MENU

Words

Tag: Literature

Goto page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

I had given him a life not worth living, but I had also given him an iron will to live. This was a common combination on the planet Earth.

— Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

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

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

— Sally Rooney, Normal People

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

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

That’s fine. Look–what I’m getting at is no matter who or what you’re dealing with, people build up meaning between themselves and the things around them. The important thing is whether this comes about naturally or not. Being bright has nothing to do with it. What matters is that you see things with your own eyes.

— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

What is terrible is that after every one of the phases of my life is finished, I am left with no more than some banal commonplace that everyone knows: in this case, that women’s emotions are all still fitted for a kind of society that no longer exists. My deep emotions, my real ones, are to do with my relationship with a man. One man. But I don’t live that kind of life, and I know few women who do. So what I feel is irrelevant and silly…I am always coming to the conclusion that my real emotions are foolish, I am always having, as it were, to cancel myself out. I ought to be like a man, caring more for my work than for people; I ought to put my work first, and take men as they come, or find an ordinary comfortable man for bread and butter reasons—but I won’t do it, I can’t be like that…

— Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Also, when you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring. You imagine yourself being lonely, divorced, widowed; children growing away from you, friends dying…But all this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from the future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings. Discovering for example, that as the witnesses to your life diminish, there is less corroboration, and therefore less certainty, as to what you are or have been. Even if you have assiduously kept records – in words, sound, pictures – you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record-keeping. What was the line Adrian used to quote? ‘History is the certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.’

— Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

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

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
Goto page: 1 2 3 4 5 6