Quotes

 

If anything was certain, it was that there would always be people looking for someone to tell them what to believe in and what to do.  –Jeff Guinn, Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson


 

To live is to be marked. To live is to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Some of us know how we came by our fortune, and some of us don’t, but we wear it all the same. There’s only one question worth asking now: How do we aim to live with it?  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Everything that comes of morning undoes itself before nightfall: rooster walks back into forest, fires die down, birds coo-coo-coo, sun sinks away, sky bleeds, passes out, goes dark, nothing exists. Ashes to ashes.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Sometimes you just want to lay on down and look at the whole world sideways.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Oh, it’s a fine and useless enterprise, trying to fix destiny. That trail leads straight back to the time before we ever lived, and into that deep well it’s easy to cast curses like stones on our ancestors. But that’s nothing more than cursing ourselves and all that made us.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

You can curse the dead or pity them, but don’t expect them to do a thing for you. They’re far too interested in watching us, to see what in heaven’s name we will do next.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

God grants us long enough lives to punish ourselves.  –Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible


 

“It is required of every man,” the Ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world—oh, woe is me!—and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”  –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


 

Japan isn’t a great place to be a free anything, because free just means all alone and out of it.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Death is certain. Life is always changing, like a puff of wind in the air, or a wave in the sea, or even a thought in the mind. So making a suicide is finding the edge of life. It stops life in time, so we can grasp what shape it is and feel it is real, at least for just a moment. It is trying to make some real solid thing from the flow of life that is always changing.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

You can feel life completely by taking it away.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

But in the time it takes to say now, now is already over. It’s already then. Then is the opposite of now. So saying now obliterates its meaning, turning it into exactly what it isn’t. It’s like the word is committing suicide or something…. Catching it destroys it, and I felt like I was disappearing, too.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

In the shadows of the bathhouse, watching her pale, crooked body rise from the steam in the dark wooden tub, I thought she looked ghostly—part ghost, part child, part young girl, part sexy woman, and part yamamba [mountain witch/hag], all at once. All the ages and stages, combined into a single female time being.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Both life and death manifest in every moment of existence. Our human body appears and disappears moment by moment, without cease, and this ceaseless arising and passing away is what we experience as time and being. They are not separate. They are one thing, and in even a fraction of a second, we have the opportunity to choose, and to turn the course of our action either toward the attainment of truth or away from it. Each instant is utterly critical to the whole world.  –Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being


 

I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.  –Veronica Roth, Divergent

A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”  –Veronica Roth, Divergent

People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.  –Veronica Roth, Divergent


 

Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.  –Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.  –Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

There were things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So I buried them, and let them hurt me. –Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


 

Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book. –Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing. –Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share. –Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Why did god create a dual universe?
So he might say
‘Be not like me. I am alone.’
And it might be heard. –Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves


 

The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness. –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is probably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I thought of my dad telling me that the universe wants to be noticed. But what we want is to be noticed by the universe, to have the universe give a shit what happens to us—not the collective idea of sentient life but each of us, as individuals. –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations. –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


 

The Fadiman family believed in carnal love. To us, a book’s words were holy, but the paper, cloth cardboard, glue, thread, and ink that contained them were a mere vessel, and it was no sacrilege to treat them as wantonly as desire and pragmatism dictated. Hard use was a sign not of disrespect but of intimacy. –Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader


 

You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet — you’ve not got your niche in creation. –Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness

 

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