Molly Fischer on Elena Ferrante and friendship:
"Childhood friendships of the kind I’m describing are like the primordial soup of human relationships, messy and unformed but with the raw parts to make anything that might come after. Such friends are like family (you need, or hate, or cannot forsake them) and a beloved (you are so jealous, so sensitive to their slights!) and an alternative (better?) self, squashed into one. And Ferrante’s subject is exactly this sort of friendship."
Photograph by Trent Parke/Magnum
I got into Ukraine late in the evening after 30 hours of travel and about 2 hours of sleep. I was looking forward to sleeping most of the day, but woke up early to a text from my translator: “School begins today. So if you can find a school by 9 AM, you’ll find Ukrainian children with flowers in their hair.”
"We just woke up from our nap. It’s an emotional time."
"What has been your greatest accomplishment in life?"
"When I was young, my best friend and I were taking an exam to qualify for pilot school. I knew all the answers so I raced through the exam, but my best friend was struggling with the math. So I leaned over and tried to help him, but we both got caught and were automatically failed. I didn’t get to be a pilot, but I’ve always felt good about trying to help my friend become one."