lonely, and when you’re lonely you’re liable to let any terrible thing climb into your head.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 117


Genius is not the fluke they want us to believe it is, no, it’s as basic to who we are as our sense of love, of God. Genius is childhood. The Creator gives it to us with life, and society drums it out of us before we have the chance to follow the impulses of our naturally creative souls. Einstein, Newton, Mozart, Shakespeare – not one of them was abnormal. They simply found a way to hold on to the gift every one of us is given, like a door prize, at birth.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 18


The evil stepparent. Last in line for affection and the first to be demonized, overruled.
— “Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 13


[…] you used to tell me how ‘liberated’ I was. I wasn’t ‘bogged down’ you said, by which you mean, I guess, that I was your idea of a free soul. You had no way of knowing this, but I was fed up with myself. I thought I was hopeless, everything I did felt stalled. […] I was stuck in shallow soil [with ] nothing to hold on to, nothing to hold [me] down.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page – 82


She craved reassurance, but when we gave it to her she rejected it as tainted or insincere.
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Page 81


We give each other a wide berth, avoiding eye contact, tacitly agreeing not to pry. We have something in common that we’re not eager to share. And what would we talk about if we were so inclined?
“Hurry Down Sunshine.” Pages 55 – 56


[…] our […] housing arrangement is the kind New York is famous for – antiregulatory in spirit rather than outright illegal.
Hurry Down Sunshine – Page 36


Then it hit her: they already know about their genius, it isn’t a secret, but much worse: genius has been suppressed in them, as it had been suppressed in her. And the enormous effort required to keep it from percolating to the surface and reasserting its glorious hold on our lives is the cause of all human suffering.
Hurry Down Sunshine – Page 19

 

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