Veronica Decides To Die

I came across this book by chance and I was intrigued by its title. The problem is that once I started the first pages I could not put the book down. The title might suggest doom and gloom but even if it is weird how the story evolves one will be surprised, very surprised with its ending.

To create realistic characters or believable plot is not the point of this book and certainly not the author’s intention. I guess one really has no choice but to agree with this as it is patently obvious that this is not so much a book as a meditation on insanity with characters and plot which are merely vehicles to convey the author's thoughts on the subject and encourage the reader to reflect on the same and to explore how they may feel/behave/think in similar circumstances. 

Veronika is a 24 year old Slovenian woman who one day decides to kill herself, apparently because

(1) "everything in her life was the same and, once her youth was gone, it would be downhill all the way" and
(2) everything is wrong with the world and she feels powerless to make things right. After she takes an overdose of sleeping pills, Veronika wakes up in a mental hospital.

The author manages somehow to make you feel a love and hate relation with Veronika because her actions are so absurd and incomprehensible yet I wish I were able and feel really free to do them without worrying what others are saying about my actions.

In my opinion it is a very good read. It's a real journey to discover oneself and to know what counts the most in our lives.  it also made me wonder, who's really crazy in today's world :)

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

P 1
There is alwayas a gap between intention and action.

P 2
Nothing in this world happens by chance.

P 5
She laughed to think of the controversy in the newspapers, with some for and some against her suicide committed in honour of conutry's cause.

P 7
The human race must procreate. Society needs workers. A couple has to have a reason to stay together even when love has ceased to exist, and a country needs soldiers, politicians and artists.

P 8
God knows the past, the present and the future. In that case, he had placed her in this world with the full knowledge that she would end up killing herself, and he would no longer shocked by her actions.
-- This would work as great rationalisation for committing any kind of sin.

P 12
Absurd though it (she fighting with her husband over his mistress) may seem, I think that was the happiest time of her life. She was fighting for something, She felt alive and capable of responding to the challenges facing her.

P 13
Atlast she resigned to her fate.

P 16
And when he thought about it - and it must be said, he rarely did.

P 19
Some people always want to help others. Just so that they can feel better than they really are.

P 20
People think about sex only once a fortnight and transform that thought into action only once a month.

P 25
A lot of people would talk about the horrors in other people's lives as if they were genuinely concerned to help them, but the truth was that they took pleasure in suffering of others, because that made them believe that they were happy and their life had been generous with them.
She wasnt going to give this man an opportunity to take advantage of her state, in order to mask his own frustrations.

P 27
She had always spent her life waiting for something.

P 30
Her body was warmed by the desire of the person waiting for her.

P 32
I have never been depressed, never felt great joy or sadness, atleast none that lasted.

P 33
It seemed that noone wanted to share their inner world with strangers

P 35
She is not going to stop something which gives her pleasure just to be nice to a complete stranger. If she should react badly, you'll never have another chance to approach her. Tha mad always believe in first impressions.

P 36
After all she was mad too and she nolonger worried about pleasing anyone.

P 37
Veronika assumed an ironic air, smiled, turned and moved off so that no one would notice that her eyes were filling with tears.

P 38
She had never allowed herself to be provoked.
She needed to get back to the person she used to be, someone able to respond with irony, to pretend that insults didnt bother her because she was better than all of them.
Here I am with my days literally numbered giving importance to the remarks made by people I have never seen before.

P 39
In adolescence she thought it was too early to choose, now in youth she was convinced it was too late to change.

She went to work everyday always keeping to the same time table, always making sure she wasnt perceived as threat by her superiors. She was contented but she didnt struggle and hence she didnt grow.

P 41
Veronika regretted the slap not because she was afraid of the man's reaction, but because she had done something different. If she wasnt careful she might end up convinced that life wasnt worth living, and that would cause her pointless pain.
When the days are all the same, they pass more quickly.

P 49
Any drastic change in life could cause depression.
A man hidden in her past, or rather the fantasy she had built up about a man she had known a long time ago.
Like every normal young girl she needed to experience the impossible love.

P 52
What once seemed to her as a paradise, gradually turned out into hell.

She had used impossible love as an excuse, a pretext for breaking ties with the life she led.
To exchange her life as a respected wife for the life as someone else's secret mistress.

P 55
People never learn anything by being told, they have to findout for themselves.

P 59
Thats why I was crying. When I took the pills I wanted to kill someone I hated. I didnt know that other Veronikas existed inside me, Veronikas that I could love.

P 60
A person like everyone else in the world needed other people in order to be happy.

P 62
She had opened the door to her personal hell. She hated the love she had been given, because it had asked for nothing in return, which was absurd, unreal and against the laws of nature.

P 63
She had felt such pure hatred that now she had no more rancour left in her heart.
She had actually felt them, and they are no longer necessary, they could leave. She sat in silence enjoying the present moment, letting love fill up the empty space left behind by hatred.

P 66
The best way to avoid trouble is to share responsibility.

P 73
Veronika had always hated goodbyes.

P 75
How can you be so heartless?

P 78
A schizophrenic is a person who already has a natural tendency to absent himself from this world.

P 80
Imagine the excitement aroused by each gesture the victim made.

P 81
They became unable to leave their world, where they had spent enormous reserves of energy constructing high walls in order to make reality what they wanted it to be.

P 82
proud of being misunderstood. after all that was a price every genius had to pay.

P 85
There had been one missing element that would have transformed that love into a blessing. She should have allowed herself to be a little madder.

Whenever her dream was awoken though the feeling of frustration was so intense that she immediately sent it back to sleep.

A husband likes that kind of thing in a wife, He can show you off at parties.

P 89
Why didnt you stick to your guns? What did you have to lose?
My dignity by being where I wasnt welcome.

P 91
You have 2 choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.

P 92
Stay mad, but behave like normal people. Run the risk of being different, but learn to do so without attracting attention.
She must learn to care less about annoying others.

Did she really know what it meant to have an orgasm? Or had she only gone as far as men had wanted to take her?

P 100
At first she had tried to avoid her, afraid to awaken the young woman's desire to live.

P 113
He knew he had more chance of getting a reply to his silence than to any question.

P 114
doctor who answered to the name of Dr Igor.

P 116
We are allowed to make a lot of mistakes in our lives, except the mistake that destroys our lives.

P 118
He was so good looking. If only he would take one step outside his world and see her as a woman, then her last nights on this earth might be the most beautiful of her entire life.
I could fall in love right now and give everything I have to you.

P 119
All the manuals of good behavior say that you should never speak of love so directly.
Tonight I played for you like a woman in love. It was wonderful. It was the best moment of my entire life.

P 121
Her first orgasm came and she bit her lips so as not to cry out with pleasure.
She imagined herself both queen and slave, dominatrix and victim.

P 122
She gave herself to all that was most base and most pure.
It was so good that I can see love in everything, even in the eyes of a schizophrenic.

P 123
Veronika needed to reward him for the immense pleasure he had given her, merely by staying with her and witnessing her madness without horror or repulsion. -- do I owe the same to Shiva & Kishore?

P 124
She played in order to give Eduard as much pleasure as she herself had experienced.

P 127
To smile at every man I felt attracted to.

P 130
An orgy must be completely anarchic and joyful in which the feeling of possession no longer existed, just pleasure and confusion.

P 131
Sexual desire disappeared in the 3rd or 4th year of living together. After that the wife felt rejected and the man felt trapped.
My husband would think I was behaving like a prostitute.
My wife deserves my respect.
It was very dangerous being uninhibited in bed.

P 139
I am tired of all this. But I am used to it too.

P 142
Veronika didnt know what he was talking about. She regretted having taken his hand, she wanted to get away from there as soon as possible, to hide her shame, never again to see that man who had witnessed all that was most sordid in her and who nevertheless continued to treat her with such tenderness.

P 145
He began to understand that love was something other than what his parents gave him.

P 146
I would say that if someone only has a short time to live and decides to spend that time sitting beside a bed, watching a man sleeping, then that must be love.

P 147
If you were to die now, you would die with your heart full of love.

P 148
Many people dont allow themselves to love because of that. Because there are a lot of things at risk, a lot of future and a lot of past.
I will look at men in the street, right in theie eyes and I wont feel guilty about feeling desired.

P 153
You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness.
This is very true in my case. I am different. But I keep asking questin why others are not like me? why others are enjoying such simple things of life? Dont worry about that Srikanth. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude.

P 155
The girl was playing the music with such soul because she knew she was going to die. And am I not going to die? Where is my soul that I might play the music of my own life with such enthusiasm?

It took me three years to understand that life was pushing me in a direction I didnt want to go in.

P 161
The art of diplomacy consists in keeping your opponent waiting. Whilst you may never get over first love affair, it always ends.

His wife felt proud and reassured. Her husband was an experienced man, he had entered the world of drugs and emerged unscathed. A man with such strength of will could control any situation.

P 165
perhaps she had found someone else to go with her to the crystal mountains.

P 169
worried that Eduard's interest in painting was lasting longer than expected,

P 171
After all diplomacy is also the art of postponing decisions until the problems resolve themselves.

P 172
He wasnt used to such outspoken expressions of affection.
You are deceiving yourself. Running away from reality.

P 173
He wanted something for which he had not been chosen and the price of which was his parents disappointment.

P 174
He thought that he could just give up and follow his father's advice, but he had advanced too far in his work. He had crossed the abyss that seperates a man from his dream and now there was no going back. He couldnt go forwards or back. It was easier just to leave the stage.

P 175
It would be far too early for me to tell you that I love you, but since I probably wont live through the night, it would also be too late.

P 176
Dont be embarrassed about being loved. I am not asking you for anything.

P 185
Look at my face. Remember it with the eyes of your soul, so that you can reproduce it one day. If you like, that can be your starting point, but you must go back to painting.
Letting you engrave my face on your soul.
asked the God she did not believe in to take her at that very moment.

P 190
An awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely.
Dr Igor was too excited by the results to pay much attention to minor details.
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