Author: Richard Powers

Quotations


Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation

topics:

Her trees are far more social than even Patricia suspected. There are no individuals. There aren't even separate species. Everything in the forest is the forest. Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation. Trees fight no more than do the leaves on a single tree. It seems most of nature isn't red in tooth and claw, after all. For one, those species at the base of the living pyramid have neither teeth nor talons. But if trees share their storehouses, then every drop of red must float on a sea of green.

From the book The Overstory

— 2018


A Hundred Species of Love

topics:

She takes his shaking hand in the dark. It feels good, like a root must feel when it finds, after centuries, another root to pleach to underground. There are a hundred species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things.

From the book The Overstory

— 2018


The only dependable things are humility and looking

topics:

Watching the man, hard-of-hearing, hard-of-speech Patty learns that real joy consists of knowing that human wisdom counts less than the shimmer of beeches in a breeze. As certain as weather is coming from the west, the things people know for sure will change. There is no knowing for a fact. The only dependable things are humility and looking.

From the book The Overstory

— 2018


Which side will lose by winning

topics:

Aspens are withering. Grazed on by everything with hooves, cut off from rejuvenating fire, whole groves are vanishing. Now she sees a forest, spreading across these mountains since before humans left Africa, giving way to second homes. She sees it in one great glimpse of flashing gold: trees and humans, at war over the land and water and atmosphere. And she can hear, louder than the quaking leaves, which side will lose by winning.

From the book The Overstory

— 2018


The world is failing precisely because

topics:

To be human is to confuse a satisfying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs. No: life is mobilized on a vastly larger scale, and the world is failing precisely because no novel can make the contest for the world seem as compelling as the struggles between a few lost people.

From the book The Overstory

— 2018

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