Repeating Lies Quotes

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I'm not an angel, Jace," she repeated. "I don't return library books. I steal illegal music off the internet. I lie to my mom. I am completely ordinary.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I'm telling you a lie in a vicious effort that you will repeat my lie over and over until it becomes true
Lady Gaga
There is nothing in the record of the past two years when both Houses of Congress have been controlled by the Republican Party which can lead any person to believe that those promises will be fulfilled in the future. They follow the Hitler line - no matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth.
John F. Kennedy
I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.
Dorothy Parker (Here Lies: The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker)
I don't lie." "You don't lie," I repeated. "That's what I said." "Ever." "Nope." Sure you don't, I thought.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
The repeated lies become history, but they don't necessarily become the truth.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
Let me repeat that in case you missed it: ALL GUYS TALK TO THEIR FRIENDS ABOUT SEX. If a guy tells you he doesn’t? Dump him, because he’s lying to you.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Theodore Dalrymple
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
There is nothing more entertaining then leaving someone speechless. Yet, there is nothing sadder than realizing that person was incapable of retaining half of what you said, and will repeat the story all wrong to someone else.
Shannon L. Alder
People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.
Walter C. Langer
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein: The Human Side)
Cabel: Um, Janie? Janie: Yesss, Cabel? Cabel: I have another lie to confess. Janie: Oh, dear. What is it? Cabel: I do, actually, know what my GPA is. Janie: And? Cabel: And. I have a full-ride scholarship. Cabel is pushed violently from the beanbag chair. And pounced upon. And told, repeatedly, what a bastard he is. Janie is told that she will most certainly get a scholarship too, with her grades. Unless she plays hooky with drug dealers.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
People who say, “it is not my fault,” continuously fail. People who say, “I’ve done no wrong,” have not done enough right. People who say, “I am done!” are never done repeating the cycle. Even in the privacy of our own thoughts, we can’t sow lies and reap truth.
Katina Bertrand-Ferguson
You who live safe In your warm houses, You who find warm food And friendly faces when you return home. Consider if this is a man Who works in mud, Who knows no peace, Who fights for a crust of bread, Who dies by a yes or no. Consider if this is a woman Without hair, without name, Without the strength to remember, Empty are her eyes, cold her womb, Like a frog in winter. Never forget that this has happened. Remember these words. Engrave them in your hearts, When at home or in the street, When lying down, when getting up. Repeat them to your children. Or may your houses be destroyed, May illness strike you down, May your offspring turn their faces from you.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox... Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.
Adolf Hitler
But one thing I beg of you, look on me as your friend; and if you want some help, advice, or simply want to open your heart to someone- not now, but when things are clearer in your heart- think of me.' He took her hand and kissed it. 'I shall be happy, if I am able...' Pierre was confused. 'Don't speak to me like that; I'm not worth it!' cried Natasha... 'Hush, hush your whole life lies before you,' he said to her. 'Before me! No! All is over for me,' she said, with shame and humiliation. 'All over?' he repeated. 'If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, best man in the world, and if I were free I would be on my knees this minute to beg for your hand and your love.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away,"she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
I don't know then that one day I won't be seventeen. I don't know that youth doesn't last, that it's only a moment, and then it disappears and by the time you finally realize it, it's too late. It's finished, vanished, lost. There are some around me who can sense it; the adults repeat it constantly but I don't listen. Their words roll over me but don't stick. Like water off the feathers of a duck's back. I'm an idiot. An easygoing idiot.
Philippe Besson (Lie With Me)
Are you finally starting to breathe in a normal fashion?” Shahrzad teased. “I must confess I find your behavior rather odd, considering you said only a child would be afraid to fly.” “I wasn’t afraid.” Khalid wrapped a forearm of corded muscle around her. She slanted a disbelieving look his way. “You just lied to me.” “I wasn’t afraid,” he repeated. “I was terrified.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
The oft repeated jape about his father was just another lie, Lord Tywin Lannister in the end did not shit gold.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
W.H. Auden (Another Time)
Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty look, repeats his words, Remembers me of his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form
William Shakespeare (King John)
Reality Check His lying is not contigent on who you are or what you do. His lying is not your fault. Lying is his choice and his problem, and if he makes that choice with you, he will make it with any other woman he’s with. That doesn’t mean you’re an angel and he’s the devil. It does mean that if he doesn’t like certain things about you, he has many ways to address them besides lying. If there are sexual problems between you, there are many resources available to help you. Nothing can change until you hold him responsible and accountable for lying and stop blaming yourself. The lies we tell ourselves to keep from seeing the truth about our lovers don’t feel like lies. They feel comfortable, familiar, and true. We repeat them like a mantra and cling to them like security blankets, hoping to calm ourselves and regain our sense that the world works the way we believe it ought to. Self-lies are false friends we look to for comfort and protection—and for a short time they may make us feel better. But we can only keep the truth at bay for so long. Our self-lies can’t erase his lies, and as we’ll see, the longer we try to pretend they can, the more we deepen the hurt.
Susan Forward
There is tremendous trauma in the betrayal caused by a perpetual liar as they repeatedly commit psychological abuse.
Cathy Burnham Martin (The Bimbo Has Brains: And Other Freaky Facts)
We wait and think and doubt and hate. How does it make you feel? The overwhelming feeling is rage. We hate ourself for being unable to be other than what we are. Unable to be better. We feel rage. The feelings must be followed. It doesn't matter whether you're an ideologue or a sensualist, you follow the stimuli thinking that they're your signposts to the promised land. But they are nothing of the kind. What they are is rocks to navigate the past, each on your brush against, ripping you a little more open and they are always more on the horizon. But you can't face up to the that, so you force yourself to believe the bullshit of those you instinctively know are liars and you repeat those lies to yourself and to others, hoping that by repeating them often and fervently enough you'll attain the godlike status we accord those who tell the lies most frequently and most passionately. But you never do, and even if you could, you wouldn't value it, you'd realise that nobody believes in heroes any more. We know that they only want to sell us something we don't really want and keep from us what we really do need. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we're getting in touch with our condition at last. It's horrible how we always die alone, but no worse than living alone.
Irvine Welsh (Filth)
The drug of love was no escape, for in its coils lie latent dreams of greatness which awaken when men and women fecundate each other deeply. Something is always born of man and woman lying together and exchanging the essences of their lives. Some seed is always carried and opened in the soil of passion. The fumes of desire are the womb of man's birth and often in the drunkeness of caresses history is made, and science, and philosophy. For a woman, as she sews, cooks, embraces, covers, warms, also dreams that the man taking her will be more than a man, will be the mythological figure of her dreams, the hero, the discoverer, the builder....Unless she is the anonymous whore, no man enters woman with impunity, for where the seed of man and woman mingle, within the drops of blood exchanged, the changes that take place are the same as those of great flowing rivers of inheritance, which carry traits of character from father to son to grandson, traits of character as well as physical traits. Memories of experience are transmitted by the same cells which repeated the design of a nose, a hand, the tone of a voice, the color of an eye. These great flowing rivers of inheritance transmitted traits and carried dreams from port to port until fulfillment, and gave birth to selves never born before....No man and woman know what will be born in the darkness of their intermingling; so much besides children, so many invisible births, exchanges of soul and character, blossoming of unknown selves, liberation of hidden treasures, buried fantasies...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
All life's battles teach us something, even those we lose. When you grow up, you'll discover that you have defended lies, deceived yourself, or suffered foolishness. If you're a good warrior you will not blame yourself for this, but neither will you allow your mistakes to repeat themselves.
Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)
Why do you pray?" he asked me, after a moment. Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? "I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why." After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!" "And why do you pray, Moshe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
The thing about memories wasn't that many of them inevitably faded, but that repeated recall of the ones you remembered burnished them into shining, gorgeous lies
Dexter Palmer (Version Control)
In northwest Alaska, kunlangeta "might be applied to a man who, for example, repeatedly lies and cheats and steals things and does not go hunting, and, when the other men are out of the village, takes sexual advantage of many women." The Inuits tacitly assume that kunlangeta is irremediable. And so, according to Murphy, the traditional Inuit approach to such a man was to insist he go hunting, and then, in the absence of witnesses, push him off the edge of the ice.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
They follow the Hitler line - no matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
John F. Kennedy
– But here is a question that is troubling me: if there is no God, then, one may ask, who governs human life and, in general, the whole order of things on earth? – Man governs it himself, – Homeless angrily hastened to reply to this admittedly none-too-clear question. – Pardon me, – the stranger responded gently, – but in order to govern, one needs, after all, to have a precise plan for a certain, at least somewhat decent, length of time. Allow me to ask you, then, how can man govern, if he is not only deprived of the opportunity of making a plan for at least some ridiculously short period, well, say, a thousand years , but cannot even vouch for his own tomorrow? And in fact, – here the stranger turned to Berlioz, – imagine that you, for instance, start governing, giving orders to others and yourself, generally, so to speak, acquire a taste for it, and suddenly you get ...hem ... hem ... lung cancer ... – here the foreigner smiled sweetly, and if the thought of lung cancer gave him pleasure — yes, cancer — narrowing his eyes like a cat, he repeated the sonorous word —and so your governing is over! You are no longer interested in anyone’s fate but your own. Your family starts lying to you. Feeling that something is wrong, you rush to learned doctors, then to quacks, and sometimes to fortune-tellers as well. Like the first, so the second and third are completely senseless, as you understand. And it all ends tragically: a man who still recently thought he was governing something, suddenly winds up lying motionless in a wooden box, and the people around him, seeing that the man lying there is no longer good for anything, burn him in an oven. And sometimes it’s worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk – here the foreigner squinted at Berlioz – a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram-car! Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way? Would it not be more correct to think that he was governed by someone else entirely?
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
One night a powerful sorcerer knocks on the door of a less-powerful sorcerer. "I'm starting an exclusive guild," he says. "Join me now or I'll blast you out of your fucking boots right where you stand." So naturally the second mage says... "You know, I've always wanted to join a guild!" Right. Those two go bother a third sorcerer. "Join the guild," they say, "or fight both of us, two on one, right here and right now." Repeat as necessary, until three or four hundred guild members are knocking on the door of the last independent mage around, and everyone who said no is dead.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
She tilted her head to one side, considering him. "Do you love me?" "Love is a trick and a sham. A foolish plague and a lie and a torment." "Do you love me?" she repeated, quite calmly. Knowing the answer. "Yes, may it curse my soul." "May it save your soul," she said.
Anne Stuart (Lord of Danger)
if a lie is repeated often enough, it ends up convincing everyone
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
Because gunshots, lies, and oxtail—or whatever you want to call your god—should say Yes over and over, in cycles, in spirals, with no other reason but to hear itself exist. Because love, at its best, repeats itself.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
You are made of bent coat hangers, honey, gravel, epoxy and handstands. I am made of lying on the floor, the same song on repeat.
Dean Young
As Audun detached the orb from the staff he heard the old alchemist’s words echo in his mind. “Your anger is good Audun, your power lies in your anger.” Audun opened his eyes again and lay back down in the wet grass as the words repeated themselves. Robert Reid – The Son
Robert Reid (The Son (The Emperor, the Son and the Thief, #2))
I used to think Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever written. But now that I’m middle-aged, I know better. Oh, Romeo certainly thinks he loves his Juliet. Driven by hormones, he unquestionably lusts for her. But if he loves her, it’s a shallow love. You want proof?” Cagney didn’t wait for Dr. Victor to say yay or nay. “Soon after meeting her for the first time, he realizes he forgot to ask her for her name. Can true love be founded upon such shallow acquaintance? I don’t think so. And at the end, when he thinks she’s dead, he finds no comfort in living out the remainder of his life within the paradigm of his love, at least keeping alive the memory of what they had briefly shared, even if it was no more than illusion, or more accurately, hormonal. “Those of us watching events unfold from the darkness know she merely lies in slumber. But does he seek the reason for her life-like appearance? No. Instead he accuses Death of amorousness, convinced that the ‘lean abhorred monster’ endeavors to keep Juliet in her present state, her cheeks flushed, so that she might cater to his own dissolute desires. But does Romeo hold her in his arms one last time and feel the warmth of her blood still coursing through her veins? Does he pinch her to see if she might awaken? Hold a mirror to her nose to see if her breath fogs it? Once, twice, three times a ‘no.’” Cagney sighed, listened to the leather creak as he shifted his weight in his chair. “No,” he repeated. “His alleged love is so superficial and selfish that he seeks to escape the pain of loss by taking his own life. That’s not love, but obsessive infatuation. Had they wed—Juliet bearing many children, bonding, growing together, the masks of the star-struck teens they once were long ago cast away, basking in the comforting campfire of a love born of a lifetime together, not devoured by the raging forest fire of youth that consumes everything and leaves behind nothing—and she died of natural causes, would Romeo have been so moved to take his own life, or would he have grieved properly, for her loss and not just his own?
J. Conrad Guest (The Cobb Legacy)
Not everything in life is so black and white, but the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and its keystone role in our religion seem to be exactly that. Either Joseph Smith was the prophet he said he was, a prophet who, after seeing the Father and the Son, later beheld the angel Moroni, repeatedly heard counsel from Moroni's lips, and eventually received at his hands a set of ancient gold plates that he then translated by the gift and power of God, or else he did not. And if he did not, he would not be entitled to the reputation of New England folk hero or well-meaning young man or writer of remarkable fiction. No, nor would he be entitled to be considered a great teacher, a quintessential American religious leader, or the creator of great devotional literature. If he had lied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he would certainly be none of these... If Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon as a work of ancient origin, then I would move heaven and earth to meet the "real" nineteenth-century author. After one hundred and fifty years, no one can come up with a credible alternative candidate, but if the book were false, surely there must be someone willing to step forward-if no one else, at least the descendants of the "real" author-claiming credit for such a remarkable document and all that has transpired in its wake. After all, a writer that can move millions can make millions. Shouldn't someone have come forth then or now to cashier the whole phenomenon?
Jeffrey R. Holland
She bent forward to look, then gave a startled little cry and drew back. There was indeed a seed lying in the palm of his hand, but it was shaped exactly like a long, sharply-pointed thorn… ‘The seed looks very sharp,’ she said shrinkingly. ’Won’t it hurt if you put it into my heart?’ He answered gently, ‘It is so sharp that it slips in very quickly. But, Much-Afraid, I have already warned you that Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.’ Much-Afraid looked at the thorn and shrank from it. Then she looked at the Shepherd’s face and repeated his words to herself. ’When the seed of Love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return,’ and a strange new courage entered her. She suddenly stepped forward, bared her heart, and said, ‘Please plant the seed here in my heart.’ His face lit up with a glad smile and he said with a note of joy in his voice, ‘Now you will be able to go with me to the High Places and be a citizen in the Kingdom of my Father.’ Then he pressed the thorn into her heart. It was true, just as he had said, it did cause a piercing pain, but it slipped in quickly and then, suddenly, a sweetness she had never felt or imagined before tingled through her. It was bittersweet, but the sweetness was the stronger. She thought of the Shepherd’s words, ‘It is so happy to love,’ and her pale, sallow cheeks suddenly glowed pink and her eyes shown. For a moment Much-Afraid did not look afraid at all.
Hannah Hurnard (Hinds' Feet on High Places)
I'd hoped the language might come on its own, the way it comes to babies, but people don't talk to foreigners the way they talk to babies. They don't hypnotize you with bright objects and repeat the same words over and over, handing out little treats when you finally say "potty" or "wawa." It got to the point where I'd see a baby in the bakery or grocery store and instinctively ball up my fists, jealous over how easy he had it. I wanted to lie in a French crib and start from scratch, learning the language from the ground floor up. I wanted to be a baby, but instead, I was an adult who talked like one, a spooky man-child demanding more than his fair share of attention. Rather than admit defeat, I decided to change my goals. I told myself that I'd never really cared about learning the language. My main priority was to get the house in shape. The verbs would come in due time, but until then I needed a comfortable place to hide.
David Sedaris
The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you can not do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all...
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
I thought what a thing of sin poverty was, that there could be nothing more sinful than forcing a small child to lie. The wages of that sin were poverty, a wage which one could not endure, leading one to sin again, and as long as one could not pull oneself out of poverty the cycle would repeat until death.
Yū Miri (Sortie parc, gare d'Ueno)
The fact that he does not tell me the truth all the time makes me not sure of his truth at certain times, and then I work to figure out for myself if what he is telling me is the truth or not, and sometimes I can figure out that it's not the truth and sometimes I don't know and never know, and sometimes just because he says it to me over and over again I am convinced it is the truth because I don't believe he would repeat a lie so often. Maybe the truth does not matter, but I want to know it if only so that I can come to some conclusions about such questions as: whether he is angry at me or not; if he is, then how angry; whether he still loves her or not; if he does, then how much; whether he loves me or not; how much; how capable he is of deceiving me in the act and after the act in the telling.
Lydia Davis (Break It Down)
You were happy last night. This morning is a different story." "You think I have a hangover. I don't. Well a little headache, but not much. Just let this be a warning to you if you keep me from sleeping again tonight." "I kept you from sleeping? I kept you from sleeping?" he repeated incredulously. "You are the same woman who shook me out of a sound sleep at two a.m. yesterday morning, aren't you?" "I didn't shake you. I kind of bounced on you, but I didn't shake you." "Bounced," he repeated. "You had a hard-on. I couldn't let it go to waste, could I?" "You could have woke me up before you started not to let it go to waste." "Look," she said exasperated, "If you don't want used, don't lie on your back with it sticking up like that. If that isn't an invitation, I don't know what is." "I was asleep. It does that on its own." It was doing it on its own right know, as a matter of fact. It poked her in the stomach. She looked down... and smiled. It was a smile that made his testicles draw up in fear. With a sniff, she turned her back on him and ignored him as she finished showering. "Hey!" he said, to get her attention. Alarm was in his tone. "You aren't going to let this one go to waste are you?
Linda Howard (Mr. Perfect)
Even if it's a lie, it's a place of my own. That's why I'm going to keep it. It doesn't need to be a big lie—just big enough for one person. And if I can hold on to that lie inside my heart, if I can keep repeating it to myself, it might lead me somewhere. Somewhere else, somewhere different. If I can do that, maybe I'll change a little, and maybe the world will, too.
Emi Yagi (Diary of a Void)
When we support or vote for candidates outside the two major political parties we are immediately lectured about wasting our vote or making it easier for the less desirable of the two major candidates to claim victory. These lies are repeated every election and they must be ignored. You never waste your vote if you vote your conscience.
Glenn Beck (Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine)
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simple to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand. When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
The Rule of Three is simply getting the other guy to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation. It’s tripling the strength of whatever dynamic you’re trying to drill into at the moment. In doing so, it uncovers problems before they happen. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
I’m a liar, but an honest one. People reproach me for not always telling the same story in the same way. But this happens because I’ve invented the whole tale from the start and it seems boring to me and unkind to other people to repeat myself.
Federico Fellini (Fellini On Fellini)
Now, lying on my back in bed, I imagined Buddy saying, ‘Do you know what a poem is, Esther?’ ‘No, what?’ I would say. ‘A piece of dust.’ Then just as he was smiling and starting to look proud, I would say, ‘So are the cadavers you cut up. So are the people you think you’re curing. They’re dust as dust as dust. I reckon a good poem lasts a whole lot longer than a hundred of those people put together.’ And of course Buddy wouldn’t have any answer to that, because what I said was true. People were made of nothing so much as dust, and I couldn’t see that doctoring all that dust was a bit better than writing poems people would remember and repeat to themselves when they were unhappy or sick and couldn’t sleep.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Each of us is aware he's a material being, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and that the strength of all our emotions combined cannot counteract those laws. It can only hate them. The eternal belief of lovers and poets in the power of love which is more enduring that death, the finis vitae sed non amoris that has pursued us through the centuries is a lie. But this lie is not ridiculous, it's simply futile. To be a clock on the other hand, measuring the passage of time, one that is smashed and rebuilt over and again, one in whose mechanism despair and love are set in motion by the watchmaker along with the first movements of the cogs. To know one is a repeater of suffering felt ever more deeply as it becomes increasingly comical through a multiple repetitions. To replay human existence - fine. But to replay it in the way a drunk replays a corny tune pushing coins over and over into the jukebox?
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
There was something else that [Christopher] Reeve told me privately, off camera, and it made me grin. While he was lying in the hospital, just becoming conscious with tubes connected to all parts of his body, a doctor in a white coat came in and with a Russian accent, commanded: "Turn over!" Are you nuts? Reeve thought. I said: 'Turn over!'" the doctor repeated. As Reeve was about to answer "the imbecile", he realized there was something familiar about the man in the white coat. He wasn't a doctor at all. He was Reeve's old buddy from acting school at Julliard, Robin Williams. Reeve waited for a breath, and almost choked with laughter. He realized, he told me, "If I can laugh, I can live.
Barbara Walters
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! And yet they seem alive and quivering Against my tremulous hands which loose the string And let them drop down on my knee to-night. This said, -- he wished to have me in his sight Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring To come and touch my hand ... a simple thing, Yet I wept for it! -- this, ... the paper's light ... Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailed As if God's future thundered on my past. This said, I am thine -- and so its ink has paled With lying at my heart that beat too fast. And this ... O Love, thy words have ill availed If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
He tightened his arms, not wanting Ty to move away. “It’s more than just fucking around now,” he said. “Isn’t it?” He made sure the tone of his voice emphasized that it wasn’t really a question. Ty was motionless in response. He didn’t even seem to be breathing. The silence stretched on, edging toward tension. Finally, he let out his breath quietly and lowered his head. “No,” he lied blithely, just as he’d done in a hotel in New York City over a year ago. Zane chuckled. A classic Grady response, and definitely the one he preferred to hear. A “yes” just might have given him a heart attack. He held Ty close. “You owe me.” “Owe you?” Ty repeated in a rough, questioning voice as Zane felt his heartbeat begin to speed up. “Mm hmm. How I’ve wanted you,” Zane breathed. “It scares the hell out of me.” “I know,” Ty murmured as he turned in place and nuzzled against Zane’s neck.
Abigail Roux (Fish & Chips (Cut & Run, #3))
i) We are hard on each other and call it honesty, choosing our jagged truths with care and aiming them across the neutral table. The things we say are true; it is our crooked aims, our choices turn them criminal. ii) Of course your lies are more amusing: you make them new each time. Your truths, painful and boring repeat themselves over & over perhaps because you own so few of them iii) A truth should exist, it should not be used like this. If I love you is that a fact or a weapon? iv) Does the body lie moving like this, are these touches, hairs, wet soft marble my tongue runs over lies you are telling me? Your body is not a word, it does not lie or speak truth either. It is only here or not here.
Margaret Atwood (Power Politics: Poems (A List))
Art creates an incomparable and unique effect, and, having done so, passes on to other things. Nature, upon the other hand, forgetting that that imitation can be made the sincerest form of insult, keeps on repeating this effect until we all become absolutely wearied of it.
Oscar Wilde (The Decay Of Lying)
For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others. So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!...
Primo Levi (If This Is a Man • The Truce)
You’re lying to yourself. You’re holding this up as a way to keep me locked out. But it’s too late. I’m in. You love me.” I smiled softly as he closed his eyes and gritted his teeth against my words. “You love me,” I repeated, “and you’ll never hurt me. And I will never hurt you. I will never use you like they did, like they all did. Because I want you. Just you.
Samantha Young (Hero (Hero, #1))
Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
Why do we sacrifice so much energy to our art? Not in order to teach others but to learn with them what our existence, our organism, our personal and repeatable experience have to give us; to learn to break down the barriers which surround us and to free ourselves from the breaks which hold us back, from the lies about ourselves which we manufacture daily for ourselves and for others; to destroy the limitations caused by our ignorance or lack of courage; in short, to fill the emptiness in us: to fulfill ourselves...art is a ripening, an evolution, an uplifting which enables us to emerge from darkness into a blaze of light.
Jerzy Grotowski
Borderline means you’re one of those girls… …who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you’ve carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for overdoses, scare off boyfriends by insisting they tell you that they love you five hundred times a day and hacking into their email to make sure they’re not lying, have a police record for shoplifting, and your tooth enamel is eroded from purging. You’ve had five addresses and eight jobs in three years, your friends are avoiding your phone calls, you’re questioning your sexuality, and the credit card companies are after you. It took a lot of years to admit that I was exactly that girl, and that the diagnostic criteria for the disorder were essentially an outline of my life.
Stacy Pershall (Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl)
Repeat after me, Gray: My feelings are valid.” “Stop talking,” Grayson ordered. “My emotions are real,” Xander continued. “Go on. Say it.” “I’m hanging up on you now.” “Who’s your favorite brother?” Xander called loudly enough that Grayson could still hear him even as he removed the phone from his ear. “Nash,” he answered loudly. “Lies!” Grayson’s phone vibrated. “I’m getting another call,” he told Xander. “More lies!” Xander said happily. “Give my regards to Girl Grayson!” “Good-bye, Xander.” “You said good-b—
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Brothers Hawthorne (The Inheritance Games, #4))
The mob believes everything it is told, provided only that it be repeated over and over. Provided too that its passions, hatreds, fears are catered to. Nor need one try to stay within the limits of plausibility: on the contrary, the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily is it believed and followed. Nor is there any need to avoid contradictions: the mob never notices; needless to pretend to correlate what is said to some with what is said to others: each person or group believes only what he is told, not what anyone else is told; needless to strive for coherence: the mob has no memory; needless to pretend to any truth: the mob is radically incapable of perceiving it: the mob can never comprehend that its own interests are what is at stake.
Alexandre Koyré (Réflexions sur le mensonge)
It was in this man's class that I first began to wonder if people who wrote fiction were not suffering from some kind of disorder--from what I've since come to think of, remembering the wild nocturnal rocking of Albert Vetch, as the midnight disease. The midnight disease is a kind of emotional insomnia; at every conscious moment its victim--even if he or she writes at dawn, or in the middle of the afternoon--feels like a person lying in a sweltering bedroom, with the window thrown open, looking up at a sky filled with stars and airplanes, listening to the narrative of a rattling blind, an ambulance, a fly trapped in a Coke bottle, while all around him the neighbors soundly sleep. this is in my opinion why writers--like insomniacs--are so accident-prone, so obsessed with the calculus of bad luck and missed opportunities, so liable to rumination and a concomitant inability to let go of a subject, even when urged repeatedly to do so.
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
The teacher asks a question. You know the answer, you suspect you are the only one in the classroom who knows the answer, because the person in question is yourself, and on that you are the greatest living authority, but you don’t raise your hand. You raise the top of your desk and take out an apple. You look out the window. You don’t raise your hand and there is some essential beauty in your fingers, which aren’t even drumming, but lie flat and peaceful. The teacher repeats the question. Outside the window, on an overhanging branch, a robin is ruffling its feathers and spring is in the air.
Mary Ruefle
There is another important weapon the totalitarians use in their campaign to frighten the world into submission. This is the weapon of psychological shock. Hitler kept his enemies in a state of constant confusion and diplomatic upheaval. They never knew what this unpredictable madman was going to do next. Hitler was never logical, because he knew that that was what he was expected to be. Logic can be met with logic, while illogic cannot—it confuses those who think straight. The Big Lie and monotonously repeated nonsense have more emotional appeal in a cold war than logic and reason. While the enemy is still searching for a reasonable counter-argument to the first lie, the totalitarians can assault him with another.
Joost A.M. Meerloo (The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing)
The Fever Bird The fever bird sand out last night. I could not sleep, try as I might. My brain was split, my spirit raw. I looked into the garden, saw The shadow of the amaltas Shake slightly on the moonlit grass Unseen, the bird cried out its grief, Its lunacy, without relief: Three notes repeated closer, higher, Soaring, then sinking down like fire Only to breathe the night and soar, As crazed, as desperate, as before. I shivered in the midnight heat And smelt the sweat that soaked my sheet. And now tonight I hear again The call that skewers though my brain, The call, the brain-sick triple note-- A cone of pain stuck inits throat. I am so tired I could weep. Mad bird, for God's sake let me sleep Why do you cry like one possessed? When will you rest? When will you rest? Why wait each night till all but I Lie sleeping in the house, then cry? Why do you scream into my ear What no one else but I can hear?
Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy (A Bridge of Leaves, #1))
Then what do you want?" she asked softly. He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?" He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know." Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek." He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy. Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Come, my child," I said, trying to lead her away. "Wish good-bye to the poor hare, and come and look for blackberries." "Good-bye, poor hare!" Sylvie obediently repeated, looking over her shoulder at it as we turned away. And then, all in a moment, her self-command gave way. Pulling her hand out of mine, she ran back to where the dead hare was lying, and flung herself down at its side in such an agony of grief as I could hardly have believed possible in so young a child. "Oh, my darling, my darling!" she moaned, over and over again. "And God meant your life to be so beautiful!
Lewis Carroll (Sylvie and Bruno)
It's certainly true that Chernobyl, while an accident in the sense that no one intentionally set it off, was also the deliberate product of a culture of cronyism, laziness, and a deep-seated indifference toward the general population. The literature on the subject is pretty unanimous in its opinion that the Soviet system had taken a poorly designed reactor and then staffed it with a group of incompetents. It then proceeded, as the interviews in this book attest, to lie about the disaster in the most criminal way. In the crucial first ten days, when the reactor core was burning and releasing a steady stream of highly radioactive material into the surrounding areas, the authorities repeatedly claimed that the situation was under control. . . In the week after the accident, while refusing to admit to the world that anything really serious had gone wrong, the Soviets poured thousands of men into the breach. . . The machines they brought broke down because of the radiation. The humans wouldn't break down until weeks or months later, at which point they'd die horribly.
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
It is better that one should suffer than that many should be corrupted. Consider the matter dispassionately, Mr. Foster, and you will see that no offence so heinous as unorthodoxy of behaviour. Murder kills only the individual -- and after all what is an individual?" With a sweeping gesture he indicated the rows of microscopes, the test-tubes, the incubators. "We can make a new one with the greatest ease -- As many as we like. Unorthodoxy threatens more than the lie of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself," he repeated.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
When even despair ceases to serve any creative purpose, then surely we are justified in suicide. For what better grounds for suicide can there be than to go on making the same series of false moves which invariably lead to the same disaster and to repeat a pattern without knowing why it is false or wherein lies the flaw? And yet to percieve that in ourselves revolves a cycle of activity which is certain to end in paralysis of the will, desertion, panic and despair - always to go on loving those who have ceased to love us, and who have quite lost all resemblance to the selves who we loved! Suicide is infectious; what if the agonies which suicide endure before they are driven to take their own life, the emotion of 'all is lost' - are infectious too?
Cyril Connolly (The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus)
Well?” said Professor McGonagall, rounding on him. “Is this true?” “Is what true?” Harry asked, rather more aggressively than he had intended. “Professor?” he added in an attempt to sound more polite. “Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?” “Yes,” said Harry. “You called her a liar?” “Yes.” “You told her He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back?” “Yes.” Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, “Have a biscuit, Potter.” “Have — what?” “Have a biscuit,” she repeated impatiently, indicating a tartan tin of cookies lying on top of one of the piles of papers on her desk.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Wait,” I repeated. The darkness vanished, leaving Rhysand in his solid form as he grinned. “Yes?” I raised my chin as high as I could manage. “Just two weeks?” “Just two weeks,” he purred, and knelt before me. “Two teensy, tiny weeks with me every month is all I ask.” “Why? And what are to … to be the terms?” I said, fighting past the dizziness. “Ah,” he said, adjusting the lapel of his obsidian tunic. “If I told you those things, there’d be no fun in it, would there?” I looked at my ruined arm. Lucien might never come, might decide I wasn’t worth risking his life any further, not now that he’d been punished for it. And if Amarantha’s healers cut off my arm … Nesta would have done the same for me, for Elain. And Tamlin had done so much for me, for my family; even if he had lied about the Treaty, about sparing me from its terms, he’d still saved my life that day against the naga, and saved it again by sending me away from the manor. I couldn’t think entirely of the enormity of what I was about to give—or else I might refuse again. I met Rhysand’s gaze. “Five days.” “You’re going to bargain?” Rhysand laughed under his breath. “Ten days.” I held his stare with all my strength. “A week.” Rhysand was silent for a long moment, his eyes traveling across my body and my face before he murmured: “A week it is.” “Then it’s a deal
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Connor asked that I make you like me,” Ashton casually says, easing his tight grip on my hips so that I’m not pressed directly against his erection, allowing me to breathe again. His mouth twists as if from something sour. “Since he really likes you.” Then he sighs, looking over my head, as he adds, “And I’m his best friend.” As if he’s reminding himself of that. Right, Connor. I swallow. The mention of Connor and his feelings for me while my hands are still flattened against his best friend’s chest, the one that I pawed repeatedly not even two weeks ago, fills me with guilt. “So?” Serious dark eyes lock on my face. “How do I do that, Irish? How do I make you like me?
K.A. Tucker (One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2))
Srinagar is a medieval city dying in a modern war. It is empty streets, locked shops, angry soldiers and boys with stones. It is several thousand military bunkers, four golf courses, and three book-shops. It is wily politicians repeating their lies about war and peace to television cameras and small crowds gathered by the promise of an elusive job or a daily fee of a few hundred rupees. It is stopping at sidewalks and traffic lights when the convoys of rulers and their patrons in armored cars, secured by machine guns, rumble on broken roads. It is staring back or looking away, resigned. Srinagar is never winning and never being defeated.
Basharat Peer (Curfewed Night)
It’s not that he was wrong to have great ambitions. Alexander just never grasped Aristotle’s “golden mean”—that is, the middle ground. Repeatedly, Aristotle speaks of virtue and excellence as points along a spectrum. Courage, for instance, lies between cowardice on one end and recklessness on the other. Generosity, which we all admire, must stop short of either profligacy and parsimony in order to be of any use. Where the line—this golden mean—is can be difficult to tell, but without finding it, we risk dangerous extremes. This is why it is so hard to be excellent, Aristotle wrote. “In each case, it is hard work to find the intermediate; for instance, not everyone, but only one who knows, finds the midpoint in a circle.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
In a few more days I'd anticipated telling Veronika that our injections had cured her heart condition. But in light of her unscheduled departure form Villette my telling that particular lie will not be required. The majority of people who attempt suicide repeat that attempt until they succeed. I took a risk in lying to her about her condition, i decided to test the only remedy i have come to have any faith in: awareness of life. Until she finds out from some other doctor that she is perfectly healthy. She'll consider each day a miracle. Which in my view it is.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying through imagination's boundless and trackless waste, into the safe fold of common sense. Arraigned to my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night--of the general state of mind in which I had indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told, in her quiet way a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rapidly devoured the ideal--I pronounced judgement to this effect-- That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life; that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were nectar. "You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You're gifted with the power of pleasing him? You're of importance to him in any way? Go!--your folly sickens me. And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference--equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to dependent and novice. How dared you? Poor stupid dupe! Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night? Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness! It does no good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and if discovered and responded to, must lead into miry wilds whence there is no extrication. "Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own pictures, faithfully, without softening on defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.' "Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory--you have one prepared in your drawing-box: take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imageine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest lines, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram; remember the raven ringlets, the oriental eye--What! you revert to Mr. Rochester as a model! Order! No snivel!--no sentiment!--no regret! I will endure only sense and resolution... "Whenever, in the future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two pictures and compare them--say, "Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady's love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indignent and insignifican plebian?" "I'll do it," I resolved; and having framed this determination, I grew calm, and fell asleep.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life: The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man (sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is. Signed. Arturo Gabriel Bandini. Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
The Rules For Being Human 1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period of this time around. 2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid. 3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error: Experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.” 4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson. 5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned. 6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.” 7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. 8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours. 9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust. 10. You will forget all this. Chérie Carter-Scott
Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit)
Question," says Christina, leaning forward. "The leaders who were watching your fear landscape...they were laughing at something." "Oh?" I bite my lip hard. "I'm glad my terror amuses them." "Any idea which obstacle it was?" she asks. "No." "You're lying," she says. "You always bite the inside of your cheek when you lie. It's your tell." I stop biting the inside of my cheek. "Will's is pinching his lips together, if it makes you feel better," she adds. Will covers his mouth immediately. "Okay,fine.I was afraid of...intimacy," I say. "Intimacy," repeats Chrstina. "Like...sex?" I tense up.And force myself to nod.Even if it was just Christina, and no one else was around,I would still want to strangle her right now. I go over a few ways to inflict maximum injury with minimum force in my head. I try to throw flames from my eyes. Will laughs. "What was that like?" she says. "I mean,did someone just...try to do it with you? Who was it?" "Oh,you know. Faceless...unidentifiable male," I say. "How were your moths?" "You promised you would never tell!" cries Christina,smacking my arm. "Moths," repeats Will. "You're afraid of moths?" "Not just a cloud of moths," she says, "like...a swarm of them. Everywhere. All those wings and legs and..." She shudders and shakes her head. "Terrifying," Will says with mock seriousness. "That's my girl. Tough as cotton balls." "Oh,shut up.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed. The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts. The president does this at a high rate and at a fast pace. One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false. This proportion is so high that it makes the correct assertions seem like unintended oversights on the path toward total fiction. Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable. The systematic use of nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” displaced certain character traits that might more appropriately have been affixed to the president himself. Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud. At rallies, the repeated chants of “Build that wall” and “Lock her up” did not describe anything that the president had specific plans to do, but their very grandiosity established a connection between him and his audience. The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction. The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict. It is as if a farmer said he were taking an egg from the henhouse, boiling it whole and serving it to his wife, and also poaching it and serving it to his children, and then returning it to the hen unbroken, and then watching as the chick hatches. Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason. Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring eerily true today. One of his former students implored him to “abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.” Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler “has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.” The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant. At the end of the war a worker told Klemperer that “understanding is useless, you have to have faith. I believe in the Führer.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
Let us consider letters - how they come at breakfast, and at night, with their yellow stamps and their green stamps, immortalized by the postmark - for to see one's own envelope on another's table is to realize how soon deeds sever and become alien. Then at last the power of the mind to quit the body is manifest, and perhaps we fear or hate or wish annihilated this phantom of ourselves, lying on the table. Still, there are letters that merely say how dinner's at seven; others ordering coal; making appointments. The hand in them is scarcely perceptible, let alone the voice or the scowl. Ah, but when the post knocks and the letter comes always the miracle seems repeated - speech attempted. Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
Every type of political power presupposes some particular form of human slavery, for the maintenance of which it is called into being. Just as outwardly, that is, in relation to other states the state has to create certain artificial antagonisms in order to justify its existence, so also internally the cleavage of society into castes, ranks and classes is an essential condition of its continuance. The development of the Bolshevist bureaucracy in Russia under the alleged dictatorship of the proletariat (which has never been anything but the dictatorship of a small clique over the proletariat and the whole Russian people) is merely a new instance of an old historical experience which has repeated itself countless times. This new ruling class, which to-day is rapidly growing into a new aristocracy, is set apart from the great masses of the Russian peasants and workers just as clearly as are the privileged castes and classes in other countries from the mass of the people. And this situation becomes still more unbearable when a despotic state denies to the lower classes the right to complain of existing conditions, so that any protest is made at the risk of their lives. But even a far greater degree of economic equality than that which exists in Russia would be no guarantee against political and social oppression. Economic equality alone is not social liberation. It is precisely this which all the schools of authoritarian Socialism have never understood. In the prison, in the cloister, or in the barracks one finds a fairly high degree of economic equality, as all the inmates are provided with the same dwelling, the same food, the same uniform, and the same tasks. The ancient Inca state in Peru and the Jesuit state in Paraguay had brought equal economic provision for every inhabitant to a fixed system, but in spite of this the vilest despotism prevailed there, and the human being was merely the automaton of a higher will on whose decisions he had not the slightest influence. It was not without reason that Proudhon saw in a "Socialism" without freedom the worst form of slavery. The urge for social justice can only develop properly and be effective when it grows out of man's sense of freedom and responsibility, and is based upon it. In other words, Socialism will be free or it will not be at all. In its recognition of this fact lies the genuine and profound justification of Anarchism.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism (Anarchist Classics))
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed. The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I will persist until I succeed. Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today. I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours a tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid. I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking. I will persist until I succeed. I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows. I will persist until I succeed. The Greatest Salesman in the World Og Mandino
Og Mandino
The Mountain My students look at me expectantly. I explain to them that the life of art is a life of endless labor. Their expressions hardly change; they need to know a little more about endless labor. So I tell them the story of Sisyphus, how he was doomed to push a rock up a mountain, knowing nothing would come of this effort but that he would repeat it indefinitely. I tell them there is joy in this, in the artist’s life, that one eludes judgment, and as I speak I am secretly pushing a rock myself, slyly pushing it up the steep face of a mountain. Why do I lie to these children? They aren’t listening, they aren’t deceived, their fingers tapping at the wooden desks— So I retract the myth; I tell them it occurs in hell, and that the artist lies because he is obsessed with attainment, that he perceives the summit as that place where he will live forever, a place about to be transformed by his burden: with every breath, I am standing at the top of the mountain. Both my hands are free. And the rock has added height to the mountain.
Louise Glück (The Triumph of Achilles)
We can very easily see how parents in other cultures simply repeat cultural norms to their children as if those cultural norms were objective truth. Japanese parents teach their children obedience and filial piety; Catholic parents teach their children to drink the blood of their god; Muslim parents teach their children that a man who married a six-year-old girl – and consummated that marriage when she was nine – is the paragon of moral virtue; Western parents teach their children that democracy is the highest ideal; North Korean parents teach their children that the dictator who rules their lives is a sort of secular deity who loves them. The list goes on and on. Virtually every parent in the world believes that she is teaching her child the truth, when she is merely inflicting what may be politely called cultural mythologies on her child. We lie to our children, all the while telling them that lying is wrong. We command our children to think for themselves, all the while repeating the most prejudicial absurdities as if they were objective facts. We tell our children to be good, but we have no idea what goodness really is. We tell our children that conformity is wrong (“If everyone jumped off the Empire State building, would you jump too?”) but at the same time we are complete slaves to the historical inertia of prior prejudices.
Stefan Molyneux (On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion)
[The Devil] "This legend is about paradise. There was, they say, a certain thinker and philospher here on your earth, who 'rejected all--laws, conscience faith, and, above all, the future life. He died and thought he'd go straight into darkness and death, but no--there was the future life before him. He was amazed and indignant. 'This,' he said, 'goes against my convictions.' So for that he was sentenced...I mean, you see, I beg your pardon, I'm repeating what I heard, it's just a legend...you see, he was sentenced to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometers (we also use kilometers now), and once he finished that quadrillion, the doors of paradise would be open to him and he would be forgiven everything...Well, so this man sentenced to the quadrillion stood a while, looked, and then lay down across the road: 'I dont want to go, I refuse to go on principle!' Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights--you'll get the character of this thinker lying in the road...He lay there for nearly a thousand years, and then got up and started walking." "What an ass!" Ivan exclaimed, bursting into nervous laughter, still apparently trying hard to figure something out. "isn't it all the same whether he lies there forever or walks a quadrillion kilometers? It must be about a billion years' walk!" "Much more, even. If we had a pencil and paper, we could work it out. But he arrived long ago, and this is where the anecdote begins." "Arrived! But where did he get a billion years?" "You keep thinking about our present earth! But our present earth may have repeated itself a billion times; it died out, lets say, got covered with ice, cracked, fell to pieces, broke down into its original components, again there were the waters above the firmament, then again a comet, again the sun, again the earth from the sun--all this development may already have been repeated an infinite number of times, and always in the same way, to the last detail. A most unspeakable bore... "Go on, what happened when he arrived?" "The moment the doors of paradise were opened and he went in, before he had even been there two seconds--and that by the watch--before he had been there two seconds, he exclaimed that for those two seconds it would be worth walking not just a quadrillion kilometers, but a quadrillion quadrillion, even raised to the quadrillionth power! In short, he sang 'Hosannah' and oversweetened it so much that some persons there, of a nobler cast of mind, did not even want to shake hands with him at first: he jumped over to the conservatives a bit too precipitously. The Russian character. I repeat: it's a legend.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Joffrey called out, “Dog!” Sandor Clegane seemed to take form out of the night, so quickly did he appear. He had exchanged his armor for a red woolen tunic with a leather dog’s head sewn on the front. The light of the torches made his burned face shine a dull red. “Yes, Your Grace?” he said. “Take my betrothed back to the castle, and see that no harm befalls her,” the prince told him brusquely. And without even a word of farewell, Joffrey strode off, leaving her there. Sansa could feel the Hound watching her. “Did you think Joff was going to take you himself?” He laughed. He had a laugh like the snarling of dogs in a pit. “Small chance of that.” He pulled her unresisting to her feet. “Come, you’re not the only one needs sleep. I’ve drunk too much, and I may need to kill my brother tomorrow.” He laughed again. He was mocking her, she realized. “No one could withstand him,” she managed at last, proud of herself. It was no lie. Sandor Clegane stopped suddenly in the middle of a dark and empty field. She had no choice but to stop beside him. “Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking -bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.” “ Take your look.” His fingers held her jaw as hard as an iron trap. His eyes watched hers. Drunken eyes, sullen with anger. She had to look. The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of that face. The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Q. Would you repeat, Dr. Seldon, your thoughts concerning the future of Trantor? A. I have said, and I say again, that Trantor will lie in ruins within the next three centuries. Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one? A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty." Q. You are sure that your statement represents scientific truth? A. I am. Q. On what basis? A. On the basis of the mathematics of psychohistory. Q. Can you prove that this mathematics is valid? A. Only to another mathematician. Q. ( with a smile) Your claim then is that your truth is of so esoteric a nature that it is beyond the understanding of a plain man. It seems to me that truth should be clearer than that, less mysterious, more open to the mind. A. It presents no difficulties to some minds. The physics of energy transfer, which we know as thermodynamics, has been clear and true through all the history of man since the mythical ages, yet there may be people present who would find it impossible to design a power engine. People of high intelligence, too. I doubt if the learned Commissioners— At this point, one of the Commissioners leaned toward the Advocate. His words were not heard but the hissing of the voice carried a certain asperity. The Advocate flushed and interrupted Seldon. Q. We are not here to listen to speeches, Dr. Seldon. Let us assume that you have made your point. Let me suggest to you that your predictions of disaster might be intended to destroy public confidence in the Imperial Government for purposes of your own! A. That is not so. Q. Let me suggest that you intend to claim that a period of time preceding the so-called ruin of Trantor will be filled with unrest of various types. A. That is correct. Q. And that by the mere prediction thereof, you hope to bring it about, and to have then an army of a hundred thousand available. A. In the first place, that is not so. And if it were, investigation will show you that barely ten thousand are men of military age, and none of these has training in arms. Q. Are you acting as an agent for another? A. I am not in the pay of any man, Mr. Advocate. Q. You are entirely disinterested? You are serving science? A. I am.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
What happened? Stan repeats. To us? To the country? What happened when childhood ends in Dealey Plaza, in Memphis, in the kitchen of the Ambassador, your belief your hope your trust lying in a pool of blood again? Fifty-five thousand of your brothers dead in Vietnam, a million Vietnamese, photos of naked napalmed children running down a dirt road, Kent State, Soviet tanks roll into Prague so you turn on drop out you know you can't reinvent the country but maybe you reimagine yourself you believe you really believe that you can that you can create a world of your own and then you lower that expectation to just a piece of ground to make a stand on but then you learn that piece of ground costs money that you don't have. What happened? Altamont, Charlie Manson, Sharon Tate, Son of Sam, Mark Chapman we saw a dream turn into a nightmare we saw love and peace turn into endless war and violence our idealism into realism our realism into cynicism our cynicism into apathy our apathy into selfishness our selfishness into greed and then greed was good and we Had babies, Ben, we had you and we had hopes but we also had fears we created nests that became bunkers we made our houses baby-safe and we bought car seats and organic apple juice and hired multilingual nannies and paid tuition to private schools out of love but also out of fear. What happened? You start by trying to create a new world and then you find yourself just wanting to add a bottle to your cellar, a few extra feet to the sunroom, you see yourself aging and wonder if you've put enough away for that and suddenly you realize that you're frightened of the years ahead of you what Happened? Watergate Irangate Contragate scandals and corruption all around you and you never think you'll become corrupt but time corrupts you, corrupts as surely as gravity and erosion, wears you down wears you out I think, son, that the country was like that, just tired, just worn out by assassinations, wars, scandals, by Ronald Reagan, Bush the First selling cocaine to fund terrorists, a war to protect cheap gas, Bill Clinton and realpolitik and jism on dresses while insane fanatics plotted and Bush the Second and his handlers, a frat boy run by evil old men and then you turn on the TV one morning and those towers are coming down and the war has come home what Happened? Afghanistan and Iraq the sheer madness the killing the bombing the missiles the death you are back in Vietnam again and I could blame it all on that but at the end of the day at the end of the day we are responsible for ourselves. We got tired, we got old we gave up our dreams we taught ourselves to scorn ourselves to despise our youthful idealism we sold ourselves cheap we aren't Who we wanted to be.
Don Winslow (The Kings of Cool (Savages, #1))
The first truth about mortals is that none of us wants to die, but all of us are going to. It’s in the name – mortals – the dying ones. If you don’t understand that bit, you won’t understand the rest of it. Here you are, some 5-hundred years old and you haven’t yet figured out something that a 3 year old human is starting to understand. You see, as soon as we can even think, our brains are wrapping themselves around that One Truth, that one offensive, undeniable, irrevocable Truth. The rest of our existence grows up in the shadow of a dead leaning tree, which will at one point in the not unimaginable future fall and crush all that has grown up beneath it… …Rescue them for what? Why from dying! Does that mean they won’t die? No, it just means they won’t die today. At best, we’re talking about delaying the inevitable death sentence laid on our friends. Now how does this particular truth strike you, Mister Immortal…? …And why? Why not merely stand now and fall sooner rather than later? Because there is something precious and sacred about rearguard action. It’s an active retreat that’s been repeated valiantly and ceaselessly from the beginning of mortal time. It just seems wrong to give up. It seems invalid and invalorous. More importantly, it’s indecent to simply lie down and be overrun… …Instead we rage against it and sing our defiance through bloodied teeth. Somehow, in our pointless battle, we find moments for compassion and passion and love. Yes, love. What other reason would a mortal creature have for descending into the Abyss of Gehenna to rescue another mortal soul, sentenced to return in time to that very place, except that that soul is... his beloved, whose very existence is what makes him fight rather than lie down, is what makes him absurdly threaten an immortal creature so beyond him in strength and power and knowledge and years. Love is what makes him hold a hand up to strike an immortal being who will not even feel the blow, but will strike back with lightning fingers rather than fingers of flesh… …If you immortals have so much time, you’d think you could spend some time of it listening to mad mortals rather than always interrupting!
J. Robert King (Abyssal Warriors (Planescape: Blood Wars, #2))