It isn’t just that children take a long time to show any interest in the people their parents were before they knew them (in general that interest arises only when the children reach the age their parents were when they did, in fact, first enter their lives, or when they in turn have children and, through them, remember themselves as children and wonder, perplexed, about the tutelary figures whom they now resemble), it’s also that parents become accustomed to arousing no curiosity and to keeping quiet about themselves to their children, silencing the people they were or have perhaps forgotten. Almost everyone feels ashamed of their youth, it isn’t true that we feel nostalgia for it, rather we banish it or flee from it and, with varying degrees of ease or difficulty, we confine our origins to the sphere of bad dreams or novels, or to what never existed. Our youth is something hidden, a secret to those who never knew us when we were young.

  • A Heart So White by Javier Marias



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