Memorable Lines: Natalia Ginzburg
He always feels hot. I always feel cold. In the summer when it really is hot he does nothing but complain about how hot he feels. He is irritated if he sees me put a jumper on in the evening.
He speaks several languages well; I do not speak any well. He manages – in his own way – to speak even the languages that he doesn’t know.
He has an excellent sense of direction. I have none at all. After one day in a foreign city he can move about in it as thoughtlessly as a butterfly. I get lost in my own city; I have to ask directions so that I can get back home again. He hates asking directions; when we go by car to a town we don’t know he doesn’t want to ask directions and tells me to look at the map. I don’t know how to read maps and I get confused by all the little red circles and he loses his temper.
Natalia Ginzburg, from “He and I,” an essay about marriage.
Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991) – essayist, novelist, activist. Of her writing, she said:
“When I write something I usually think it is very important and that I am a very fine writer. I think this happens to everyone. But there is one corner of my mind in which I know very well what I am, which is a small, a very small writer. I swear I know it. But that doesn’t matter much to me. Only, I don’t want to think about names: I can see that if I am asked ‘a small writer like who?’ it would sadden me to think of the names of other small writers. I prefer to think that no one has ever been like me; however small, however much a mosquito or a flea of a writer I may be. The important thing is to be convinced that this really is your vocation, your profession, something you will do all your life.”