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“You have to look! […] That’s another one of our rules. Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on. In fact, things will be even worse the next time you open your eyes. That’s the kind of world we live in, Mr. Nakata. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won’t make time stand still.”

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

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“In that hideous water, bodies floated past. Some were alive, calling out. A searchlight revealed a boy halfway up the anchor chain of a battle ship. Sailors dumped oil on him and he slipped back into the water. 

On the deck of the ship, three new French citizens looked back at the burning city, ablaze from end to end. The fire would continue for the next three days, the flames visible for fifty miles. At sea, sailors would mistake the rising smoke for a gigantic mountain range. In the country they were headed for, America, the burning of Smyrna made the front pages for a day or two, before being bumped off by the Hall-Mills murder case (the body of Hall, a Protestant minister, had been found with that of Miss Mills, an attractive choir member) and the opening of the World Series.”

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex