A Short Quotes

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How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank (Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex: A Collection of Her Short Stories, Fables, and Lesser-Known Writings)
Don't you think it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Pablo Neruda (Love)
Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Roy T. Bennett
It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?
A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1))
Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.
Daphne du Maurier
A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.
Stephen King (Skeleton Crew)
but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.
Jane Austen
I mean, if the relationship can't survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
I was smiling yesterday,I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow.Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.
Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.
Lorrie Moore
Time is Too Slow for those who Wait, Too Swift for those who Fear, Too Long for those who Grieve, Too Short for those who Rejoice; But for those who Love, Time is not.
Henry Van Dyke (Music and Other Poems)
There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Children of Húrin)
Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave, and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.
Alice Childress
I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
Mark Twain
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
Mother Teresa
When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.
Neil Gaiman (Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions)
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Boscombe Valley Mystery - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story)
In a perfect world, you could fuck people without giving them a piece of your heart. And every glittering kiss and every touch of flesh is another shard of heart you’ll never see again.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Life is too short to be lived badly.
Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #2))
I want to know you moved and breathed in the same world with me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald)
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt
Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.
Studs Terkel
I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true.
Audrey Hepburn
She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood. She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Mocking a woman is like drinking too much wine. It may be fun for a short time, but the hangover is hell.
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1))
Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.
Caitlyn Siehl (Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1))
I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
One can acquire everything in solitude except character.
Stendhal (Five Short Novels of Stendhal)
Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.
C. JoyBell C.
So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them." (Initiation)
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts)
Aim higher in case you fall short.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love.
Guy de Maupassant (The Complete Short Stories of de Maupassant)
A short cut to riches is to subtract from our desires.
Francesco Petrarca
Short cuts make long delays.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
I think that if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I've known you for a short time, but I feel like I've known you forever.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it." (Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, May 16, 1767)
Voltaire
I don't care if you're black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you. Simple as that.
Robert Michaels
Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.
Paulo Coelho
John Steinbeck once said that socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
Ronald Wright (A Short History of Progress)
Life is too short to learn German
Oscar Wilde
But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
She said this in the same way you might say Fields of Punishment or Hades's gym shorts.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it.
Caitlyn Siehl (Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1))
I am no longer in love with her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Ah, what happiness it is to be with people who are all happy, to press hands, press cheeks, smile into eyes.
Katherine Mansfield
My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #7))
You speak of sacrifice, but it is not my sacrifice I offer. It is yours I ask of you," he went on. "I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you wil not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life - whatever length - happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life." He looked up at her through the veil of silvery hair that fell over his eyes. "That is," he said shyly, "if you love me, too.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.
Dorothy Parker
your hand touching mine. this is how galaxies collide.
Sanober Khan
It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Our Headmaster is taking a short break,' said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that witches are often betrayed by their appetites; dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always; hearts can be well-hidden, and you can betray them with your tongue. (from "Instructions")
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.
Brian Andreas
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story. (from 'Instructions')
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
When her body first hit the net, all I registered was a gray blur. I pulled her across it and her hand was small, but warm, and then she stood before me, short and thin and plain and in all ways unremarkable- except that she had jumped first. The stiff had jumped first. Even I didn't jump first. Her eyes were so stern, so insistent. Beautiful.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always.
Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)
When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
W. Somerset Maugham
Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?
Friedrich Nietzsche
There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.
Winston S. Churchill
Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
I'm going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children.
Jack Kerouac
It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
In short: I felt my existence was tainted, in some subtle but essential way.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
What about Gale?" "He's not a bad kisser either," I say shortly. "And it was okay with both of us? You kissing the other?" He asks. "No. It wasn't okay with either of you. But I wasn't asking your permission," I tell him. Peeta laughs again, coldly, dismissively. "Well, you're a piece of work, aren't you?
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Instruction does much, but encouragement everything." (Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Early and Miscellaneous Letters of J. W. Goethe: Including Letters to His Mother. With Notes and a Short Biography (1884))
I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories)
Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog)
I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short.
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
That's the advantage of insomnia. People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done
Banana Yoshimoto (N.P)
Life is short. Focus on what really matters most. You have to change your priorities over time.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
I don't put up with being messed around, and I don't suffer fools gladly. The short version of that is that I'm a bitch. Trust me, I can provide character references.
Robin McKinley (Sunshine)
The short answer to that is 'no.' The long answer is 'fuck no.
Stephen Fry
If a book is well written, I always find it too short.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
I don't believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be same person every day.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
It is a happiness to wonder; -- it is a happiness to dream.
Edgar Allan Poe (Complete Stories and Poems)
Zoology, eh? That's a big word, isn't it." "No, actually it isn't," said Tiffany. "Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
It's so dark," she said lamely. "You want me to hold your hand?" Clary put both her hands behind her back like a small child. "Don't talk down to me." "Well, I could hardly talk up to you. You're too short.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
At this rate, I'd be lucky if I wrote a page a day. Then I knew what the problem was. I needed experience. How could I write about life when I'd never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing?
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
He'd changed since the last summer. Instead of Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt, he wore a button-down shirt, khaki pants, and leather loafers. His sandy hair, which used to be so unruly, was now clipped short. He look like an evil male model, showing off what the fashionable college-age villain was wearing to Harvard this year.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
The days are long, but the years are short.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
The view changes from where you are standing. Words can wound, and wounds can heal. All of these things are true.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, Chaos is being yourself.
Emil M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay)
There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time.
Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction)
Life is too short to read a bad book.
James Joyce
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Case of Identity - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #3))
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.
Harvey MacKay
Life is too short when you think of the length of death
Sean Mangan
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
John Burroughs
There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.
Shannon L. Alder
You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Life can be long or short, it all depends on how you choose to live it. it's like forever, always changing. for any of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. you can never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count. what you have to decide is how you want your life to be. if your forever was ending tomorrow, is this how you'd want to have spent it?
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires. from “Araby
James Joyce (Dubliners)
Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice. --The Sensible Thing
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Short Stories)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And too often is his gold complexion dimm'd: And every fair from fair sometimes declines, By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd; By thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.
Roman Payne
You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
I thought I was your destination. Looks like I was just another stop on the line.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
When a girl feels that she’s perfectly groomed and dressed she can forget that part of her. That’s charm
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Short Stories)
Let's face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours - he was incredibly good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
A CD. How quaint. We have these in museums.
Eoin Colfer (The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3))
I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that.
Ellen DeGeneres
I can't imagine what they're planning. But I can tell you two things. We won't like it, and it won't be legal.
Eoin Colfer (The Artemis Fowl Files)
That life - whatever else it is - is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Adrian opened his mouth, undoubtedly ready with some inappropriate and mocking comment. Lissa gave him a sharp headshake that kept him quiet. "Aren't there any, I don't know, sleeveless options?" The saleswoman's eyes widened. "No one has ever worn straps to a funeral. It wouldn't be right." "What about shorts?" asked Adrian. "Are they okay if they're with a tie? Because that's what I was gonna go with." The woman looked horrified.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it's your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You're probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you're gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years.
Chris Rock
Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.
Ellen DeGeneres (The Funny Thing Is...)
We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. We develop all those long-winded ideas which just interpret the reality of our lives in different ways, without really extending our body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. Basically, we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Cease, cows, life is short.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow- that, in short, we are all going.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.
James Joyce (Dubliners)
A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.
David Sedaris
Normal, in our house, is like a blanket too short for a bed--sometimes it covers you just fine, and other times it leaves you cold and shaking; and worst of all, you never know which of the two it's going to be.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.
Lord Byron
Elend smiled. "Oh, come on. You have to admit that you're unusual, Vin. You're like some strange mixture of a noblewoman, a street urchin, and a cat. Plus, you've mangaged - in our short three years together - to kill not only my god, but my father, my brother, and my fiancée. That's kind of like a homicidal hat trick.
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
I get it,' said the prisoner. 'Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?' If you like.' said Vimes. 'But we're a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.
Vincent van Gogh
Life is too short to read books that I'm not enjoying.
Melissa Marr
Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventure of the Copper Beeches - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #12))
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
Albert Einstein
Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn't measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It's not winning battles that makes you happy, but it's how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.
C. JoyBell C.
Kate short-circuits my brain. In my head we always have these clear coherent exchanges, but once we meet, what comes out it is, “Kate, do what I say or I’ll kill you.” Her default reply is, “Fuck you!” and we go downhill from there.
Ilona Andrews
I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ –and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again – in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
I hate all those flirty-birty games that women make up. Life's too short. If you ever find a man you love, don't waste time hanging your head and simpering. Go right up to him and say, 'I love you. How about getting married?
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
One likes to think there's something in it, that old platitude amor vincit omnia. But if I've learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn't conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
People can't seem to get it through their heads that there is never any healing or closure. Ever. There is only a short pause before the next "horrifying" event. People forget there is such a thing as memory, and that when a wound "heals" it leaves a permanent scar that never goes away, but merely fades a little. What really ought to be said after one of these so-called tragedies is, "Let the scarring begin.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
Life is short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces. It is a very short walk. Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are. And we shall live happily ever after.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
I am thinking of beauty again, how some things are hunted because we have deemed them beautiful. If, relative to the history of our planet, an individual life is so short, a blink, as they say, then to be gorgeous, even from the day you're born to the day you die, is to be gorgeous only briefly.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped. Then there was a short period when you weren't with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you. I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
how far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps? how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short? why do you find the unavailable so alluring? where did it begin? what went wrong? and who made you feel so worthless? if they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you? all this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin? and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it? how are you both of these women, both flighty and needful? where did you learn this, to want what does not want you? where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?
Warsan Shire
It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I compare myself with my former self, not with others. Not only that, I tend to compare my current self with the best I have been, which is when I have been midly manic. When I am my present "normal" self, I am far removed from when I have been my liveliest, most productive, most intense, most outgoing and effervescent. In short, for myself, I am a hard act to follow.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.
Stephen Fry
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
Gary Provost
Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they've been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.
Dalai Lama XIV
The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
The words you can’t find, you borrow. We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone. My life is in these books, he wants to tell her. Read these and know my heart. We are not quite novels. The analogy he is looking for is almost there. We are not quite short stories. At this point, his life is seeming closest to that. In the end, we are collected works.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Crack-Up)
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. Without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail.
Albert Einstein
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
I turned to leave and paused before the gap in the ruined wall. "One last thing, Your Majesty. I'd like a name I can put into my report, something shorter than typing out 'The Leader of the Southern Shapechanger Faction.' What should I call you?" "Lord." I rolled my eyes. He shrugged. "It's short.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out of my ears, my eyes, my noseholes--everywhere. Until it's every breath I breathe. I'm going to go out like a fucking meteor!
Audre Lorde
Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that's the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters. And if your cans are redhot and you can't hold them in your hands, just use good old railroad gloves, that's all.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages 1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. 3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” 4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. 5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. 6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. 7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15. 8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil. 9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19. 10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961. 11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936. 12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23 13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24 14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record 15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity 16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France 17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28 18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world 19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter 20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind 22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest 23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream." 24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight 26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions. 27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. 28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas 30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger 31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States 32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out. 33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games" 34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out. 35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. 36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president. 37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels. 38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat". 40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived 41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise 42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out 43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US 44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats 45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Pablo
She started walking toward me and perfect white teeth caught her full bottom lip between them. I’d fantasized about those lips way too many times. She’d barely covered up her long tanned legs with a pair of shorts that made me want to go to church this Sunday just to thank God for creating her.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
Does he love me? Does he love anyone more than me? Does he love me more than I love him? Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature. I discovered that I am not disciplined out of virtue but as a reaction to my negligence, that I appear generous in order to conceal my meanness, that I pass myself off as prudent because I am evil-minded, that I am conciliatory in order not to succumb to my repressed rage, that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people’s time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.
Gabriel García Márquez (Memories of My Melancholy Whores)
He glared accusingly at her while he made short work of his clothes. "You didn't wake me up." She rolled her eyes as she speared a piece of sausage with her fork. "I did wake you up. Three times in fact. Each time you threw something at me and went back to sleep." Jason gaped at her. "And you gave up? You know our routine, woman. You have to keep at it until I'm forced to get off the bed to find something to throw at you.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car. Up until then I was having a great afternoon.Technically I wasn't supposed to be driving because I wouldn't turn sixteen for another week, but my mom and my stepdad, Paul, took my friend Rachel and me to the private stretch of beach on the South Shore, and Paul let us borrow his Prius for a short spin. Now, I know what your thinking, Wow, that was really irresponsible of him, blah, blah, blah, but Paul knows me pretty well. He's seen me slice up demons and leap out of exploding buildings, so he probably figured taking a car a few hundred yards wasn't exactly the most dangerous thing I'd ever done.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don't always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive.... Virtually every page is a cliffhanger--you've got to force them to turn it."~
Dr. Seuss
Baby,” his voice gentled, “this is me seein’ to that soft spot when I say quiet-like that I... will... be... there... in ten. And what I mean is, when I get there in ten, your ass better be there.” Oh boy. “Are you coming on your bike?” “Yeah.” “I’m in a tight, short, little aquamarine dress with high heels. I can’t get on a bike. “You’re in a tight, short dress and high heels?” Tack asked. “Yes.” “I’ll be in there in five.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
In that case" Tessa said, feeling hot blood rise to her face,"I think I would prefer it if you called me by my Christian name, as you do with Miss Lovelace. Will look at her, slow and hard, then smiled. His blue eyes lit when he smiled. "Then you must do the same for me," he said. "Tessa." She had never thought about her name much before, but when he said it, it was as if she were hearing if for the first time-the hard T, the caress of the double S, the way it seemed to end on a breath. Her own breath was very short when he said, softly, "Will." "Yes?" Amusement glittered his eyes. With a sort of horror Tessa realized that she had simply said his name for the sake of saying it; she hadn't actually had a question.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
The antique, almost primitive band he held between his fingers caught the sunlight, glinting silver. “I found this ring shortly after I was banished from heaven. I kept it to remind myself of how endless my sentence was, how eternal one small choice can be. I’ve kept it a long time. I want you to have it. You broke my suffering. You’ve given me a new eternity. Be my girl, Nora. Be my everything.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
They were within twenty yards of each other, and so abrupt was his appearance, that it was impossible to avoid his sight. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each were overspread with the deepest blush. He absolutely started, and for a moment seemed immoveable from surprise; but shortly recovering himself, advanced towards the party, and spoke to Elizabeth, if not in terms of perfect composure, at least of perfect civility.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
What in hell is that?” She kept going toward the bathroom, refusing to apologize or look down at the pink, delicate, very short lace nightgown. When she emerged, face washed and clean, Rowan was sitting up, arms crossed over his bare chest. “You forgot the bottom part.” She merely blew out the candles in the room one by one. His eyes tracked her the entire time. “There is no bottom part,” she said, flinging back the covers on her side. “It’s starting to get so hot, and I hate sweating when I sleep. Plus, you’re practically a furnace. So it’s either this or I sleep naked. You can sleep in the bathtub if you have a problem with it.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I'm not ill like that,” she groaned. He sat on her bed, peeling back the blanket. A servant entered, frowning at the mess on the floor, and shouted for help. “Then it what way?” “I,uh...” Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. “My monthly cycles finally came back!” His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. “I-if...Then I'll take my leave,” he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the lips and face and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smile and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
When I was little and running on the race track at school, I always stopped and waited for all the other kids so we could run together even though I knew (and everybody else knew) that I could run much faster than all of them! I pretended to read slowly so I could "wait" for everyone else who couldn't read as fast as I could! When my friends were short I pretended that I was short too and if my friend was sad I pretended to be unhappy. I could go on and on about all the ways I have limited myself, my whole life, by "waiting" for people. And the only thing that I've ever received in return is people thinking that they are faster than me, people thinking that they can make me feel bad about myself just because I let them and people thinking that I have to do whatever they say I should do. My mother used to teach me "Cinderella is a perfect example to be" but I have learned that Cinderella can go fuck herself, I'm not waiting for anybody, anymore! I'm going to run as fast as I can, fly as high as I can, I am going to soar and if you want you can come with me! But I'm not waiting for you anymore.
C. JoyBell C.
Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.
Dean Koontz (The Darkest Evening of the Year)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.
John C. Holt (Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling)
It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of all the intoxicating existence we've been endowed with. But what's life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours—arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don't. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment's additional existence. Life, in short, just wants to be.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
When does real love begin? At first it was a fire, eclipses, short circuits, lightning and fireworks; the incense, hammocks, drugs, wines, perfumes; then spasm and honey, fever, fatigue, warmth, currents of liquid fire, feast and orgies; then dreams, visions, candlelight, flowers, pictures; then images out of the past, fairy tales, stories, then pages out of a book, a poem; then laughter, then chastity. At what moment does the knife wound sink so deep that the flesh begins to weep with love? At first power, power, then the wound, and love, and love and fears, and the loss of the self, and the gift, and slavery. At first I ruled, loved less; then more, then slavery. Slavery to his image, his odor, the craving, the hunger, the thirst, the obsession.
Anaïs Nin (Fire: From A Journal of Love - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1934-1937))
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
I choose you," he said very softly, "Max." Then his hard, rough hand tenderly cuppoed my chin, and suddenly his mouth was on mine, and every synapse in my brain shorted out. We had kissed a couple of times before, but this was different. This time, I squelched my immediate, overwhelming desire to run away screaming. I closed my eyes and put my arms around him despite my fear. Then somehow we slid sideways so we were lying in the cool sand. I was holding him fiercely, and he was kissing me fiercely, and it was...just so, so intensely good. Once I got past my usual, gut-wrenching terror, there was a long, sweet slide into mindlessness, when all I felt was Fang, and all I heard was his breathing, and all I could think was "Oh, God, I want to do this all the time.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me. Then he was gone. Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted to run after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you. Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connected—by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us. I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief. Bye bye, Birdie.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
The cheapest sort of pride is national pride; for if a man is proud of his own nation, it argues that he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud; otherwise he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. The man who is endowed with important personal qualities will be only too ready to see clearly in what respects his own nation falls short, since their failings will be constantly before his eyes. But every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.
Arthur Schopenhauer
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Brod's life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her. But there was no release... So she had to satisfy herself with the idea of love--loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she loved loving love, as love loves loving, and was able, in that way, to reconcile herself with a world that fell so short of what she would have hoped for. It was not the world that was the great and saving lie, but her willingness to make it beautiful and fair, to live a once-removed life, in a world once-removed from the one in which everyone else seemed to exist.
Jonathan Safran Foer
MAKING THE LIE MAKE SENSE: When denial (his or ours) can no longer hold and we finally have to admit to ourselves that we’ve been lied to, we search frantically for ways to keep it from disrupting our lives. So we rationalize. We find “good reasons” to justify his lying, just as he almost always accompanies his confessions with “good reasons” for his lies. He tells us he only lied because…. We tell ourselves he only lied because…. We make excuses for him: The lying wasn’t significant/Everybody lies/He’s only human/I have no right to judge him. Allowing the lies to register in our consciousness means having to make room for any number of frightening possibilities: • He’s not the man I thought he was. • The relationship has spun out of control and I don’t know what to do • The relationship may be over. Most women will do almost anything to avoid having to face these truths. Even if we yell and scream at him when we discover that he’s lied to us, once the dust settles, most of us will opt for the comforting territory of rationalization. In fact, many of us are willing to rewire our senses, short-circuit our instincts and intelligence, and accept the seductive comfort of self-delusion.
Susan Forward (When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal)
Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…”Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
You give a lot of great advice about what to do. Do you have any advice of what not to do? Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. Don’t stay when you know you should go or go when you know you should stay. Don’t fight when you should hold steady or hold steady when you should fight. Don’t focus on the short-term fun instead of the long-term fall out. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore. Don’t seek joy at all costs. I know it’s hard to know what to do when you have a conflicting set of emotions and desires, but it’s not as hard as we pretend it is. Saying it’s hard is ultimately a justification to do whatever seems like the easiest thing to do—have the affair, stay at that horrible job, end a friendship over a slight, keep loving someone who treats you terribly. I don’t think there’s a single dumbass thing I’ve done in my adult life that I didn’t know was a dumbass thing to do while I was doing it. Even when I justified it to myself—as I did every damn time—the truest part of me knew I was doing the wrong thing. Always. As the years pass, I’m learning how to better trust my gut and not do the wrong thing, but every so often I get a harsh reminder that I’ve still got work to do.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.” “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
If what's always distinguished bad writing--flat characters, a narrative world that's clichéd and not recognizably human, etc.--is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then [Bret] Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving. There's some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who's come to love his cage… The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naïveté. Sentiment equals naïveté on this continent. You burn with hunger for food that does not exist. A U. S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.
David Foster Wallace