"

We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child…

There was still daylight, shining softly and with a tarnish, like the lining of a shell; and the carbon lamps lifted at the corners were on in the light, and the locusts were started, and the fire flies were out, and a few frogs were flopping in the dewy grass, by the time the fathers and the children came out. The children ran out first hell bent and yelling those names by which they were known; then the fathers sank out leisurely in crossed suspenders, their collars removed and their necks looking tall and shy. The mothers stayed back in the kitchen washing and drying, putting things away, recrossing their traceless footsteps like the lifetime journeys of bees, measuring out the dry cocoa for breakfast.

"

A Death in the Family, James Agee.

"The rain began coming down faster: someone had suddenly tilted the sky."

Nabokov, The Gift

"One was the old ninteenth-century vision of Paris as the naturally modern place, the place where the future was going to happen as surely as it would happen in New York. If a train were going to run to the moon, that train would originate from the Gare du Nord, with Parisian kids getting worn our while they waited. But the image represented another, more intense association, and that is the idea that there is for some Americans anyway a direct path between the sublunary city and a celestial state. Americans, Henry James wrote, “are too apt to think that Paris is the celestial city,” and even if we don’t think that, some of us do think of it as the place where tickets are sold for the train to get you there."

Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon

"We all see our Paris as true, because it is. It is not an old or antiquated Paris that we love, but the persistent, modern material Paris, carrying on in a time of postmodern immateriality, when everything seems about to dissolve into pixels. We love Paris not out of “nostalgia” but because we love the look of light on things, as opposed to the look of light from things, the world reduced to images radiating from screens. Paris was the site of the most beautiful commonplace civilization there has ever been: cafés, brasseries, parks, lemons on trays, dappled light on bourgeois boulevards, department stores with skylights, and windows like doors everywhere you look."

Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon