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Tag: Literature

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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

Those eyes, those endless mud brown pools of sticky, bottomless love.

— Meera Sayal, Anita & Me

She has the gift of accepting her life; as he comes to know her, he realizes that she has never wished she were anyone other than herself, raised in any other place, in any other way. This, in his opinion, is the biggest difference between them, a thing far more foreign to him than the beautiful house she’d grown up in, her education at private schools.

— Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

Half closing the eyes can also change the values of what I look upon… Such illusions, depending on how the eye is placed and used, drive home the truth that our habitual vision of things is not necessarily right: it is only one of an infinite number, and to glimpse an unfamiliar one, even for a moment, unmakes us, but steadies us again. It’s queer but invigorating. It will take a long time to get to the end of a world that behaves like this is I do no more than turn round on my side or my back.

— Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain, 1977

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

The thing to be known grows with the knowing.

— Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain, 1977

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

There were times when the pressure to achieve happiness felt almost oppressive, as if happiness were something that everyone should and could attain, and that any sort of compromise in its pursuit was somehow your fault.

— Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

I have heard of a strange delusion that the sun does not shine up here. It does; and because of the clarity of the air its light has power: it has more power, I suppose, in light than in heat.

— Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain, 1977
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