How tiresome people were! how complicated, tortuous and impossible to judge all in one piece. And the simple ones were dull and faintly irritating. Not for the first time, Hetty decided that she preferred books.
Nightingale Wood, Stella Gibbons
“It seems to me that the whole meaning of human life can be summed up in the one statement that man only exists for the purpose of proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not an organ-stop.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
Can you understand? Not having a dream… not being needed by anyone… The pain of merely being alive.
Avoid the world, it’s just a lot of dust and drag and means nothing in the end.
— JACK KEROUAC
I know that the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started. But with Catherine there was almost no difference in the night except that it was an even better time. If people bring so much courage to the world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
“Could there be a slenderer, more insignificant thread in human history than this consciousness of a girl, busy with her small inferences of the way in which she could make her life pleasant?”
— George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
Books. People have no idea how beautiful books are. How they taste on your fingers. How bright everything is when you light it with words.”
Rachel Kadish,Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty.
“take things more easily. don’t ask yourself so much whether this or that is good for you. don’t question your conscience so much—it will get out of tune, like a strummed piano. keep it for great occasions. don’t try so much to form your character—it’s like trying to pull open a rosebud. live as you like best, and your character will form itself.” henry james, the portrait of a lady.