Nicole Krauss QuotesNicole Krauss 1] is an American author best known for her four novels Man Walks Into a Room (2002), The History of Love (2005), Great House (2010) and Forest Dark (2017). Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, and Granta's Best American Novelists Under 40, and has been collected in Best American Short Stories 2003 and Best American Short Stories 2008. Her novels have been translated into 35 languages. In 2010, she was selected as one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers to watch. In 2011, Nicole Krauss won an award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for Great House.
To touch and feel each thing in the world, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recognized by the shape of its absence. So that you can continue to possess the lost, because absence is the only constant thing. Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been.
For me, what I am making in the novel is a place to live. When I first switched from poetry to novels, I was asked why, and the metaphor I came up with was about poems as rooms. You can make a room perfect, but then you have to shut the door and never go back, whereas a novel is like a house – it can never be perfect, but you can make a life in it.
Obviously I’ve been reading Kafka for a long long time, since I was really young, and even before I ever read him I knew who he was. I had this weird sense that he was some kind of family. Like Uncle Kafka. Now I really think of him that way, the way we think about an uncle who opened up some path for being in a family that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. I think of him that way as a writer and a familial figure.
Once upon a time you were a fish. How do you know? Because I was also a fish. You, too? Sure. A long time ago. Anyway, being a fish, you knew how to swim. You were a great swimmer. A champion swimmer, you were. You loved the water. Why? What do you mean, why? Why did I love the water? Because it was your life! And as we talked, I would have let him go one finger at a time, until, without his realizing, he’d be floating without me. Perhaps that is what it means to be a father-to teach your child to live without you.
The clarity was startling and Samson wondered whether he was imagining these moments. Not that they hadn’t happened at all, but that they had been embellished by details from elsewhere, fragments that survived the obliteration of other memories, vagrant data that gravitated and stuck to what was left to remember. But in the end he rejected this idea. The memories were too perfect: take one detail away and they collapsed into disorder.