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Words

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

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Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered

— Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

— Victor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire.

— Victor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

That’s what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?

— Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Words of divine consciousness: moral exaltation; lasting feelings of elevation, elation, joy; a quickening of the moral sense, which strikes on as more important than an intellectual understanding of things; an alignment of the universe along moral lines, not intellectual ones; a realization that the founding principle of existence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineluctably.

— Yann Martel, Life of Pi

It is perhaps the profound way in which capitalism enters women’s minds and bodies that renders ‘ruthless comparison’ the basic mode of their relationships with others.

— Zadie Smith, NW

The past is always tense, the future perfect

— Zadie Smith, White Teeth
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