The Secret History by Donna Tartt


I have a habit of writing down parts of books that in some way stand out to me or that I particularly like. I started doing it during my trip through New Zealand in 2015. One of the first books I did this with was The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which I remember buying from a big book and stationary store on Wellington's Lambton Quary with a friend of mine.

It seemed my whole life was composed of these disjointed fractions of time, hanging around in one public place and then another, as if I were waiting for trains that never came.

The Secret History, p. 130

Does anyone remember Plato's definition of Justice in the Republic? Justice, in a society, is when each level of a hierarchy works within its place and is content with it. A poor man who wishes to rise above his station is only making himself needlessly miserable. And the wise poor have always known this, the same as do the wise rich.

The Secret History, p. 235

Candy-colored pretties, bright on a sheet of typing paper. There were still quite a lot of them, plenty for my purposes. […] So easy, to feel them go down my throat: but blinking in the glare of my desk lamp, I was struck with a wave of revulsion so strong it was almost nausea. Horrific as it was, the present dark, I was afraid to leave it for the other, permanent dark – jelly and bloat, the muddy pit.

The Secret History, p. 551

What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? […] The dead appear to us in dreams because that’s the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star...

The Secret History, p. 627