Smart Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Smart. Here they are! All 200 of them:

They love their hair because they're not smart enough to love something more interesting.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I may die young, but at least I'll die smart.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Basically, I have two speeds.... Hostile or smart-aleck. Your choice.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
Albert Einstein
Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
If you can't be seven feet tall, be seven feet smart.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Labyrinth (Vorkosigan Saga, #5.2))
Because you can't argue with all the fools in the world. It's easier to let them have their way, then trick them when they're not paying attention.
Christopher Paolini
Is that a bulletproof vest? See, now that's so insulting. That's like saying I'm not smart enough to shoot you in the head." Eddie DeChooch
Janet Evanovich (Seven Up (Stephanie Plum, #7))
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Laurence J. Peter (The Peter Principle)
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....
Noam Chomsky (The Common Good)
Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.
Brandon Mull (Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1))
Not that smart. Not that hot. Not that nice. Not that funny. That's me: I'm not that.
John Green
The venn diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t wanna date is a circle.
John Green
It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Coco Chanel
The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell
I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!
Andy Rooney
A smart person knows how to talk. A wise person knows when to be silent.
Roy T. Bennett
And in my classes, I will talk most of the time, and you will listen most of the time. Because you may be smart, but I've been smart longer.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
She's kind of a walking poem, she's this perfect beauty...but at the same time very deep, very smart.
Johnny Depp
I don't know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
He had no idea where the stereotype of dumb giggly blondes came from. Ever since he'd met Annabeth at the Grand Canyon last winter,when she'd marched toward him with that Give me Percy Jackson or I’ll kill you expression, Leo had thought of blondes as much too smart and much too dangerous.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
If you’re smart, you care. And if you care, you love.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
I may not be smart enough to do everything, but I am dumb enough to try anything.
Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, Vol. 3: Beast Boys and Girls)
Be grateful, be smart, be clean, be true, be humble, be prayerful.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Way To Be!: 9 Rules For Living The Good Life)
I'm smart but not enough--just smart enough to have problems.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
That's you," Wrath said. You shall be called the Black Dagger warrior Dhestroyer, descended of Wrath son of Wrath." "But you'll always be Butch to us," Rhage cut in. "As well as hard-ass. Smart-ass. Royal pain in the ass. You know, whatever the situation calls for. I think as long as there's an ASS in there, it'll be accurate." "How about bASStard?" Z suggested. "Nice. I feel that.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
If you understand others you are smart. If you understand yourself you are illuminated. If you overcome others you are powerful. If you overcome yourself you have strength. If you know how to be satisfied you are rich. If you can act with vigor, you have a will. If you don't lose your objectives you can be long-lasting. If you die without loss, you are eternal.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
We've all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest." He clears his throat. "I continually struggle with kindness.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it's going with my girlfriend - but I don't give a shit, man, because you're you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that's okay. They're them. I'm too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That's okay, too. That's me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You're funny, and you're smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do.
Chris Rock
You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it's your choice
Gordon B. Hinckley
You were designed to be very smart, Max,' she told me. 'We electrically stimulated your synaptic nerve endings while your brain was developing.' (The director) And yet I still can't program my DVD player,' I said." (Max)
James Patterson
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy)
I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none.
Marilyn Monroe
Weird behavior is natural in smart children, like curiosity is to a kitten.
Hunter S. Thompson (Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
I like the way I feel about myself when I'm with him." I say quietly. "Warner thinks I'm strong and smart and capable and he actually values my opinion. He makes me feel like his equal--like I can accomplish just as much as he can, and more. And if I do something incredible, he's not even surprised. He expects it. He doesn't treat me like I'm some fragile little girl who needs to be protected all the time.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
Who is he when he isn't Dauntless, isn't an instructor, isn't Four, isn't anything in particular? Whoever he is, I like him. It's easier to admit that to myself now, in the dark, after all that just happened. He is not sweet or gentle or particularly kind. But he is smart and brave, and even though he saved me, he treated me like I was strong. That is all I need to know.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
Dr. Seuss
You're kidding. I thought all geniuses read Latin. Isn't that the international language for smart people?"-Shane (Glass Houses)
Rachel Caine (Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1))
All I'm telling you to do is to be smart about it. Know that if this man isn't looking for a serious relationship, you're not going to change his mind just because you two are going on dates and being intimate. You could be the most perfect woman on the Lord's green earth-you're capable of interesting conversation, you cook a mean breakfast, you hand out backrubs like sandwiches, you're independent (which means, to him, that you're not going to be in his pockets)-but if he's not ready for a serious relationship, he going to treat you like sports fish.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
I'm smart enough to know that I'm dumb.
Richard P. Feynman
Get smart and nothing can touch you.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.
John C. Maxwell
Guy don't need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus' works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain't hardly ever a nice fella.
John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men)
It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I've always believed that a person is smart. It's people that are stupid.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
It’s just... everything. There are too many people. And I don’t fit in. I don’t know how to be. Nothing that I’m good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn't matter—and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it’s only because people want something from me. Not because they want me.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
If you can't do something smart, do something right.
Joss Whedon (Serenity)
Bones has always been smart," I muttered. "His intelligence was just camouflaged under a mountain of p**sy." Cat
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn't it?
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
All my friends seem to be smart arses. Don't ask me why. Like many things, it is what it is.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
The thing about smart mother fuckers is that sometimes, they sound like crazy mother fuckers to stupid mother fuckers...
Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain)
To generalize is to be an idiot.
William Blake
Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.
Abigail Adams
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
Bill Gates
What the hell makes you so smart?" I asked. "I wouldn't go for coffee with you, " she answered. "Listen -- I wouldn't ask you." "That, "she replied "is what makes you stupid.
Erich Segal (Love Story (Love Story, #1))
It's like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.
Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia)
Why do I do anything?' she says. 'I'm educated enough to talk myself out of any plan. To deconstruct any fantasy. Explain away any goal. I'm so smart I can negate any dream.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Alone also means available for someone outstanding.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
The Doctor: [aiming gun at the ceiling] Didn't anyone ever tell you? There's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart. If you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap. Angel Bob: And what would that be, sir? The Doctor: Me. [fires]
Steven Moffat
Real smarts begin when you quit quoting other people……..
Chuck Palahniuk (Pygmy)
Normally seven minutes of another person's company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
H.L. Mencken (Minority Report)
I'm too young, too smart and too good-looking to die.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
Gee, thanks Dad. I promise to be a good boy and play nice with the other kids.(Kyrian) Smart ass.(Julian) Better than a dumb ass.(Kyrian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.
Stephen Hawking
...Don't feel sorry for me. I'm glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I'm grateful I saw it even for a little bit.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
You know, ogres only sound stupid. Most are pretty smart." "And it's a shallow person who judges anyone by the way they sound. I'm so shallow I'm surprised I don't reflect myself.
Tamora Pierce (First Test (Protector of the Small, #1))
I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
LAW 46 Never Appear Too Perfect Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
There are always answers. We just have to be smart enough.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Once upon a time there was a girl." "Not a princess?!" "No, definitely not! She was too smart to be a princess. Tough too...Stronger than anyone realized." "Does she live happily ever after?" "Shouldn't there be something in the middle?" "I like to read the ending first." (Wicked Lovely)
Melissa Marr
He's twenty-nine. And what did you think he was going to look like?" She shrugged. "You know-old. Grizzled. Long white beard. Scruffy robes. Loveable, smart, a little absent minded." I bit back a grin. " I said 'sorcerer,' not 'Dumbledore.' So he's hot. It could be worse.
Chloe Neill (Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1))
On the other hand, I think cats have Asperger's. Like me, they're very smart. And like me, sometimes they simply need to be left alone.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
You, have this whole tall, dark stranger thing going on. Not to mention the tortured artist bit. And you, have that whole blonde cool and collected perfect smart thing going on. You're the boy all the girls want to rebel with. You, are the unattainable girl in homeroom who never gives a guy the time of day.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
You know what I can't understand? You have all these people telling you all the time how great you are, smart and funny and talented and all that, I mean endlessly, I've been telling you for years. So why don't you believe it? why do you think people say that stuff, Em? Do you think it's a conspiracy, people secretly ganging up to be nice about you?
David Nicholls (One Day)
I’m smart and beautiful and strong. I don’t need to be rescued.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Being brokenhearted is like having broken ribs. On the outside it looks like nothing's wrong, but every breath hurts.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions.
Connor Franta (A Work in Progress)
You forget all of it anyway. . . You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. . . You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.
Gabrielle Zevin (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac)
And pity--people who inspire it in you are actually very powerful people. To get someone else to take care of you, to feel sorry for you--that takes a lot of strength, smarts, manipulation. Very powerful people.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
I know you're smart. But everyone here is smart. Smart isn't enough. The kind of people I want on my research team are those who will help everyone feel happy to be here.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
Ghouls weren't smart, but like the Energizer Bunny they kept going and going.
L.J. Smith (Huntress (Night World, #7))
My world was ordered, calm, and controlled, then you came into my life with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity ...and everything before you was just dull, empty, mediocre ...it was nothing.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
You just have to say to yourself, "I am not willing to accept anything less than what I deserve! I am smart! I am Beautiful! I am a good woman and I deserve to be happy!" It all starts with you.
Amari Soul (Reflections Of A Man)
The venn diagram of boys who don't like smart girls and boys you don't want to date is a circle.
John Green
I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.
Winston Groom (Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, #1))
People who label erotica writers as sluts/men-whores remind me of the mob that once condemned smart women as witches. Mankind has not evolved much.
Anna Bayes
I saw the prince when I was in Os Alta,” said Ekaterina. “He’s not bad looking.” “Not bad looking?” said another voice. “He’s damnably handsome.” Luchenko scowled. “Since when—” “Brave in battle, smart as a whip.” Now the voice seemed to be coming from above us. Luchenko craned his neck, peering into the trees. “An excellent dancer,” said the voice. “Oh, and an even better shot.” “Who—” Luchenko never got to finish. A blast rang out, and a tiny black hole appeared between his eyes. I gasped. “Imposs—” “Don’t say it,” muttered Mal.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
I used my brains to outsmart teachers—and that wasn't very smart at all.
L.J. Smith (Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3))
Adults constantly raise the bar on smart children, precisely because they're able to handle it. The children get overwhelmed by the tasks in front of them and gradually lose the sort of openness and sense of accomplishment they innately have. When they're treated like that, children start to crawl inside a shell and keep everything inside. It takes a lot of time and effort to get them to open up again. Kids' hearts are malleable, but once they gel it's hard to get them back the way they were.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.
Tina Fey
Wherever you are, however you got there, if it's good, you're meant to be there either because you earned it or life led you there and you were smart enough to hold on.
Kristen Ashley (Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1))
SADNESS OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood [sic]; Humor sadness; Sadness of love wit[hou]t release; Sadne[ss of be]ing smart; Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean]; Sadness of having options; Sadness of wanting sadness; Sadness of confusion; Sadness of domes[tic]ated birds, Sadness of fini[shi]ng a book; Sadness of remembering; Sadness of forgetting; Anxiety sadness...
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
Someone real," I hear myself saying. "Someone who never has to pretend, and who I never have to pretend around. Someone who's smart, but knows how to laugh at himself. Someone who would listen to a symphony and start to cry, because he understands music can be too big for words. Someone who knows me better than I know myself. Someone I want to talk to first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Someone I feel like I've known my whole life, even if I haven't.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
Scott Adams
Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Speed eliminates all doubt. Am I smart enough? Will people like me? Do I really look all right in this plastic jumpsuit?
David Sedaris
He won’t stop staring. “What?” I ask. “How much do you weigh?” “Wow. Is that how you talk to every girl you meet? That explains so much.” “I’m about one hundred seventy-five pounds,” he says. “Of muscle.” I stare at him. “Would you like an award?” “Well, well, well,” he says, cocking his head, the barest hint of a smile flickering across his face. “Look who’s the smart-ass now.” “I think you’re rubbing off on me,” I say.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
Hippolyte Taine
Pull your shirt up over your mouth,” he told Wylan. “What?” “Stop being dense. You’re cuter when you’re smart.” Wylan’s cheeks went pink. He scowled and pulled his collar up.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family's, and my country's past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I've figured out. I know this much is true.
Wally Lamb (I Know This Much Is True)
its no surprise to me that anyone hardly tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that's dear to you? Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer to them? It's so painful to be next to someone you feel so strongly about and know you can't say the things you want to.
Henry Rollins
What is this?' 'A Smart Car' It looked like an SUV took a dump and out came the Smart Car
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
Girls should never be afraid to be smart.
Emma Watson
...do yourself a favor and learn to grab life by the balls, dear. Don’t be so tied up in trying to do the right thing when the smart thing is so painfully clear.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
When did you get so smart?" He tapped his forehead. "Brain transplant. They put in a whale's. I'm passing all my classes with my eyes closed now, but I just can't get over this craving for krill." He shrugged. "And I feel sorry for the whale that got my brain. Probably swimming around Florida now trying to catch glimpses of girls in bikinis.
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?
Terence McKenna
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
No matter how smart she appeared, she was fragile at her core.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Sometimes weakness is a weapon. If you're smart enough to use it.
Jay Kristoff (Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1))
Scientist and smart fellow learner-of-stuff, want to do samurai-monster training with us? We intend to become dangerous.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3))
Your criticism sounds to me as if you have read too many critical books and are too smart in an artificial, destructive, and very limited way.
Flannery O'Connor (The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor)
You act like there are two kinds of girls,' she said. 'The smart ones and the ones that boys like.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Percy, we're going to Polyphemus' island! Polyphemus is an S-i-k...a C-y-k..." She stamped her foot in frustration. As smart as she was, Annabeth was dyslexic, too. We could've been there all night while she tried to spell Cyclops. "You know what I mean!
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I wanted to stay locked away from the pain and destruction. I didn't want to be strong. I didn't want to be the 'smart girl'. I was so very tired. I just wanted it all to be over.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
He knew why he wanted to kiss her. Because she was beautiful. And before that, because she was kind. And before that, because she was smart and funny. Because she was exactly the right kind of smart and funny. Because he could imagine taking a long trip with her without ever getting bored. Because whenever he saw something new and interesting, or new and ridiculous, he always wondered what she'd have to say about it--how many stars she'd give it and why.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
The thing was, if staying away from him made me unsmart, I never wanted to be smart again.
Nicole Williams (Crash (Crash, #1))
You hit me again," I said, growing oddly annoyed. "Ya think?" Evil Riggs said. Smart-ass. "Part of my brain hurts. I demand to know what that part of my brain is called and what its job is.
Darynda Jones (Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2))
But I think that no matter how smart, people usually see what they're already looking for, that's all.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Cute" is one of those words people use when they know you're smart enough to realize "you've got so much personality" means "you're ugly.
Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You)
I think I only appear smart by staying quiet as often as possible.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
You're the most incredible girl I've ever known. You're gorgeous and smart, and you make me laugh like no one else can. And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don't deserve you, but what I'm trying to say is that I love you, Anna. Very much
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
He was sweet and charming and smart... but my feelings for Wesley were way beyond that. I'd skipped the crush kiddie pool and jumped right into the deep, shark-infested ocean of emotions. And, if you'll forgive the dramatic metaphor, I was a lousy swimmer.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. You're curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you're waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.
Randall Munroe (xkcd: volume 0)
Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there's a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girlfriend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won't let the pain blot out the humor no more'n he'll let the humor blot out the pain.
Ken Kesey
All teenagers knew this was true. The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face. For years, parents tell you that you can be anything, have anything, do anything. That was why she'd been so eager to grow up-until she got to adolescence and hit a big fat wall ofreality. As it turned out, she couldn't have anything she wanted. You didn't get to be pretty or smart or popular just because you wanted it. You didn't control your own destiny, you were too busy trying to fit in.
Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle)
I love you," she said. "You made me fall in love with you. I don't care how tall you are or what color your hair is-I care about you. You make me laugh. You're smart. You're gentle. And you're real, you're a real person, not some jock with a facade that's going to fall apart when I get to know him. I know you already, and I love you, you idiot. I don't care what you do with toilet paper.
L.J. Smith (The Kill (The Forbidden Game, #3))
I think we've made a mistake," he says softly. "We've all started to put down virtues of the other faction in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt. The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It's always watching, and when I am cmpletely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it's coming, I can't stop it.
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
I don't know," I said. "What else did you do for your first eighteen years?" "Like I said," he said as I unlocked the car, "I'm not so sure that you should go by my example." "Why not?" "Because I have my regrets," he said. "Also, I'm a guy. And guys do different stuff." "Like ride bikes?" I said. "No," he replied. "Like have food fights. And break stuff. And set off firecrackers on people's front porches. And..." "Girls can't set off firecrackers on people's front porches?" "They can," he said... "But they're smart enough not to. That's the difference.
Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride)
Deep inside, she knew who she was, and that person was smart and kind and often even funny, but somehow her personality always got lost somewhere between her heart and her mouth, and she found herself saying the wrong thing or, more often, nothing at all.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
I’m not a romantic, I’m a half-wit. Only stupid people would think I’m smart. I’m not something anyone should know. I’m a lunatic wandering around for scraps, I’m like every single miserable moron I’ve scorned and pretended I didn’t recognize. I’m all of them, every last ugly thing in a bad last-minute costume. I’m not different, not at all, not different from any other speck of a thing. I’m a blemished blemish, a ruined ruin, a stained wreck so failed I can’t see what I used to be.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
It is in that moment, when you really lay down your cards and see the relationship for what it was, that you'll find the freedom to kick it in the ass and let it go.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
You can feel the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-- no matter how smart or accomplished--they cry, they yearn, they hurt. But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love and a peaceful heart.
Mitch Albom
I am your instructor", he says."My name is Four". Christina asks, "Four? Like the number?" "Yes", Four says. "Is there a problem?" "No." "Good. We're about to go into the Pit, which you will someday learn to love. It-" Christina snickers. "The Pit? Clever name." Four walks up to Christina and leans his face close to hers. His eyes narrow, and for a second he just stares at her. "What's your name?" he asks quietly. "Christina", she squeaks. "Well, Christina, if I wanted to put up with Candor smart-mouths, I would have joined their faction", he hisses. "The first lesson you will learn from me is to keep your mouth shut.Got that?
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You just punched a prince, Alina. I guess we can add one more act of treason to our list.” I shook out my sore hand. My knuckles smarted. “First of all, are we so sure he really is a prince? And second, you’re just jealous.” “Of course I’m jealous. I thought I was going to get to punch him. That isn’t the point.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
Even with all the mayonnaise in the world, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?
John Grogan (Marley & Me)
Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.
G.K. Chesterton (A Miscellany of Men)
Personally, I like to think my brother is having a college experience like they do in the movies. I don't mean the big fraternity party kind of movie. More like the movie where the guy meets a smart girl who wears a lot of sweaters and drinks cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I think something like that would be very good for him, especially if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find 'super models' strange. I don't know why this is.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Yes, we are [friends] and I do like to pass the day with you in serious and inconsequential chatter. I wouldn't mind washing up beside you, dusting beside you, reading the back half of the paper while you read the front. We are friends and I would miss you, do miss you and think of you very often. I don't want to lose this happy space where I have found someone who is smart and easy and doesn't bother to check their diary when we arrange to meet.
Jeanette Winterson
Adrian smiled and clasped my hands, taking a few steps toward me. "And as for who you are, you’re the same beautiful, brave, and ridiculously smart caffeinated fighter you’ve been since the day I met you.” Finally, he put “beautiful” at the top of his list of adjectives. Not that I should have cared. “Sweet talker,” I scoffed. “You didn’t know anything about me the first time we met.” “I knew you were beautiful,” he said. “I just hoped for the rest.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Trust yourself, because as Oprah says, doubt means don't every time
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
In life, people tend to wait for good things to come to them. And by waiting, they miss out. Usually, what you wish for doesn't fall in your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you have to recognize it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get to it. This isn't because the universe is cruel. It's because the universe is smart. It has its own cat-string theory and knows we don't appreciate things that fall into our laps.
Neil Strauss (The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists)
I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn't shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That's the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.
Sarah Dessen (Saint Anything)
Laurel, David? Would you like to share the joke with the rest of the class?" he asked, one hand on his skinny hip. "No, sir," David said. "But thank you for asking." The students around them laughed, but Mr. james didn't look pleased. Laurel leaned back and grinned. David, one. Teacher who wishes he was as smart as David? Zero
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
I used to think I knew everything. I was a "smart person" who "got things done," and because of that, the higher I climbed, the more I could look down and scoff at what seemed silly or simple, even religion. But I realized something as I drove home that night: that I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-no matter how smart or accomplished-they cry, they yearn, they hurt.But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things:comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
...you are defined by how you live your life, not whom you live it with, and certainly not by what you gave up to be with that person.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
When I was a child, all problems had ended with a single word from my father. A smile from him was sunshine, his scowl a bolt of thunder. He was smart, and generous, and honorable without fail. He could exile a trespasser, check my math homework, and fix the leaky bathroom sink, all before dinner. For the longest time, I thought he was invincible. Above the petty problems that plagued normal people. And now he was gone.
Rachel Vincent (Alpha (Shifters, #6))
It doesn't matter how sensitive you are or how damn smart and educated you are, if you're not both at the same time, if your heart and your brain aren't connected, aren't working together harmoniously, well, you're just hopping through life on one leg. You may think you're walking, you may think you're running a damn marathon, but you're only on a hop trip. The connections gotta be maintained.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
This was why people got mated, Rehv suddenly thought. Fuck the sex and the social position. If they were smart, they did it to make a house that had no walls and an invisible roof and a floor that no could walk on-and yet the structure was a shelter no storm could blow down, no match could torch up, no passage of years could degrade. That was when it hit him. A mated bond like that helped you through shit nights like this.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Ponyboy, listen, don't get tough. You're not like the rest of us and don't try to be..." What was the matter with Two-Bit? I knew as well as he did that if you got tough you didn't get hurt. Get smart and nothing can touch you... "What in the world are you doing?" Two-Bit's voice broke into my thoughts. I looked up at him. "Picking up the glass." He stared at me for a second, then grinned. "You little sonofagun," he said in a relieved voice. I didn't know what he was talking about, so I just went on picking up the glass from the bottle end and put it in a trash can. I didn't want anyone to get a flat tire.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
Just three words? Nothing about his physical health? His equipment? His supplies?' 'You got me,' she said. 'He left a detailed status report. I just decided to lie for no reason.' 'Funny,' Venkat said. 'Be a smart-ass to a guy seven levels above you at your company. See how that works out.' 'Oh no,' Mindy said. 'I might lose my job as an interplanetary voyeur? I guess I'd have to use my master's degree for something else.' 'I remember when you were shy.' 'I'm space paparazzi now. The attitude comes with the job.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Breakups hurt like a motherf*#ker, but they are not the end of the world. The pain is temporary, and if handled properly, they can even be life-changing.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
As different as we all are, there’s one thing most young women have in common: We’re all brought up to feel like there’s something wrong with us. We’re too fat. We’re dumb. We’re too smart. We’re not ladylike enough - ‘stop cursing, chewing with your mouth open, speaking your mind’. We’re too slutty. We’re not slutty enough. Fuck that. You’re not too fat. You’re not too loud. You’re not too smart. You’re not unladylike. There is nothing wrong with you.
Jessica Valenti (Full Frontal Feminism)
I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS, but lots of guys have a thing for Ariel. You know, from The Little Mermaid? I’ve never been into her myself, but I can understand the attraction: she fills out her shells nicely, she’s a redhead, and she spends most of the movie unable to speak. In light of this, I’m not too disturbed about the semi I’m sporting while watching Beauty and the Beast—part of the homework Erin gave me. I like Belle. She’s hot. Well…for a cartoon, anyway. She reminds me of Kate. She’s resourceful. Smart. And she doesn’t take any shit from the Beast or that douchebag with the freakishly large arms. I stare at the television as Belle bends over to feed a bird. Then I lean forward, hoping for a nice cleavage shot… I’m going to hell, aren’t I?
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
If you spend enough time reading or writing, you find a voice, but you also find certain tastes. You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your own brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them. And when that happens, reading those writers—not all of whom are modern . . . I mean, if you are willing to make allowances for the way English has changed, you can go way, way back with this— becomes a source of unbelievable joy. It’s like eating candy for the soul. So probably the smart thing to say is that lucky people develop a relationship with a certain kind of art that becomes spiritual, almost religious, and doesn’t mean, you know, church stuff, but it means you’re just never the same.
David Foster Wallace (Quack This Way)
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Noam Chomsky
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes. So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
It's an odd thing to think about, but try imagining that your breakup is a disease. If you were told that you had a serious yet curable disease, would you go get hammered on a regular basis? Eat two bags of Oreos? Chain-smoke, pop, pills, get stoned, or fuck around? NO YOU WOULDN'T. You would take great care of yourself and cut all the unhealthy things out of your life. Because you love yourself, and even if you don't right now, WE DO. So put the (insert vice here) and start moving on.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
Wow. I didn’t think it was possible for him to look any more intoxicating than he already did. But a leather clad Ren standing next to the gorgeous racing motorcycle holding his helmet made my brain go numb. I had kind of a this-is-your-brain-on-drugs moment, only mine was more like a this-is-your-brain-on-seeing-Ren-in-tight-leather moment. If they’d been smart, the Ducati Company should have used him in a commercial and given him the bike for free.
Colleen Houck
‎I know you're still young but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You're a very very bright girl. Truly you are. You can be anything you want Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated Laila. No chance.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
I was just waiting for you to want me as much as I wanted you.” His words were quiet but carried one hell of an impact. “I knew we were going to be together; it was just a matter of time. I kept hoping that you would figure it out. But for a smart girl, you’re a little dense, Vi. I kept bringing up Lissie Adams, and showing you the notes she was leaving me, hoping that you’d get pissed enough to finally admit how you felt about me.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
-BDB on the board- Knitter's Anonimous May 8, 2006 Rhage (in his bedroom posting in V's room on the board) Hi, my name is V. ("Hi, V") I've been knitting for 125 years now. (*gasping noises*) It's begun to impact my personal relationships: my brothers think I'm a nancy. It's begun to affect my health: I'm getting a callus on my forefinger and I find bits of yarn in all my pockets and I'm starting to smell like wool. I can't concentrate at work: I keep picturing all these lessers in Irish sweaters and thick socks. (*sounds of sympathy*) I've come seeking a community of people who, like me, are trying not to knit. Can you help me? (*We're with you*) Thank you (*takes out hand-knitted hankie in pink*) (*sniffles*) ("We embrace you, V") Vishous (in the pit): Oh hell no...you did not just put that up. And nice spelling in the title. Man...you just have to roll up on me, don't you. I got four words for you, my brother. Rhage: Four words? Okay...lemme see... Rhage, you're so sexy. hmmm.... Rhage, you're SO smart. No wait! Rhage, you're SO right! That's it, isn't it...g'head. You can tell me. Vishous: First one starts with a "P" Use your head for the other three. Bastard. Rhage: P? Hmm... Please pass the yarn Vishous: Payback is a bitch! Rhage: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh I'm so scuuuuuurred. Can you whip me up a blanket to hide under?
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5))
I can get my head turned by a good-looking guy as much as the next girl. But sexy doesn't impress me. Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.
Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones #1))
You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned-the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you didn't really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you'll forget those, too. You forget your junior class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend's home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. For me, it was something by Simon & Garfunkel. Who knows what it will be for you? And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations-even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They're the last to go. And then once you've forgotten enough, you love someone else.
Gabrielle Zevin (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac)
So we dream on. Thus we invent our lives. We give ourselves a sainted mother, we make our father a hero; and someone’s older brother and someone’s older sister – they become our heroes too. We invent what we love and what we fear. There is always a brave lost brother – and a little lost sister, too. We dream on and on: the best hotel, the perfect family, the resort life. And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them… That’s what happens, like it or not. And because that’s what happens, this is what we need: we need a good, smart bear… Coach Bob knew it all along: you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows.
John Irving (The Hotel New Hampshire)
...the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can't tolerate boredom. It takes more to engage and entertain this kind of human, and they need an outlet or they get into trouble. "...knitters just can't watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can't wait in line, knitters just can't sit waiting at the doctor's office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Ned?' he says, after a while. 'Oi, Ned?' 'What?' 'If someone says to you that the guy they're going out with doesn't have to prove how smart he is, what's your response?' 'That he's dumb.' 'And if he has a sixpack?' 'Dumb jock.' 'Not too intense.' 'Dumb jock with no personality.' 'And they see eye to eye?' Ned pauses. 'With the spitfire from Dili?' 'Same,' Tom corrects. Ned holds up a hand to where Tara would reach him in height. 'Dumb jock with no personality and short-man syndrome.' 'Thanks, Ned.' 'Anytime.
Melina Marchetta (The Piper's Son)
Hugh consoled me, saying, "Don't let it get to you. There are plenty of things you're good at." When asked for some examples, he listed vacuuming and naming stuffed animals. He says he can probably come up with a few more, but he'll need some time to think.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
People today have forgotten they're really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better. Especially scientists. They may be smart, but most don't understand the heart of nature. They only invent things that, in the end, make people unhappy. Yet they're so proud of their inventions. What's worse, most people are, too. They view them as if they were miracles. They worship them. They don't know it, but they're losing nature. They don't see that they're going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.
Akira Kurosawa (Yume)
If I had a camera," I said, "I'd take a picture of you every day. That way I'd remember how you looked every single day of your life." "I look exactly the same." "No, you don't. You're changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit. If I could, I'd keep a record of it all." "If you're so smart, how did I change today?" "You got a fraction of a millimeter taller, for one thing. Your hair grew a fraction of a millimeter longer. And your breasts grew a fraction of a—" "They did not!" "Yes, they did." "Did NOT." "Did too." "What else, you big pig?" "You got a little happier and also a little sadder." "Meaning they cancel out each other, leaving me exactly the same." "Not at all. The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also become a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and the saddest you've ever been in your whole life." "How do you know?" "Think about it. Have you ever been happier or sadder than right now, lying here in this grass?" "I guess not. No." "And have you ever been sadder?" "No." "It isn't like that for everyone, you know. Some people[...]" "What about you? Are you the happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
I can only hope,” Julie said, turning back to Gus, “they grow into the kind of thoughtful, intelligent young men you’ve become.” I resisted the urge to audibly gag. “He’s not that smart,” I said to Julie. “She’s right. It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.” “Right, it’s primarily his hotness,” I said. “It can be sort of blinding,” he said. “It actually did blind our friend Isaac,” I said. “Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?” “You cannot.” “It is my burden, this beautiful face.” “Not to mention your body.” “Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,” he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank. “Okay, enough,” Gus’s dad said.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said: “Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. “Oh, and by the way … there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid Deal with it.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Chapter 1. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion...no, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yeah. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.' Uh, no let me start this over. 'Chapter 1. He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles...'. Ah, corny, too corny for my taste. Can we ... can we try and make it more profound? 'Chapter 1. He adored New York City. For him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in...' No, that's going to be too preachy. I mean, you know, let's face it, I want to sell some books here. 'Chapter 1. He adored New York City, although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage...' Too angry, I don't want to be angry. 'Chapter 1. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.' I love this. 'New York was his town, and it always would be.
Woody Allen (Manhattan)
Her definition of romance was absentminded intimacy, the way someone else's hand stray to your plate of food. I replied: no, that's just friendship; romance is always knowing exactly where that someone else's hands are. She smiled and said, there was a time I thought that way, too. But at the heart of the romance is the knowledge that those hands may wander off elsewhere, but somehow through luck or destiny or plain blind groping they'll find a way back to you, and maybe you'll be smart enough then to be grateful for everything that's still possible, in spit of your own weaknesses- and his.
Kamila Shamsie (Kartography)
Ma and God God gave us fingers--Ma says, "Use your fork." God gave us voices--Ma says, "Don't scream." Ma says eat broccoli, cereal and carrots. But God gave us tasteys for maple ice cream. God gave us fingers--Ma says, "Use your hanky." God gave us puddles--Ma says, "Don't splash." Ma says, "Be quiet, your father is sleeping." But God gave us garbage can covers to crash. God gave us fingers--Ma says, "Put your gloves on." God gave us raindrops--Ma says, "Don't get wet." Ma says be careful, and don't get too near to Thoses strange lovely dogs that God gave us to pet. God gave us fingers--Ma says, "Go wash 'em." But God gave us coal bins and nice dirty bodies. And I ain't too smart, but there's one thing for certain-- Either Ma's wrong or else God is.
Shel Silverstein
American humorist Kin Hubbard said , "It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be". The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue... Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat. Little kids make Christmas fun. I wonder if could rent one for the holidays. When I was tiny we would by a real tree and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations. It seems like my parents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie. Maybe I shouldn't have told them I knew where the presents really came from. It broke their hearts. I bet they'd be divorced by now if I hadn't been born. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment. I'm not pretty or smart or athletic. I'm just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies. I can't believe we have to keep playacting till I graduate. It's a shame we just can't admit that we have failed at family living, sell the house, split up the money, and get on with our lives. Merry Christmas.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
We're all—especially those of us who are educated and have read a lot and have watched TV critically—in a very self-conscious and sort of worldly and sophisticated time, but also a time when we seem terribly afraid of other people's reactions to us and very desperate to control how people interpret us. Everyone is extremely conscious of manipulating how they come off in the media; they want to structure what they say so that the reader or audience will interpret it in the way that is most favorable to them. What's interesting to me is that this isn't all that new. This was the project of the Sophists in Athens, and this is what Socrates and Plato thought was so completely evil. The Sophists had this idea: Forget this idea of what's true or not—what you want to do is rhetoric; you want to be able to persuade the audience and have the audience think you're smart and cool. And Socrates and Plato, basically their whole idea is, "Bullshit. There is such a thing as truth, and it's not all just how to say what you say so that you get a good job or get laid, or whatever it is people think they want.
David Foster Wallace
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field. 'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen. I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face. 'Well? Is you?' I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?' 'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?' 'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed. Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense. To make this all go away. And disappear. I know that's wrong, because it's my responsibilty, and I know things have to get worse before they get better. I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why their here. If they like their jobs. Or us. I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day. And how they cope with having three quizes and a book report. On top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why. Especially since I know that if they went to another school, the person who had their heart broken would have had their heart broken by somebody else, so why does it have to be personal? It's much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especiall me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can't just sit their and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn't do or what they didn't know. I don't know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It's just different. Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it's okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.
Stephen Chbosky
I waited for him to say something more, but he was quiet. "Was there something you wanted?" I asked. He didn't answer right away, but I could feel him struggling, so I waited. "If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?" It was my turn to hesitate. "I don't know everything," I hedged. "You would know this. When we were walking... me and Jeb... he was telling me some things. Things he thought, but I don't know if he's right." Melanie was suddenly very in my head. Jamie's whisper was hard to hear, quieter than my breathing. "Uncle Jeb thinks that Melanie might still be alive. Inside there with you, I mean." Melanie sighed. I said nothing to either of them. "I didn't know that could happen. Does that happen?" His voice broke and I could hear that he was fighting tears. He was not a boy to cry, and here I'd grieved him this deeply twice in one day. A pain pierced through the general region of my chest. "Does it, Wanda?" "Why won't you answer me?" Jamie was really crying now but trying to muffle the sound. I crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space between the mattress and the mat, and threw my arm over his shaking chest. I leaned my head against his hair and felt his tears, warm on my neck. "Is Melanie still alive, Wanda? Please?" He was probably a tool. The old man could have sent him just for this, Jeb was smart enough to see how easily Jamie broke through my defenses. Jamie's body shook beside me. Melanie cried. She battered ineffectually at my control. But I couldn't blame this on Melanie if it turned out to be a huge mistake. I knew who was speaking now. "She promised she would come back, didn't she?" I murmured. "Would Melanie break a promise to you?" Jamie slid his arms around my waist and clung to me for a long time. After a few minutes, he whispered. "Love you, Mel." "She loves you, too. She's so happy that you're here and safe." He was silent long enough for the tears on my skin to dry, leaving a fine, salty dust behind.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
I am not shy about admitting my modest talents. For example, I am happy to admit that I am better than average at clever remarks, and I also have a flair for getting people to like me. But to be perfectly fair to myself, I am ever-ready to confess my shortcomings, too, and a quick round of soul-searching forced me to admit that I had never been any good at all at breathing water. As I hung there from the seat belt, dazed and watching the water pour in and swirl around my head, this began to seem like a very large character flaw.
Jeff Lindsay (Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter, #2))
Close your eyes, Maxon." "What?" "Close your eyes. Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—" "Stop it!" "Sorry." "Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?" "Maxon, I..." "Tell me the truth." "Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate." "A boy? How old?" "Nine." "Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?" "Maxon, it will only upset you more." "Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please." "We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon." "Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?" "Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—" "I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)