Caroline Knapp - Quotes

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Before you get a dog, you can't quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can't imagine living any other way.

Before you get a dog, you can't quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can't imagine living any other way.

On the broad spectrum of solitude, I lean toward the extreme end: I work alone, as well as live alone, so I can pass an entire day without uttering so much as a hello to another human being. Sometimes a day's conversation consists of only five words, uttered at the local Starbucks: 'Large coffee with milk, please.'

On the broad spectrum of solitude, I lean toward the extreme end: I work alone, as well as live alone, so I can pass an entire day without uttering so much as a hello to another human being. Sometimes a day's conversation consists of only five words, uttered at the local Starbucks: 'Large coffee with milk, please.'

The kinds of roles dogs fill can be hard to come by in human relationships. We touch the dog or the pet at whim. There is a lack of self-consciousness and a fluidity to it that is absent from most human relationships. If someone acted that way to you, you'd feel claustrophobic pretty quickly. It's a boundary violation. ---->>>

Anorexia is a response to cultural images of the female body - waiflike, angular - that both capitulates to the ideal and also mocks it, strips away all the ancillary signs of sexuality, strips away breasts and hips and butt and leaves in their place a garish caricature, a cruel cartoon of flesh and bone. ---->>>

My recipe for bliss on a Friday night consists of a 'New York Times' crossword puzzle and a new episode of 'Homicide;' Saturdays and Sundays are oriented around walks in the woods with the dog, human companion in tow some of the time but not always. ---->>>

What is this drive to be thinner, prettier, better dressed, other? Who exactly is this other and what does she look like beyond the jacket she's wearing or the food she's not eating? What might we be doing, thinking, feeling about if we didn't think about body image, ever?

What is this drive to be thinner, prettier, better dressed, other? Who exactly is this other and what does she look like beyond the jacket she's wearing or the food she's not eating? What might we be doing, thinking, feeling about if we didn't think about body image, ever?

Our culture thrives on black-and-white narratives, clearly defined emotions, easy endings, and so, this thrust into complexity exhausts. ---->>>

Happy and alone, you say? Reclusive and merry? How oxymoronic! Pas possible! Alas, the concept is lost on so many. ---->>>

When you love somebody, or something, it's amazing how willing you are to overlook the flaws.

When you love somebody, or something, it's amazing how willing you are to overlook the flaws.

The hard things in life, the things you really learn from, happen with a clear mind. ---->>>

Mastery over the body - its impulses, its needs, its size - is paramount; to lose control is to risk beauty, and to risk beauty is to risk desirability, and to risk desirability is to risk entitlement to sexuality and love and self-esteem. ---->>>

Academic achievement was something I'd always sought as a form of reward. Good grades pleased my parents, good grades pleased my teachers; you got them in order to sew up approval. ---->>>

Me, I walk along and feel quietly defensive, a recluse in the Land of We. That's quite the loaded word, 'we.' ---->>>

Solitude is a breeding ground for idiosyncrasy, and I relish that about it, the way it liberates whim. ---->>>

By definition, memoir demands a certain degree of introspection and self-disclosure: In order to fully engage a reader, the narrator has to make herself known, has to allow her own self-awareness to inform the events she describes. ---->>>

I saw my parents as model grown-ups, and their manner, their silence, informed my sense of what adulthood looked and felt like. Grown-ups behaved rationally and calmly. Grown-ups worked during the day and came home at night and sat down for drinks and passed the evening quietly.

I saw my parents as model grown-ups, and their manner, their silence, informed my sense of what adulthood looked and felt like. Grown-ups behaved rationally and calmly. Grown-ups worked during the day and came home at night and sat down for drinks and passed the evening quietly.

These are big trade-offs for a simple piece of cake - add five hundred calories, subtract well-being, allure, and self-esteem - and the feelings behind them are anything but vain or shallow. ---->>>

Before you open the lunch menu or order that cheeseburger or consider eating the cake with the frosting intact, haul out the psychic calculator and start tinkering with the budget. ---->>>

I walk into a health club locker room and feel an immediate impulse toward scrutiny, the kneejerk measuring of self against other: 'That one has great thighs, this one's gained weight, who's thin, who's fat, how do I compare?' ---->>>

The clothes are different: pre-dog, I used to be very finicky and self-conscious about how I looked; now I schlep around in the worst clothing - big heavy boots, baggy old sweaters, a hooded down parka from L.L. Bean that makes me look like an astronaut. ---->>>

American companies spend more than $200 billion each year hacking women's bodies into bits and pieces, urging comparisons between self and other, linking value to air-brushed ideals, and as the girls in my seventh-grade class graduated to high school and beyond, the imagery around us would only grow more specific, more pummeling, more insidious. ---->>>

Tiny slices, no frosting, forty-five minutes on the StairMaster: These are the conditions, variations on a theme of vigilance and self-restraint that I've watched women dance to all my life, that I've danced to myself instinctively and still have to work to resist. ---->>>

When you study a dog you love, you find beauty in every small detail, and so it is with Lucille: I have become enchanted by the small asymmetrical whorls of white fur on either side of her chest, and by her tail, which she carries in a high confident curve, and by her eyes, which are watchful and intelligent, the color of chestnuts. ---->>>

Women are actually superb at math; they just happen to engage in their own variety of it, an intricate personal math in which desires are split off from one another, weighed, balance, traded, assessed. ---->>>

I've always been drawn to solitude, felt a kind of luxurious relief in its self-generated pace and rhythms. ---->>>

Cottage cheese is one of our culture's most visible symbols of self-denial; marketed honestly, it would appear in dairy cases with warning labels: this substance is self-punitive; ingest with caution. ---->>>

Census figures be damned: If you choose to be alone, you're destined to spend a certain amount of time wondering why. ---->>>

Why do I find the fantasy - husband, family, kids - exhausting instead of alluring? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have a life? ---->>>

You'll reach into your wallet to brandish a photograph of a new puppy, and a friend will say, 'Oh, no - not pictures.' ---->>>

Fall in love with a dog, and in many ways you enter a new orbit, a universe that features not just new colors but new rituals, new rules, a new way of experiencing attachment. ---->>>

I am shy by nature, a person who's always found something burdensome about human interaction and who probably always will, at least to some degree. ---->>>

Around the time I began starving, in the early eighties, the visual image had begun to supplant text as culture's primary mode of communication, a radical change because images work so differently than words: They're immediate, they hit you at levels way beneath intellect, they come fast and furious. ---->>>

Desires collide; the wish to eat bumping up against the wish to be thin, the desire to indulge conflicting with the injunction to restrain. Small wonder food makes a woman nervous. ---->>>

I eat breakfast pretty much 'round the clock - muffins in the morning, scones for lunch, cereal at night - which may be odd but is also oddly satisfying, if only because the choice is my own. ---->>>

I go to a restaurant with a group of women and pray that we can order lunch without falling into the semi-covert business of collective monitoring, in which levels of intake and restraint are aired, compared, noticed: 'What are you getting? Is that all you're having? A salad? Oh, please.' ---->>>

I'm 38 and I'm single, and I'm having my most intense and gratifying relationship with a dog. But we all learn about love in different ways, and this way happens to be mine. ---->>>

I've always walked around with the sense that the world is not a safe place. I didn't get the spontaneous gene or the adventure one, really. After going through the day with its stresses, when I shut that door at night, I don't have to deal with anything but dinner, 'E.R.' and my bathrobe. ---->>>

There is a particular whir of agitation about female hunger, a low-level thrumming of shoulds and shouldn'ts and can'ts and wants that can be so chronic and familiar it becomes a kind of feminine Muzak, easy to dismiss, or to tune out altogether, even if you're actively participating in it. ---->>>

For years, I ate the same foods every day, in exactly the same manner, at exactly the same times. ---->>>

A lot of people, quite frankly, think intense attachments to animals are weird and suspect, the domain of people who can't quite handle attachments to humans. ---->>>

Dogs have such short life spans, it's like a concentrated version of a human life. When they get older, they become much more like our mothers. They wait for us, watch out for us, are completely fascinated by everything we do. ---->>>

I don't think that the world would be a better place if everyone owned a dog, and I don't think that all relationships between dogs and their owners are good, healthy, or enriching. ---->>>

Surely, it's one of terrorism's intended effects, to literally stun our morale, to blow up strength and will along with buildings, and the reaction is hard to counter. ---->>>

Who has the best features? This was a little game, conducted several times and always with the same results, in seventh grade, the time when so many of life's little horrors begin. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 11-08, 1959
Birthplace:
Die: 06-03, 2002
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Caroline Knapp (November 8, 1959 – June 3, 2002) was an American writer and columnist whose candid best-selling memoir Drinking: A Love Story recounted her 20-year battle with alcoholism. She was the daughter of noted psychiatrist Peter H. Knapp, who did groundbreaking research into psychosomatic medicine (wikipedia)