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Words

A selection of quotes I have collected along my literary and lyrical travels…

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I closed my notebook and sat in the cafe thinking about real time. Is it time uninterrupted? Only the present comprehended? Are our thoughts nothing but passing trains, no stops, devoid of dimension, whizzing by massive posters with repeating images? Catching a fragment from a window seat, yet another fragment from the next identical frame? If I write in the present yet digress is that real time? Real time, I reasoned, cannot be divided into sections like numbers on the face of a clock. If I write about the past as I simultaneously dwell in the present, am I still in real time? Perhaps there is no past or future, only the perpetual present that contains this trinity of memory.

— Patti Smith, M Train

In a wink, a lifetime, we pass through the infinite movements of a silent overture.

— Patti Smith, M Train

Several minutes after midnight, Lenny and I were performing on the stage of Max’s. The people were raucous, divided, the electricity in the air tangible. It was the first hour of the New Year as I looked out into the crowd, I remembered again what my mother always said. I turned to Lenny. “So as today, the rest of the year.”

— Patti Smith, Just Kids

The other afternoon, when you feel asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.

— Patti Smith (about Robert Mapplethorpe), Just Kids

Hopeless tragedies of life can never technically be called beautiful, but when appearing on the background of art, they delight us because of the convincingness of their reality.

— Rabindranath Tagore, The Meaning of Art

I like you so much, Marianne said. Connell felt a pleasurable sorrow come over him, which brought him close to tears. Moments of emotional pain arrived like this, meaningless or at least indecipherable.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

Connell wished he knew how other people conducted their private lives, so that he could copy from example.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

Now he looks into her cold interpretive eyes and thinks: Okay, I will miss her. He feels ambivalent about this, as if it’s disloyal of him, because maybe he’s enjoying how she looks or some physical aspect of her closeness. He’s not sure what friends are allowed to enjoy about each other.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

This quality of discernment, she has realised, does not make Lukas a good person. He has managed to nurture a fine artistic sensitivity without ever developing any real sense of right and wrong. The fact that this is even possible unsettles Marianne, and makes art seem pointless suddenly.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

There’s always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People
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