Lately, I've had my nose stuck in this book. It's probably the most honest and heart-wrenching piece of writing I've read in awhile. It's as if Wolff has the rare ability to reach deep into his soul, bypassing the filters of conscience, and just let loose:
We listened without objection to the stories of usurped nobility that grew in preposterous intricacy with every telling. But we did not feel as if anything we said was a lie. We both believed that the real lie was told by our present unworthy circumstances.
I wrote without heat or hyperbole, in the words my teachers would have used if they had known me as I knew myself. These were their letters. And on the boy who lived in their letters, the splendid phantom who carried all my hopes, it seemed to me I saw, at last, my own face.
When we are green, still half-created, we believe that our dreams are rights, that the world is disposed to act in our best interests, and that falling and dying are for quitters. We live on the innocent and monstrous assurance that we alone, of all the people ever born, have a special arrangment whereby we will be allowed to stay green forever.