1. “Oh, you mean why all this. You’ll find out, I don’t think that either you or I is too much to blame. We’re not grown up yet, lucia. It’s a virtue, but it costs a lot. Children always end up pulling each other’s hair when they’ve finished playing. That’s the way it probably is. Think about it.” (91).
2. “hopscotch is played with a pebble you move with the tip of your toe. The things you need: a sidewalk, a pebble, a toe, and a pretty chalk drawing, preferably in colors. . . . little by little you start to get the knack of how to jump over the different squares and then one day you learn how to leave earth and make th pebble climb up into heaven, the worst part is that at precisely at that moment, when practically no one has learned how to make that pebble climb up into heaven, childhood is over all of a sudden and you’re into novels, into the anguish of the senseless divine trajectory, into the speculation about another heaven that you have to learn to reach too.” (214).
3. “and in this way duty, morals, the immoral and the amoral, justice, charity, the European and the American, day and night, wives, sweethearts, and girlfriends, the army and the bar . . . came to be like teeth and hair, something accepted and inevitably incorporated, something which was not alive or capable of being analyzed because that’s the way it is and it makes us what we are.” (80).
4. “it’s impossible to live with a puppeteer who works with shadows, a moth-tamer. Someone who spends his time making pictures out of the iridescent rings the oil makes on the seine is unacceptable.” (182).
5. “and these crises that most people think of as terrible, as absurd, I personally think they serve to show us the real absurdity, the absurdity of an ordered and calm world . . .” (164)
6. “the absurdity is that it doesn’t look like an absurdity.” (165)
7. “action can give meaning to your life” (166)
8. “the second should be read by beginning with chapter 73 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each chapter.” Table of instructions
9. “without any words I feel, I know, that I am here, . . . that’s what I call reality. Even if that’s all it is.” (160)
10. “reality is there and we’re inside of it, understanding it each in his own way” (161)
11. “the intercessors, one unreality, showing us another, like painted saints pointing towards heaven. This cannot exist, we can not really be here, I cannot be someone whose name is horacio” (12).
12. “the absurd thing is to believe that we can grasp the totality of what constitutes us in this moment or in any moment, and sense it as something coherent, something acceptable” (163).
13. “life as a commentary of something else we cannot reach, which is there within reach of the leap we will not take.” (458)
14. “and then you start talking about the search for unity, then I start to see a lot of beautiful things, but they’re all dead, pressed flowers and things like that.” (76).
15. “the catch is that nature and reality become enemies for some unknown reason, there is a time when nature sounds horribly false, when the reality of age twenty rubs elbows with that of age forty and on each elbow there is a razor-blade which slashes our jackets. I discover new worlds which are simultaneous and alien, and every time I get the feeling more and more that to agree is the worst of illusions. Why this thirst for universiality, why this struggle against time?” (93)