“A very ugly object can also make an ugly room less ugly by comparison. Another affordable way to add a drop of loveliness to the world was not to change it but to change how one saw it.” A passage from The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“ … for what one should never do was to require other people to imagine they were just like one of us. Spiritual teleportation unsettled most people, who, if they thought of others at all, preferred to think that others were just like them or could be just like them.” A passage from The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“What Violet was telling me was that we could not represent ourselves; we must be represented, in this case by other Asians. The little one playing Danny Boy was the scion of a venerable Filipino acting family, but if he looked Vietnamese, then I could pass for the pope.” A passage from The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“Typical white man behavior, Ms. Mori said. Have you ever noticed how a white man can learn a few words of some Asian language and we just eat it up? He could ask for a glass of water and we’d treat him like Einstein.” A passage from The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“As Hegel said, tragedy was not the conflict between right and wrong but right and right, a dilemma none of us who wanted to participate in history could escape.” A passage from The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“As surpluses grew, specializations multiplied. Five thousand years ago, in the southern Mesopotamian city of Uruk, someone compiled a list of a hundred different special roles, the Standard Professions List. It was obviously important and widely known, because similar lists were copied by trainee scribes for many centuries. Organized hierarchically…
“As population grew, the Natufians had to extract more resources from the land. That meant grooming the land more carefully, and eventually it meant taking up some form of farming. The Natufians were falling into a honey trap. They had built their first villages in what seemed like an ecological…