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Words

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

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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 fo their reality.

— Rabindranath Tagore, The Meaning of Art

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

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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