What stronger love than adultery

Then they had a long discussion, talked about how to rid themselves of the need for hiding, for deception, for living in different towns and not seeing each other for long periods. How could they free themselves from these unbearable bonds? “How? How?” he asked, clutching his head. “how?” And it seemed that, just a little more – and the solution would be found, and then a new, beautiful life would begin; and it was clear to both of them that the end was still far, far off, and that the most complicated and difficult part was just beginning.

Anton Chekhov, The lady with the dog



The dangers of a safety and perfection

“I think we need some kind of adversity in our lives. We need the threat of falling off a cliff, physically. Like how people go on holidays where the main idea isn’t relaxation, but the feeling of life being threatened, by say, malaria, or a tiger attack, food poisoning, robbing. You know, thrill seeking.”

Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


We weren’t made for the office cubicle. Maybe that’s why depression is an urban disease. We lack adversity — and even more so now.

Falling off and falling in love

“There’s a story, about a woman who falls in love with anyone who saves her from falling off a cliff, I forget the details. The point is, it could have been a tramp, or a politician, or a celebrity, or a horticulturalist that saved her, and she would have fallen in love regardless.”

Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


Lol horticultarlist.

Reminds me of that experiment where the researcher/interviewer is regarded as more attractive when she meets the subject at the top of a shaky suspended bridge. Maybe it becomes even more intense when you are actually about to fall off a cliff.

Researchers have said that the suspended bridge experiment points towards falling in love more easily when in a state of fear. But can’t it be the case that the interviewer – who was equally afraid at the suspended bridge – was the one who appeared more attractive in her state of fear? Dilated pupils. Pheromones. A vulnerability in her voice.

Filipino men

I asked why Manang’s brother wouldn’t repay her generosity by helping her out, and my mother replied that he was probably worse off than Manang. The Filipinos who stayed behind in the provinces were often jobless, which was why many of them left home. She added, “Filipino men are lazy. Deadbeats, all of them, unlike the women”

Kirsten Chen, “Foreign and Domestic” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


I used to be quite interested in the study of History. Still kind of am. Back then, I was quite dismissive of the historical value of fiction. But the above quote is taken from a short story – which is probably based on some form of autobiographical experience. The plot might be fictitious but the setting and the paradigm may be from real life experiences.

People are worse than ghosts

“That’s right,” he said quietly. “If you’re going to be scared of something you should be scared of people. They’re much worse than ghosts.

Miyuki Miyabe, Brave Story


For that reason, I never found movies about ghosts to be scary. Rather I have been more afraid of psycho shows — about deranged kidnappers, murderous inn-keepers, and serial killers that pose as children.

The obligation of a beautiful person

A beautiful person has a gift, just like a writer or a painter. It’s not something that’s given to everybody; it’s a special favour. But writers and painters have to work to develop their gifts, and so do you. That’s your duty. In a sense, you’re a kind of artist yourself, at least that’s the way I look at it. But at the moment, you’re neglecting your duty.

Natsuo Kirino, Out

A piece of gory dark fiction. This was a conversation between a pimp and a beautiful Japanese cabaret girl btw.