98 pages 3 hours read

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2012

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Important Quotes

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“I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you get right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get—and never would get.”

(Part 1, Chapter 5, Page 29)

As he sits in Dante’s room, Ari reads a book of poems by William Carlos Williams. He realizes that he likes poetry even though he always thought he hated it, and he begins thinking about how poems are similar to people. The mystery of other people is endlessly fascinating for Ari, and Dante’s influence on him is already showing.

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“Someday, I’m going to discover all the secrets of the universe.”

(Part 1, Chapter 10, Page 43)

While stargazing in the desert, Dante feels inspired to tell Ari this. Ari thinks it is a beautiful thing to say and believes him when he says it. The desert stars and night sky are a source of wonder for both of the boys.

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“I didn’t know what was happening to me. Everything was chaos and I was scared. I felt like Dante’s room before he’d put everything in order. Order. That was what I needed. So I took my journal and started writing.”

(Part 1, Chapter 10, Page 97)

While thinking about his older brother, Ari feels overwhelmed. He misses his brother dearly and compares his absence to a kind of death. He begins writing as a way to express the emotions he cannot share with his family. This hints at Ari’s love for writing that develops throughout the story.