Finesse Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Finesse. Here they are! All 100 of them:

You have no finesse,” a gambler at the Silver Garter once said to him. “No technique.” “Sure I do,” Kaz had responded. “I practice the art of ‘pull his shirt over his head and punch till you see blood.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do if he chooses, and that is his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution. - Mr. Knightley
Jane Austen (Emma)
And when it comes to questioning people, I have a lot more finesse than High King Let’s Beat The Shit Out Of Them Until They Answer Us. The nonviolent art of interrogating someone is totally lost on Kip. (Syn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
And they'll vote for me because I'm the best liar, because I do it honestly, with a certain finesse. They know that lies and truth are very close, and that something beautiful rests between.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
You just pounded yourself into me with all the finesse of a sweaty celibate breaking fast with a rented sex droid.
J.D. Robb (Rapture in Death (In Death, #4))
I do so think well of a man who dies with finesse.
Michael Crichton (Pirate Latitudes)
Generally with women, I have the finesse and mental fortitude of a rhinoceros charging through a watering hole.
Kendall Ryan (Screwed (Screwed, #1))
I thought you specialised in dishonest finesse?" "I also do a brisk trade in putting knives to peoples' throats and shouting at them," said Locke.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
Getting money from my dad is a finesse job. Luckily, I have finesse coming out of my arse. I barged into his study without knocking, marched across to his desk, and held out my hand. “Give me twenty pounds,” I snapped. “I need twenty pounds. Give it to me. Now!
Sarra Manning
Lack finesse? I’m going to lack his finesse all over the fucking squad room. I covered my mouth even though I hadn’t sworn out loud. They might have a point.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2))
One must reach out and try to grasp this astonishing finesse, that the value of life cannot be estimated.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
...ending a book with a sequel in such a way that the reader still has faith in the characters and in the writer. That's finesse.
Shandy L. Kurth
I have motherfucking finesse. Just because I speak my mind means I'm not tactful?
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2))
I've been hit on plenty of times, mostly by men with little finesse who thought what was between their legs made up for what they lacked between their ears.
Megan Hart (Dirty (Dan and Elle, #1))
I'd sneer and tell him he's got the cerebral finesse of an amoeba and delight in his squint of confusion.
Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones)
Finesse, mas ass. I'm a warrior, not your child bride.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
She was simple, not being able to adorn herself, but she was unhappy, as one out of her class; for women belong to no caste, no race, their grace, their beauty and their charm serving them in place of birth and family. Their inborn finesse, their instinctive elegance, their suppleness of wit, are their only aristocracy, making some daughters of the people the equal of great ladies.
Guy de Maupassant (A Piece of String / The Necklace (Tale Blazers))
I confide in everyone. I have no restricted private self, reserved specifically for certain trusted special people. I trust and mistrust anyone. I have traveled a full circle. But this time, on returning to zero again, I am able to act out the mistake more adeptly. I am on my way to becoming a very skilled loser. A specialist, a loser to end all losers. A flair for failing. I do it with style and finesse.
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
He likes to use his wit and verbal finesse to confuse others and win arguments. Although he can argue successfully that white is black and straight is crooked, you walk away with the feeling that he's won the argument not because he is correct but because you can't outwit him.
Liezi (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions))
frankly, understandable, but what are you going to do with it? Where is the finesse, hon? The clear understanding that you are handling a masterpiece?! You’ve got this far. Appreciate it.
Bolu Babalola (Honey & Spice)
Yes...how else could Demandred explain the skill of the enemy general? Only a man with the experience of an ancient was so masterly at the dance of battlefields. At their core, many battle tactics were simple. Avoid being flanked, meet heavy force with pikes, infantry with a well-trained line, channelers with other channelers. And yet, the finesse of it...the little details...these took centuries to master. No man from this Age had lived long enough to learn the details with such care.
Robert Jordan (A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14))
They made comments about the women's legs, but, as they were not witty, their remarks had no finesse. Since their emotion was not torn by any point, they quite naturally skidded along on a stagnent ground of poetry.
Jean Genet (Our Lady of the Flowers)
So, can I eat the redheaded goddess now? (Simi) No, Simi. (Acheron) I want to eat her, akri, She a mean person. (Simi) Most gods are. (Acheron) No they’re not. Some, true, but I rather like the Atlanteans. They were very nice. Most of them. You never met Archon, did you? (Simi) No. (Acheron) Now, he could be mean. He was blond, like you, tall like you, well, taller than you, and good-looking like you, but not quite as good-looking as you. I don’t think anyone is as good-looking as you are. Not even them gods. You are definitely one of a kind when it comes to looks…Oh. Well, you’re not really one of a kind, are you? But you cuter than that other one. He a bad copy of you. He only wishes he was as cute as you are. Now where was I going with that? Oh, I remember now. Archon didn’t like a lot of people, unlike you. You know that thing you do whenever you get really, really mad? The one where you can blow stuff up and make it all fiery and chunky and messy and all? He could do that too only not with as much finesse as you. You got a lot of finesse, akri. More than most. But I digress, Archon liked me. He said, ‘Simi, you a quality demon.’ Have you ever seen a non-quality demon, though? That’s what I wanna know. (Simi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3))
la finesse du paysan l'emporta sur la finesse de l'homme riche, qui n'en a pas besoin pour vivre (partie 1, ch. 5)
Stendhal (Le Rouge Et Le Noir)
One dream is never enough, and your dream can be molded and finessed along the way to become relevant and successful.
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
You’re a modern Romeo and Juliet…if Romeo had political finesse and fangs and Juliet was capable of snapping someone’s head off.
K.M. Shea (Magic Unleashed (Hall of Blood and Mercy, #3))
I told her how I thought you could always revise your life, how you could work and work on it, finesse the details, see if what you're saying is what you wanted to be saying.
John Dufresne (Love Warps the Mind a Little)
The first time they’d met, in this very pub, he’d hit on her using so little finesse, she’d been forced to ask if he was kidding. Granted, they’d both had a few too many drinks that night, but nothing excused the line, “I’m not drunk, I’m just intoxicated by you.” Nothing.
Tessa Bailey (Asking for Trouble (Line of Duty, #4))
I’m just me – half a family, no awareness whatsoever about style, or what’s in and what’s out. I’m not like the lizards. I don’t really even know how I’m supposed to be with a guy that I’m attracted to. I’ve never been a game player. I don’t know how to be coy… or sexy… or whatever. I have no finesse.
Jan Coffey (Tropical Kiss)
People, nearly all of them, don’t know how to worry about others without being presumptuous, with finesse, with modesty. They think they know. My sister thought she knew. Knew the human race. . . . Knowledge doesn’t know. But that’s something few understand.
Fleur Jaeggy (Sono il fratello di XX)
Should anyone here in Rome lack finesse at love-making, Let him Try me - read my book, and the results are guaranteed! Technique is the secret. Charioteer, sailor, oarsman, All need it. Technique can control Love himself.
Ovid (The Art of Love)
There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Finesse, my ass. I'm a warrior, not your child bride.
Andrea Cremer
Of Woman and Chocolate   "Chocolate shares both the bitter and the sweet. Chocolate melts away all cares, coating the heart while smothering every last ache.   Chocolate brings a smile to the lips on contact, leaving a dark kiss behind.   Chocolate is amiable, complimenting any pairing; berries, peanut butter, pretzels, mint, pastries, drinks...everything goes with chocolate.   The very thought of chocolate awakens taste buds, sparking memories of candy-coated happiness.   Chocolate will go nuts with you, no questions asked.   Chocolate craves your lips, melts at your touch, and savors the moment.   Chocolate is that dark and beautiful knight who charges in on his gallant steed ready to slay dragons when needed.   Chocolate never disappoints; it leaves its lover wanting more.   Chocolate is the ultimate satisfaction, synonymous with perfection.   Chocolate is rich, smooth pleasure.   Chocolate has finesse - the charm to seduce and indulge at any time, day or night.   Chocolate is a true friend, a trusted confidant, and faithful lover. Chocolate warms and comforts and sympathizes.   Chocolate holds power over depression, victory over disappointment.   Chocolate savvies the needs of a woman and owns her.   Simply put, chocolate is paradise.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
The statesmen leaving the Berlin Congress smugly convinced themselves that the people of Bosnia would benefit from the diplomatic finesse of having the Western Austro-Hungarians replace the Eastern Ottomans. What they had actually done, however, was quite the opposite, sowing seeds of resentment that would eventually destroy the status quo of the entire Western world.
Tim Butcher (The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War)
He quickly earned a reputation for being willing to take any job a man needed done, and the name Dirtyhands soon followed. He was an unskilled fighter, but a tenacious one. “You have no finesse,” a gambler at the Silver Garter once said to him. “No technique.” “Sure I do,” Kaz had responded. “I practice the art of ‘pull his shirt over his head and punch till you see blood.’” He
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I have to admit that Christina is good - though I don't like giving credit to Candor smart-mouths - and so is Peter - though I don't like giving credit to future psychopaths. Al, however, is just a walking, talking sledgehammer, all power and no finesse.
Veronica Roth (Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent, #1.5))
Droessen knew the properties of every kind of wood and paint and lacquer; he could finesse the gears of a clock until the spun with silent precision. And yet, though he could smile readily, charm easily, and play the part of a gentleman, he had never truly understood people or the workings of their steady-running but inconstant hearts.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5, 2.5, 2.6))
If I ever stood a chance of resisting her, it evaporates the instant she leans into me. So does every last ounce of finesse that I’m normally capable of. The kiss that should’ve started out slow starts out like a forest fire. The first taste of her tongue consumes me. And I’m lost. And I’m lost. My hands are in her hair and my mouth is devouring hers. I give no thought to where I am or the girlfriend whose father I work for. I can’t think past how badly I want to be inside the tight, hot body of the girl in my arms. But why? Why do I want her so bad?
M. Leighton (Down to You (The Bad Boys, #1))
The greatest fool is not the person who has been fooled by the lies of others, despite how crafty and ingenious those lies might have been. Rather, it is the fool who has lied with such amazing dexterity and subtle finesse that he himself has come to believe his own lies. And this is the most forlorn and yet the most dangerous person that I can imagine.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Must be I find you tough and lusty as the life, all toil and tempo, finesse and plain fight, with values so old they startle me. Must be I think of you as I do the rugged flowers that prove themselves over and over in the spring, that elsewhere might perish, but here master the earth, bloom into gangly lives of high color, and inhale the sun, knowing the land better than the land does. Hardy, savvy, they will outlive us all.
Diane Ackerman
These kinds of events, though seemingly glamorous and sophisticated from the outside, are often organized with the finesse of a kindergarten nativity play, and one whose teachers are all lapsed members of Narcotics Anonymous.
Alan Cumming
You know, Naruto’s kind of a brat, but he wasn’t trying to be mean or hateful... he just... lacks finesse... Mr Tazuna told us about what happened to your father. Naruto grew up without a father, same as you. ...Actually without any parents. He doesn’t remember either one of them. Or have a single friend. His whole life is one big painful memory. And in all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him cry, or use his troubles as an excuse to sulk or be a coward, not once. He always... tries his hardest, hoping someone will notice and give him a kind word or a pat on the back. That’s his dream, and he’s risked his life for it. I think one day he must have just gotten fed up with crying. He understands what it means to be strong. He knows what it costs and what it’s worth... just as your father did.
Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto, Vol. 03: Dreams (Naruto, #3))
The problem I was going to have is that the way murderbots fight is we throw ourselves at the target and try to kill the shit out of it, knowing that 90 percent of our bodies can be regrown or replaced in a cubicle. So, finesse is not required.
Martha Wells (All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1))
Nous savions que si l'intelligence du texte est une rude et solitaire conquête de l'esprit, la blague stupide établit, elle, une connivence reposante qui ne se partage qu'entre amis de confiance. C'est avec nos intimes que nous échangeons les histoires les plus bêtes, façon de rendre un hommage implicite à la finesse de leur esprit. Avec les autres, on fait les malins, on déballe son savoir, on en installe, on séduit.
Daniel Pennac
They’re like little boys, men. Sometimes of course they’re rather naughty and you have to pretend to be angry with them. They attach so much importance to such entirely unimportant things that it’s really touching. And they’re so helpless. Have you never nursed a man when he’s ill? It wrings your heart. It’s just like a dog or a horse. They haven’t got the sense to come in out of the rain, poor darlings. They have all the charming qualities that accompany general incompetence. They’re sweet and good and silly, and tiresome and selfish. You can’t help liking them, they’re so ingenuous, and so simple. They have no complexity or finesse. I think they’re sweet, but it’s absurd to take them seriously.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Constant Wife)
Thought can be lofty without being elegant, but to the extent it lacks elegance it will have less effect on others. Force without finesse is mere mass.
Fernando Pessoa
You looked like a half-literate moron in that letter, like an anti-intellectual jackanapes trying to stampede his way into power with all the finesse of a lovestruck buffalo.
Patrick Ness (The Crash of Hennington)
You can choose to fight your journey every step of the way or you can embrace it, recognizing each stumble or setback as a opportunity to strengthen your character, finesse your craft, and deepen your passion. Oh this journey can be beautiful if you allow yourself to enjoy the rain!
Kierra C.T. Banks
Opening night is in a week. Already announced to the papers, already sent out in the newsletter in fancy, glossy, full-color glory. Which means I have two days, max, to finish the framing—easily a week’s worth of work—and then four days for drilling the star maps I’ve already marked on the plywood, painting, wiring, installing, and finessing.Leaving me only one day—the day of the evening gala—to clean and get the actual exhibits set up. It’s impossible. I will make it happen or die trying. I don’t realize I’ve said that last part aloud until I notice Michelle’s horrified face.
Kiersten White (The Chaos of Stars)
This wasn’t to say that Julie had perfected only the major, most obvious dating milestones, however. She also knew how to finesse the subtler moments—those key moments where the breath caught and you thought, Yes, this. Julie could explain every single nuance, from the toe-curling euphoria when his hand brushed yours to the tingle when eyes held for just a beat too long. And then there was her personal favorite moment: the bone-deep satisfaction when you made him laugh for the first time—a real laugh.
Lauren Layne (After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #1))
She gulped the air, suddenly starving for it. He wasn't built like Hercules. Instead, his muscles were chiseled as if by a master sculptor with a finesse that left her reaching for the door frame to steady herself.
Anne Perreault (The Blessing (To Protect and Serve #2))
Boss, she's a _Dragon_. They don't _believe_ in assassination. They consider it a _crime_. If you go up to her and--" "Kragar," I interrupted, "I never said that I was going to go up to her and say, 'Aliera, I'm trying to assassinate this guy, how would you like to help set him up?' Give me credit for a little finesse, all right?
Steven Brust
Sans souffrance, comment connaître la joie?  (Un point de vue que j'avais toujours trouvé d'une stupidité et d un manque de finesse inouïs. Pour le démontrer, il suffisait de dire que, même si le brocoli existait, ça n'empêchait pas le chocolat d'être bon.)
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
She slid a slim volume of poetry off the shelf and returned to her chair, swishing her rather unnattractive skirts before she sat down. Benedict frowned. He'd never really noticed before how ugly her dress was. Not as bad as the one Mrs. Cabtree had lent her, but certainly not anything designed to bring out the best in a woman. He ought to buy her a new dress. She would never accept it,of course, but maybe if her current garments were accidentally burned... "Mr. Bridgerton?" But how could he manage to burn her dress? She'd have to not be wearing it, and that posed a certain challenge in and of itself... "Are you even listening to me?" Sophie demanded. "Hmmm?" "You're not listening to me." "Sorry," he admitted. "My apologies. My mind got away from me. Please continue." She began anew, and in his attempt to show how much attention he was paying her, he focused his eyes on her lips, which proved to be a big mistake. Because suddenly those lips were all he could see, and he couldn't stop thinking about kissing her, and he knew- absolutely knew-that if one of them didn't leave the room in the next thirty seconds, he was going to do something for which he'd owe her a thousand apologies. Not that he didn't plan to seduce her. Just that he'd rather do it with a bit more finesse. "Oh, dear," he blurted out. Sophie gave him an odd look. He didn't blame her. He sounded like a complete idiot. He didn't think he'd uttered the phrase, "Oh,dear," in years. If ever. Hell,he sounded like his mother. "Is something wrong?" Sophie asked. "I just remembered something," he said, rather stupidly, in his opinion. She raised her brows in question. "Something that I'd forgotten," Benedict said. "The things one remembers," she said, looking exceedingly amused, "are most often things one had forgotten.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
She lowered her work and began unknitting an entire row of stitches one at a time, erasing their tangled existence with much more finesse than she'd created them. (She had a lot of practice unknitting things. She could unknit entire wardrobes. You'd imagine that lots of practice unknitting would mean lost of practice - and improvement - knitting, but your imagination forgot to account for Jane.)
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Essentially, he taught that it doesn’t make sense to upset ourselves about what is beyond our control. We don’t get a choice about what hand we are dealt in this life. The only choice we have is our attitude about the cards we hold and the finesse with which we play our hand.
Sylvia Boorstein (It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness)
Van Eck keeps the seal in a safe?” said Jesper with a laugh. “It’s almost like hewants us to take it. Kaz is better at making friends with combination locks than with people.” “You’ve never seen a safe like this,” Wylan said. “He had it installed after the DeKappel was stolen. It has a seven-digit combination that he resets every day, and the locks are built with false tumblers to confuse safecrackers.” Kaz shrugged. “Then we go around it. I’ll take expediency over finesse.” Wylan shook his head. “The safe walls are made of a unique alloy reinforced with Grisha steel.” “An explosion?” suggested Jesper. Kaz raised a brow. “I suspect Van Eck will notice that.” “A very small explosion?” Nina snorted. “You just want to blow something up.” “Actually…” said Wylan. He cocked his head to one side, as if he were listening to a distant song. “Come morning, there would be no hiding we’d been there, but if we can get the refugees out of the harbor before my father discovers the theft … I’m not exactly sure where I can get the materials, but it just might work.…” “Inej,” Jesper whispered. She leaned forward, peering at Wylan. “Is that scheming face?” “Possibly.” Wylan seemed to snap back to reality. “It is not. But … but I do think I have an idea.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Des jugements, des appréciations de la vie, pour ou contre, ne peuvent, en dernière instance, jamais être vrais : ils n’ont d’autre valeur que celle d’être des symptômes — en soi de tels jugements sont des stupidités. Il faut donc étendre les doigts pour tâcher de saisir cette finesse extraordinaire que la valeur de la vie ne peut pas être appréciée. Ni par un vivant, parce qu’il est partie, même objet de litige, et non pas juge : ni par un mort, pour une autre raison. — De la part d’un philosophe, voir un problème dans la valeur de la vie, demeure même une objection contre lui, un point d’interrogation envers sa sagesse, un manque de sagesse.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
The motives behind scientism are culturally significant. They have been mixed, as usual: genuine curiosity in search of truth; the rage for certainty and for unity; and the snobbish desire to earn the label scientist when that became a high social and intellectual rank. But these efforts, even though vain, have not been without harm, to the inventors and to the world at large. The "findings" have inspired policies affecting daily life that were enforced with the same absolute assurance as earlier ones based on religion. At the same time, the workers in the realm of intuition, the gifted finessers - artists, moralists, philosophers, historians, political theorists, and theologians - were either diverted from their proper task, while others were looking on them with disdain as dabblers in the suburbs of Truth.
Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present)
Always walk with style and finesse.
Cindy Ann Peterson
The distinctive crimes of this generation are crimes of subtlety and finesse. —ALEXANDER S. BACON 1908
J.M. Carlisle
All salt and no finesse makes Jack a dull cook.
Robert Farrar Capon
I am saving my energy, I am older and I like my torture to have a little more finesse. But each to their own, this is a party, after all.
Sam West (Splatterpunks)
...love is as much an art as painting or living; it requires practice, finesse, determination, humility, energy and delicacy.
Hannah Rothschild (The Improbability of Love)
Cooking is the last true meritocracy. All that matters is how well you can do the job. And with what level of finesse.
Michael Gibney (Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line)
Yes, yes,” the Premier interrupted. “You harness the atom. Crudely and without finesse. So far you’ve managed to blow yourselves up.” He paused. “Several times. After you accomplish worldwide peace, deep space travel, stop poisoning your own air, bodies, and repair your ozone, planet 2276549, known to its native inhabitants as Earth will be considered for membership.
Penelope Fletcher (Venomous (Alien Warrior, #1))
Judgements, judgements of value, concerning life, for it or against it, can, in the end, never be true: they have value only as symptoms, they are worthy of consideration only as symptoms; in themselves such judgements are stupidities. One must by all means stretch out one’s fingers and make the attempt to grasp this amazing finesse, that the value of life cannot be estimated.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
What I was seeing here is a perennial issue for Ayn Rand followers—the need to finesse aspects of her teachings that make no sense, or seem superficially coherent but crumble upon even cursory examination.
Gary Weiss (Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul)
Her professors were astonished by her leaps of thought, by the finesse and elegance of her insights. She arrived at hypotheses by sheer intuition and with what eventually one of her mentors described as an almost alarming speed; she was like a dancer, he said, out in the cosmos springing weightlessly from star to star. Drones, merely brilliant, crawled along behind with laborious proofs that supported her assertions.
Deborah Eisenberg (My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro)
Thus saying, I turned my full attention to the lock. Like a proper maiden, it resisted for a token moment. But, upon further adept agitation of its slender hole, it relinquished its charms with smooth, willing finesse.
Gabrielle Harbowy (Cthulhurotica)
Lorsque j’ai commencé à voyager en Gwendalavir aux côtés d'Ewìlan et de Salim, je savais que, au fil de mon écriture, ma route croiserait celle d'une multitude de personnages. Personnages attachants ou irritants, discrets ou hauts en couleurs, pertinents ou impertinents, sympathiques ou maléfiques... Je savais cela et je m'en réjouissais. Rien, en revanche, ne m'avait préparé à une rencontre qui allait bouleverser ma vie. Rien ne m'avait préparé à Ellana. Elle est arrivée dans la Quête à sa manière, tout en finesse tonitruante, en délicatesse remarquable, en discrétion étincelante. Elle est arrivée à un moment clef, elle qui se moque des serrures, à un moment charnière, elle qui se rit des portes, au sein d’un groupe constitué, elle pourtant pétrie d’indépendance, son caractère forgé au feu de la solitude. Elle est arrivée, s'est glissée dans la confiance d'Ewilan avec l'aisance d'un songe, a capté le regard d’Edwin et son respect, a séduit Salim, conquis maître Duom... Je l’ai regardée agir, admiratif ; sans me douter un instant de la toile que sa présence, son charisme, sa beauté tissaient autour de moi. Aucun calcul de sa part. Ellana vit, elle ne calcule pas. Elle s'est contentée d'être et, ce faisant, elle a tranquillement troqué son statut de personnage secondaire pour celui de figure emblématique d'une double trilogie qui ne portait pourtant pas son nom. Convaincue du pouvoir de l'ombre, elle n'a pas cherché la lumière, a épaulé Ewilan dans sa quête d'identité puis dans sa recherche d'une parade au danger qui menaçait l'Empire. Sans elle, Ewilan n'aurait pas retrouvé ses parents, sans elle, l'Empire aurait succombé à la soif de pouvoir des Valinguites, mais elle n’en a tiré aucune gloire, trop équilibrée pour ignorer que la victoire s'appuyait sur les épaules d'un groupe de compagnons soudés par une indéfectible amitié. Lorsque j'ai posé le dernier mot du dernier tome de la saga d'Ewilan, je pensais que chacun de ses compagnons avait mérité le repos. Que chacun d'eux allait suivre son chemin, chercher son bonheur, vivre sa vie de personnage libéré par l'auteur après une éprouvante aventure littéraire. Chacun ? Pas Ellana. Impossible de la quitter. Elle hante mes rêves, se promène dans mon quotidien, fluide et insaisissable, transforme ma vision des choses et ma perception des autres, crochète mes pensées intimes, escalade mes désirs secrets... Un auteur peut-il tomber amoureux de l'un de ses personnages ? Est-ce moi qui ai créé Ellana ou n'ai-je vraiment commencé à exister que le jour où elle est apparue ? Nos routes sont-elles liées à jamais ? — Il y a deux réponses à ces questions, souffle le vent à mon oreille. Comme à toutes les questions. Celle du savant et celle du poète. — Celle du savant ? Celle du poète ? Qu'est-ce que... — Chut... Écris.
Pierre Bottero (Ellana (Le Pacte des MarchOmbres, #1))
De quelque sens que pût se présenter une affaire, il trouvait facilement, et en peu d'instants, les moyens fort bien fondés en droit d'arriver à une condamnation ou à un acquittement ; il était surtout le roi des finesses de procureur.
Stendhal (La Chartreuse de Parme)
I'll fix things up with George soon as she gets here," Anthony mumbled. "You may depend upon it." "Oh,I know you will, but you'll have to hie yourself back to London to do so, since she ain't coming here. Didn't want to inflict her dour mood on the festivities, so decided it ould be best to absent herself." Anthony looked appalled now and complained, "You didn't say she was that mad." "Didn't I? Think you're wearing that black eye just because she's a mite annoyed?" "That will do," Jason said sternly. "This entire situation is intolerable.And frankly, I find it beyond amazing that you have both utterly lost your finesse in dealing ith women since you married." That,of course, hit quite below the belt where these two ex[rakes were concerned. "Ouch," James muttered, then in his own defense, "American women are an exception to any known rule, and bloody stubbron besides." "So are Scots,for that matter," Anthony added. "They just don't behave like normal Enlgishwomen,Jason,indeed they don't." "Regardless.You know my feelings on the entire family gathering here for Christmas.This is not the time for anyone in the family to be harboring any ill will of any sort.You both should have patched this up before the holidays began. See that you do so immediately, if you both have to return to London to do so." Having said his peace, Jason headed for the door to leave his brothers to mull over their conduct,or rather, misconduct, but added before he left, "You both look like bloody panda bears.D'you have any idea what kind of example that sets for the children?" "Panda bears indeed," Anthony snorted as soon as the door closed. James looked up to reply drolly, "Least the roof is still intact.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
President Trump displays less finesse than a bull in a china shop. Just as Prime Minister May managed - after many months of bitter wrangling - to reach a degree of consensus on what Britain's future relationship with the EU should look like, in comes the marauding beast upending all the finely balanced Wedgwood. Britain may well need some form of future trade deal with the US but it certainly isn't one that should be struck with the co-author of a lame business book more appropriately named 'Art of the Steal'.
Alex Morritt (Lines & Lenses)
What Angela writes can be read aloud: her words are voluptuous and give physical pleasure. I am geometric, Angela is a spiral, all finesse. She is intuitive, I am logical. She is not afraid to err in the use of words. And I do not err. I am well aware that she is the succulent grape and I am the raisin.
Clarice Lispector (A Breath of Life)
In public, we speak and act by culture; In private, we speak and act by nature. In public, we dress ourselves by culture; In private, we show ourselves by nature. Funny but if we want to win respect, we must behave as what the norms expect, that the moment we do what nature says, we risk being seen as without finesse.
Rodolfo Martin Vitangcol
Stop playing with women you are not qualified for
Patrice Brown (The Finesser: A con man gets conned by the woman he’s ripped off… and that’s just the beginning.)
Bill Clinton has perhaps been the most amazing practitioner of truth management in public life. He’s had to be. Beset by enemies willing to use any tool to do him in, he let the truth out like a fly fisherman plays out a line, delicately, artfully, with infinite finesse, never emitting more truth than necessary, struggling mightily to tell us what he could without admitting defeat.
Stanley Bing (What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness)
... neither the metaphor of ‘melting pot’ nor of ‘salad bowl’ can accurately explain Indian culture. My preferred metaphor is that of the Rain Forest. The ‘tropical rain forest’ characteristically has a number of layers, each with a variety of flora and fauna adapted for life in that particular layer. The layers include the uppermost ‘emergent’ layer that rises above to form the canopy of the forest, the ‘under-story’ and finally the ‘forest floor’, the foundational core. This emergent layer has its roots in the forest floor that is full of shrubs, vines and fungi... A ‘bird’s-eye view’ cannot reveal this rootedness, the underlying substratum, the under-stories and the forest floor. If the metaphor of ‘tropical rain forest’ is applied to the Indus Valley Civilization, the citadels, the rulers, and the rich merchants with their maritime wealth, the urban structure and its finesse are comparable with the ‘emergent canopy’. Yet the bulk of the demography was at the root – the substratum, from which the mature urban cities emerged... The nature of its religion, the cultural practices, cockfights and bull-vaulting visually represent the ‘under-story’ of the IVC.
R. Balakrishnan (Journey of A Civilization: Indus to Vaigai)
I though I made it clear that harming you isn't high on my list of priorities." He shifts her in his hold so that while he is speaking, he is looking directly into her eyes. "And even if it was - which it isn't - I certainly wouldn't go about hurting you in such a half-coccked way, nor would I do it when your back was turned. As with most other things, I'd do it face-to-face and with finesse.
Nenia Campbell (Endgame (Virtual Reality Standalones, #1))
He raked his hands through his hair and blew out a long breath. Damn it, he’d known lust before, but this…this aching desire for her this intense passion she inspired, was unlike anything he’d ever experience. He’d always considered himself a man of control, finesse, and patience. But Victoria somehow stripped him of all three. He didn’t want to kiss her, he wanted to devour her. He didn’t want to strip her gown from her shoulders, she wanted to tear it from her body. With his teeth. He didn’t want to slowly seduce her, he wanted to push her against the nearest wall and simply bury himself in her. Make hot, sweaty, mindless, searing love to her. Then turn her over and start again. If she knew even half the things he wanted to do to her, with her, she’d most likely never recover from shock.
Jacquie D'Alessandro
When Pat gave her ‘criminal-hero’ Tom Ripley a charmed and parentless life, a wealthy, socially poised Alter Ego (Dickie Greenleaf), and a guilt-free modus operandi (after he kills Dickie, Tom murders only when necessary), she was doing just what her fellow comic book artists were doing with their Superheroes: allowing her fictional character to finesse situations she herself could only approach in wish fulfillment. And when she reimagined her own psychological split in Ripley’s character — endowing him with both her weakest traits (paralyzing self-consciousness and hero-worship) and her wildest dreams (murder and money) — she was turning the material of the ‘comic book’ upside down and making it into something very like a ‘tragic book.’ 'It is always so easy for me to see the world upside down,’ Pat wrote in her diary– and everywhere else.
Joan Schenkar (The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith)
My idea is not to try and charm you with subtle psychological observations. I have no desire to draw applause from you with my finesse and my humour. There are some authors who employ their talent in the delicate description of varying states of soul, character traits, etc. I shall not be counted among these. All that accumulation of realistic detail, with clearly differentiated characters hogging the limelight, has always seemed pure bullshit to me, I’m sorry to say. Daniel who is Hervé’s friend, but who feels a certain reticence about Gérard. Paul’s fantasy as embodied in Virginie, my cousin’s trip to Venice … One could spend hours on this. Might as well watch lobsters marching up the side of an aquarium (it suffices, for that, to go to a fish restaurant). Added to which, I associate very little with other human beings. To reach the otherwise philosophical
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
At first I found it inexplicable that boys used such violent words in reference to sex. Why would you be proud of being a lousy lover? If they were truly talking about sex in those situations, they might bring up pleasure, connection, finesse: they wouldn't weaponize it. But the whole point of "locker room banter" is that it's not actually about sex, and that, I think, is why guys were more ashamed to discuss it as openly with me as topics that were equally explicit. Those exaggerated stories are in truth about power: about asserting masculinity through control of women's bodies. And that requires- demands- a denial of girls' humanity... Dismissing that as locker room talk denies the ways that language can desensitize and abrade boys' ability to see girls as people deserving of respect and dignity. And, in fact, by the time they are in college, athletes are three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct or intimate partner violence.
Peggy Orenstein (Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity)
People seek for methods of learning to love God. They hope to arrive at it by I know not how many different practices; they take much trouble to remain in the presence of God in a quantity of ways. Is it not much shorter and more direct to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the labors of one's state in life to show Him that love, and to maintain His presence within us by this communion of our hearts with His? There is no finesse about it; one has only to do it generously and simply.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
You’re out of your mind,” she said, plopping down on the side of the bed. “For real. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as single-minded as you.” “You probably never will. That’s just how it is. You have sex with me, the compulsion goes away, and we won’t need to do it ever again, won’t even have to talk to each other ever again. That’s the best part.” “You know, I’m sure this is your best attempt at seduction, but even with all this suave finesse, I am not going to have sex with you.” He grunted. “You will.
Shay Rucker (On the Edge of Love (Mama's Brood, #1))
Cope’s bot can string together notes that weave in and out with the power of Beethoven or the finesse of Mozart. That a machine can produce things of such beauty is threatening to many in the music community. “If you’ve spent a good portion of your life being in love with these dead composers and along comes some twerp who claims to have this piece of software that can move you in the same way, suddenly you’re asking yourself, ‘What’s happened here?’” Cope says. “I’m messing with some very powerful relationships.
Christopher Steiner (Automate This: How Algorithms Took Over Our Markets, Our Jobs, and the World)
Rien n’est si facile et si commun que de se duper soi-même quand on ne manque pas d’esprit et quand on connaît bien toutes les finesses de la langue. C’est une reine prostituée qui descend et s’élève à tous les rôles, qui se déguise, se pare, se dissimule et s’efface ; c’est une plaideuse qui a réponse à tout, qui a toujours tout prévu, et qui prend mille formes pour avoir raison. Le plus honnête des hommes est celui qui pense et qui agit le mieux, mais le plus puissant est celui qui sait le mieux écrire et parler.
George Sand (32 Oeuvres de George Sand (La Mare au Diable, La Petite Fadette, Indiana, Nanon ...))
I did say that to deny the existence of evil spirits, or to deny the existence of the devil, is to deny the truth of the New Testament; and that to deny the existence of these imps of darkness is to contradict the words of Jesus Christ. I did say that if we give up the belief in devils we must give up the inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, and we must give up the divinity of Christ. Upon that declaration I stand, because if devils do not exist, then Jesus Christ was mistaken, or we have not in the New Testament a true account of what he said and of what he pretended to do. If the New Testament gives a true account of his words and pretended actions, then he did claim to cast out devils. That was his principal business. That was his certificate of divinity, casting out devils. That authenticated his mission and proved that he was superior to the hosts of darkness. Now, take the devil out of the New Testament, and you also take the veracity of Christ; with that veracity you take the divinity; with that divinity you take the atonement, and when you take the atonement, the great fabric known as Christianity becomes a shapeless ruin. The Christians now claim that Jesus was God. If he was God, of course the devil knew that fact, and yet, according to this account, the devil took the omnipotent God and placed him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and endeavored to induce him to dash himself against the earth… Think of it! The devil – the prince of sharpers – the king of cunning – the master of finesse, trying to bribe God with a grain of sand that belonged to God! Casting out devils was a certificate of divinity. Is there in all the religious literature of the world anything more grossly absurd than this? These devils, according to the Bible, were of various kinds – some could speak and hear, others were deaf and dumb. All could not be cast out in the same way. The deaf and dumb spirits were quite difficult to deal with. St. Mark tells of a gentleman who brought his son to Christ. The boy, it seems, was possessed of a dumb spirit, over which the disciples had no control. “Jesus said unto the spirit: ‘Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him.’” Whereupon, the deaf spirit (having heard what was said) cried out (being dumb) and immediately vacated the premises. The ease with which Christ controlled this deaf and dumb spirit excited the wonder of his disciples, and they asked him privately why they could not cast that spirit out. To whom he replied: “This kind can come forth by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Is there a Christian in the whole world who would believe such a story if found in any other book? The trouble is, these pious people shut up their reason, and then open their Bible.
Robert G. Ingersoll
I had, I'll admit, effected a certain style - a method, if you will - of cupcake eating. To begin, you remove the cupcake liner carefully so as not to unnecessarily crumble the cake, and set it aside. You then turn the cupcake slowly in your hand, taking bites along the line where cake meets icing, your mouth filling with a perfect combination of both components. Once you've come full circle, you gently twist off the bottom half inch of cake, a move that takes considerable finesse and leaves a delicate sliver of cake - the ideal size for lying flat on your tongue and allowing it to slowly dissolve, building anticipation for that final bite. To finish, you are left with the center cylinder of cake and icing, the cupcake's very heart, sometimes filled with a surprising burst of custard or jam or mousse, sometimes not, but always, always, the most moist, flavorful bite of the entire cupcake. Take a breath before diving into that final, perfect bite; it is to be savored for as long as possible. Finally, of course, you scavenge the crumbs from the cupcake liner you set aside during step one, then ball the liner into your fist and overhand it into the nearest receptacle. Make the shot? You get another cupcake.
Meg Donohue (How to Eat a Cupcake)
In order for these so-called principled souls to survive in this warped world, these sort of people need to carefully adjust every day, though in most cases they’re not consciously aware of the tiresome level of finesse necessary to do so. They’re thoroughly convinced that they’re perfectly guileless people who live honest lives devoid of ulterior motives or artifice. And when, by some chance, a special light shines on them, revealing how artificial and unreal the inner workings of their lives really are, circumstances can take a tragic, or in some cases comic, turn. Of course, there are many such people—we can call them blessed—who never encounter that light, or who see it but come away unfazed
Haruki Murakami (Men Without Women)
The hot crown of his cock notched against my sex, and we both stopped, our gazes clashing. "Em." I knew what he meant. This felt different. This felt more like than sex. He didn't look away as he slowly pushed into me, all that hot girth making itself at home. I moaned and spread my legs wider, working with him. He was big. And there. And it felt so good I could barely breathe through it all. Lucian dipped his head, trembling with effort to go slow. "God. God. You feel..." He broke off with a tortured groan and a hard thrust, filling me completely. I closed my eyes, my hands smoothing over his damp back. "So good, Lucian. So good." That was all he needed. Moving like liquid, he rocked into me, kissing my mouth, whispering how much he wanted me. I grew incandescent with it, heat licking through me in waves. Lucian fucked like he did most everything, with perfect finesse and fierce determination. With swagger. Soon we were both panting, moving faster, reaching for that peak yet wanting to prolong it. "I don't want it to end," he said against my mouth. But then he canted his hips, hitting that spot that lit me up and made me scream. There was no more finesse, no more drawing it out. Just basic rutting, fucking each other like we might die and not get another chance. And when he came, I stared up at him, at those muscles straining, his wintergreen eyes gleaming in lust and surprise, as though he couldn't quite believe how good it was. Neither could I. Because it had never been like this.
Kristen Callihan (Make It Sweet)
These educated parents subjected the poor five-year old girl to every possible torture. They beat her, flogged her, kicked her, not knowing why themselves, until her whole body was nothing but bruises; finally they attained the height of finesse: in the freezing cold, they locked her all night in the outhouse, because she wouldn't ask to get up and go in the middle of the night (as if a five-year-old child sleeping its sound angelic sleep could have learned to ask by that age)--for that they smeared her face with her excrement and made her eat the excrement, and it was her mother, her mother who made her! And this mother could sleep while her poor little child was moaning all night in that vile place! Can you understand that a small creature, who cannot even comprehend what is being done to her, in a vile place, in the dark and the cold, beats herself on her strained little chest with her tiny fist and weeps with her anguished, gentle, meek tears for 'dear God' to protect her--can you understand such nonsense, my friend and my brother, my godly and humble novice, can you understand why this nonsense is needed and created? Without it, they say, man could not even have lived on earth, for he would not have known good and evil. Who wants to know this damned good and evil at such a price? The whole world of knowledge is not worth the tears of that little child to 'dear God.' I'm not talking about the suffering of grown-ups, they ate the apple and to hell with them, let the devil take them all, but these little ones!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
And what could Billy know of man except of man as a mere sailor? And the old-fashioned sailor, the veritable man before the mast, the sailor from boyhood up, he, though indeed of the same species as a landsman, is in some respects singularly distinct from him. The sailor is frankness, the landsman is finesse. Life is not a game with the sailor, demanding the long head—no intricate games of chess where few moves are made in straight-forwardness and ends are attained by indirection, an oblique, tedious, barren game hardly worth that poor candle burnt out in playing it. Yes, as a class, sailors are in character a juvenile race. Even their deviations are marked by juvenility, this more especially holding true with the sailors of Billy’s time. Then too, certain things which apply to all sailors do more pointedly operate here and there upon the junior one. Every sailor, too, is accustomed to obey orders without debating them; his life afloat is externally ruled for him; he is not brought into that promiscuous commerce with mankind where unobstructed free agency on equal terms—equal superficially, at least—soon teaches one that unless upon occasion he exercise a distrust keen in proportion to the fairness of the appearance, some foul turn may be served him. A ruled undemonstrative distrustfulness is so habitual, not with businessmen so much as with men who know their kind in less shallow relations than business, namely, certain men of the world, that they come at last to employ it all but unconsciously; and some of them would very likely feel real surprise at being charged with it as one of their general characteristics. 17
Herman Melville (Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories)
He whirled,almost violently,and stared at her accusingly. "Damn it, Gennie, I've had my head lopped off." It was her turn to stare.Her fingers went numb against the stoneware. Her pulse seemed to stop long enough to make her head swim before it began to race. The color drained from her face until it was like porcelain against the glowing green of her eyes.On another oath, Grant dragged a hand through his hair. "You're spilling the coffee," he muttered, then stuck his hands in his pockets. "Oh." Gennie looked down foolishly at the tiny twin puddles that were forming on the floor,then set down the mugs. "I'll-I'll wipe it up." "Leave it." Grant grabbed her arm before she could reach for a towel. "Listen,I feel like someone's just given me a solid right straight to the gut-the kind that doubles you over and makes your head ring at the same time.I feel that way too often when I look at you." When she said nothing, he took her other arm and shook. "In the first place I never asked to have you walk into my life and mess up my head. The last thing I wanted was for you to get in my way,but you did.So now I'm in love with you, and I can tell you,I'm not crazy about the idea." Gennie found her voice, though she wasn't quite certain what to do with it. "Well," she managed after a moment, "that certainly puts me in my place." "Oh,she wants to make jokes." Disgusted, Grant released her to storm over to the coffee. Lifting a mug, he drained half the contents, perversely pleased that it scalded his throat. "Well, laugh this off," he suggested as he slammed the mug down again and glared. "You're not going anywhere until I figure out what the hell I'm going to do about you." Struggling against conflicting emotions of amusement,annoyance,and simple wonder, she put her hands on her hips. The movement shifted the too-big robe so that it threatened to slip off one shoulder. "Oh,really? So you're going to figure out what to do about me, like I was an inconvenient head cold." "Damned inconvenient," he muttered. "You may not have noticed, but I'm a grown woman with a mind of my own, accustomed to making my own decisions. You're not going to do anything about me," she told him as her temper began to overtake everything else. She jabbed a finger at him,and the gap in the robe widened. "If you're in love with me, that's your problem. I have one of my own because I'm in love with you." "Terrific!" he shouted at her. "That's just terrific.We'd both have been better off if you'd waited out that storm in a ditch instead of coming here." "You're not telling me anything I don't already know," Gennie retorted, then spun around to leave the room. "Just a minute." Grant had her arm again and backed her into the wall. "You're not going anywhere until this is settled." "It's settled!" Tossing her hair out of her face, she glared at him. "We're in love with each other and I wish you'd go jump off that cliff.If you had any finesse-" "I don't." "Any sensitivty," she continued, "you wouldn't announce that you were in love with someone in the same tone you'd use to frighten small children.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
She looked into the pleading brown eyes and she saw none of the beauty of a shy boy's first love, of the adoration of an ideal come true or the wild happiness and tenderness that were sweeping through him like a flame. Scarlett was used to men asking her to marry them, men much more attractive than Charles Hamilton, and men who had more finesse than to propose at a barbecue when she had more important matters on her mind. She only saw a boy of twenty, red as a beet and looking very silly. She wished that she could tell him how silly he looked. But automatically, the words Ellen had taught her to say in such emergencies rose to her lips and casting down her eyes, from force of habit, she murmured: "Mr. Hamilton, I am not unaware of the honor you have bestowed on me in wanting me to become your wife, but this is all so sudden that I do not know what to say." That was a neat way of smoothing a man's vanity and yet keeping him n the string, and Charles rose to it as though such bait were new and he the first to swallow it.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
He nodded. “From the first moment I saw you, I wanted you. It was the night of the Nethercourt gathering three years ago. You wore a green gown and your eyes seemed to be alive with color. You entered the room and I had to have you… I would have had you, except that Owen told me you were his new mistress.” Mariah blinked in increasing disbelief at the detail John could recount of the night of their first meeting. “I—I had no idea of your feelings.” “Of course not.” John frowned. “I made certain you did not, nor did Owen. I would not have betrayed him in such a manner. But my desire for you never decreased. Although I suppose that fact is rather clear since I have taken you not once, but twice in recent days. And without much finesse either time, for which I apologize.” Mariah set her cup away and leaned back in the chair to stare at him. “You act as though I received no pleasure from those encounters. I assure you, I did. A great deal, both times.” He smiled, almost in relief. “Good. I would hate to think I have left a poor impression.
Jess Michaels (For Desire Alone (Mistress Matchmaker, #2))
I decided to begin with romantic films specifically mentioned by Rosie. There were four: Casablanca, The Bridges of Madison County, When Harry Met Sally, and An Affair to Remember. I added To Kill a Mockingbird and The Big Country for Gregory Peck, whom Rosie had cited as the sexiest man ever. It took a full week to watch all six, including time for pausing the DVD player and taking notes. The films were incredibly useful but also highly challenging. The emotional dynamics were so complex! I persevered, drawing on movies recommended by Claudia about male-female relationships with both happy and unhappy outcomes. I watched Hitch, Gone with the Wind, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Annie Hall, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and Fatal Attraction. Claudia also suggested I watch As Good as It Gets, “just for fun.” Although her advice was to use it as an example of what not to do, I was impressed that the Jack Nicholson character handled a jacket problem with more finesse than I had. It was also encouraging that, despite serious social incompetence, a significant difference in age between him and the Helen Hunt character, probable multiple psychiatric disorders, and a level of intolerance far more severe than mine, he succeeded in winning the love of the woman in the end. An excellent choice by Claudia.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
After having taken a long and hard look at the echelonment of the various appendices of the sexual function, the moment appears to have arrived to expound the central theorem of my apocritique. Unless you were to put a halt to the implacable unfolding of my reasoning with the objection that, good prince, I will permit you to formulate: "You take all your examples from adolescence, which is indeed an important period in life, but when all is said and done it only occupies an exceedingly brief fraction of this. Are you not afraid, then, that your conclusions, the finesse and rigour of which we admire, may ultimately turn out to be both partial and limited?" To this amiable adversary I will reply that adolescence is not only an important period in life, but that it is the only period where one may speak of life in the full sense of the word. The attractile drives are unleashed around the age of thirteen, after which they gradually diminish, or rather they are resolved in models of behaviour which are, after all, only constrained forces. The violence of the initial explosion means that the outcome of the conflict may remain uncertain for years; this is what is called a transitory regime in electrodynamics. But little by little the oscillations become slower, to the point of resolving themselves in mild and melancholic long waves; from this moment on all is decided, and life is nothing more than a preparation for death. This can be expressed in a more brutal and less exact way by saying that man is a diminished adolescent. 'After having taken a long and hard look at the echelonment of the various appendices of the sexual function, the moment seems to me to have come to expound the central theorem of my apocritique. For this I will utilize the lever of a condensed but adequate formulation, to wit: Sexuality is a system of social hierarchy
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)