A Month In Siena Quotes

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Okay, okay . . . where do you hear it coming from?” “Around here somewhere.” “Always in this spot?” “No. Not always. You are going to think I am even more insane, but I swear it is following me around.” “Maybe it is my new powers. The power to drive you mad.” She wriggled her fingers at him theatrically as if she were casting a curse on him. “You already drive me mad,” he teased, dragging her up against him and nibbling her neck with a playful growling. “Ah hell,” he broke off. “I really am going mad. I cannot believe you cannot hear that. It is like a metronome set to some ridiculously fast speed.” He turned and walked into the living room, looking around at every shelf. “The last person to own this place probably had a thing for music and left it running. Listen. Can you hear that?” “No,” she said thoughtfully, “but I can hear you hearing it if I concentrate on your thoughts. What in the world . . . ?” Gideon turned, then turned again, concentrating on the rapid sound, following it until it led him right up to his wife. “It is you!” he said. “No wonder it is following me around. Are you wearing a watch?” He grabbed her wrist and she rolled her eyes. “A Demon wearing a watch? Now I have heard everything.” Suddenly Gideon went very, very still, the cold wash of chills that flooded through him so strong that she shivered with the overflow of sensation. He abruptly dropped to his knees and framed her hips with his hands. “Oh, Legna,” he whispered, “I am such an idiot. It is a baby. It is our baby. I am hearing it’s heartbeat!” “What?” she asked, her shock so powerful she could barely speak. “I am with child?” “Yes. Yes, sweet, you most certainly are. A little over a month. Legna, you conceived, probably the first time we made love. My beautiful, fertile, gorgeous wife.” Gideon kissed her belly through her dress, stood up, and caught her up against him until she squeaked with the force of his hug. Legna went past shock and entered unbelievable joy. She laughed, not caring how tight he held her, feeling his joy on a thousand different levels. “I never thought I would know this feeling,” he said hoarsely. “Even when we were getting married, I never thought . . . It did not even enter my mind!” Gideon set her down on her feet, putting her at arm’s length as he scanned her thoroughly from head to toe. “I cannot understand why I did not become aware of this sooner. The chemical changes, the hormone levels alone . . .” “Never mind. We know now,” she said, throwing herself back up against him and hugging him tightly. “Come, we have to tell Noah . . . and Hannah! Oh, and Bella! And Jacob, of course. And Elijah. And we should inform Siena—” She was still rattling off names as she teleported them to the King’s castle.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Words are philosophies. We have to assume that each is purposeful about its contradictions, that each word means what it says. The English word “demonstration” has at least two meanings: one refers to the public act of protest—to march, rally, declare or express an opinion—and the other is to do with showing, with making something manifest or apparent in order to instruct or display. The Arabic muthahara, the Persian tathaharat, the French manifestation, the Italian manifestazione and the Spanish manifestación—all, regardless of their variant linguistic roots, agree that in a demonstration there are at least these two sides: one concerned with making something apparent and the other with objection. Several other languages have come to the same conclusion. This seems to make perfect sense: one could argue that in order to protest one needs to make something clear. By the same token the need to exhibit is an act against oblivion, a resistance to emptiness; that art and death exist at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Hisham Matar (A Month in Siena)
The programme of the previous year was repeated in 1860. Returning from Rome to Florence at the beginning of June, the Brownings in July went to Siena to avoid the extreme heat of the summer at Florence, staying as before at the Villa Alberti. Their visit to Siena was, however, rather shorter than the previous one, lasting only till September. There is no doubt that Mrs. Browning, during all this time, was losing ground in point of health; and she now received another severe blow in the news of the serious illness of her sister Henrietta (Mrs. Surtees Cook). The anxiety lasted for several months, and ended with the death of Mrs. Cook in the following winter.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Complete Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
evolutionary terms, failure is its prerequisite, frustration its generator.
Hisham Matar (A Month in Siena)
there is a contradiction between what desire wants – complete conquest – and what it needs in order to continue to exist:
Hisham Matar (A Month in Siena)
Desire is that animal that remains fit only through undernourishment.
Hisham Matar (A Month in Siena)