Yes Man Quotes

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There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man. If you answer no to any of the three questions, run like hell." [...] "Does he treat you with respect at all times? That's the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you've found a good man.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
That man is such a damn turd monkey." "Grandma!" I said. "Oh, Zoeybird, did I just call your mother's husband a damn turd monkey out loud?" "Yes, Grandma, you did." She looked at me, her dark eyes sparkling. "Good.
P.C. Cast
I wanted all things To seem to make some sense, So we could all be happy, yes, Instead of tense. And I made up lies So that they all fit nice, And I made this sad world A par-a-dise.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Augustus, perhaps you’d like to share your fears with the group.” “My fears?” “Yes.” “I fear oblivion,” he said without a moment’s pause. “I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark.” “Too soon,” Isaac said, cracking a smile. “Was that insensitive?” Augustus asked. “I can be pretty blind to other people’s feelings.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.
Mark Twain
He leaned against the window, and the gilded frame came into sharp focus. “Do you think it would be any different with your tracker beside you? With that Lantsov pup?” “Yes,” I said simply. “Because you would be the strong one?” “Because they’re better men than you.” “You might make me a better man.” “And you might make me a monster.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
Yes, I have a driver's license." I leaned back against the wall, sighing. "Man, that must be so cool." "It ranks right up there with lockers. In fact, sometimes I put my license inside my locker, and it's so cool I worry that the whole thing might explode with the sheer coolness of it all.
Kiersten White (Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1))
Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal—there's the trick!
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
Do you know how far the wall is from the mines?” He gave her blank look. She closed her eyes and sighed dramatically. “From my shaft, it was three hundred sixty-three feet. I had someone measure.” “So?” Dorian repeated. “Captain Westfall, how far do slaves make it from the mines when they try to escape?” “Three feet,” he muttered. “Endovier sentries usually shoot a man down before he's moved three feet.” The Crown Prince's silence was not her desired effect. “You knew it was suicide,” he said at last, the amusement gone. Perhaps it had been a bad idea to bring up the wall. “Yes.” ... “I never intended to escape.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Yes, I decided, a man can truly change. The events of the past year have taught me much about myself, and a few universal truths. I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it's often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I've often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it's possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there's been a lifetime of disappointment between them.
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
Probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.
Danny Wallace (Yes Man)
Does he treat you with respect at all times? That's the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you've found a good man.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
There is no escape. You can't be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don't try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!
Hermann Hesse
He froze, becoming stone still. As the hover climbed the hill to the palace, his shoulders sank, and he returned his gaze to the window. "She's my alpha," he murmured, with a haunting sadness in his voice. Alpha. Cress leaned forward, propping her elbows on her knees, "Like the star?" "What star?" She stiffened, instantly embarrassed, and scooted back from him again. "Oh. Um. In a constellation, the brightest star is called the alpha. I thought maybe you meant that she's...like...your brightest star." Looking away, she knotted her hands in her lap, aware that she was blushing furiously now and this beast of a man was about to realize what an over-romantic sap she was. But instead of sneering or laughing, Wolf sighed, "Yes," he said, his gaze climbing up to the full moon that had emerged in the blue evening sky. "Exactly like that.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Lady Katsa, is it?" "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you have one eye green as the Middluns grasses, and the other eye blue as the sky." "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you can kill a man with the nail of your smallest finger." She smiled. "Yes, Lord Prince." "Does it make it easier?" "I don't understand you." "To have beautiful eyes. Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it. --Laurie
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
There's one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him. If he says "yes" you know he is a crook.
Groucho Marx
Baby,” his voice gentled, “this is me seein’ to that soft spot when I say quiet-like that I... will... be... there... in ten. And what I mean is, when I get there in ten, your ass better be there.” Oh boy. “Are you coming on your bike?” “Yeah.” “I’m in a tight, short, little aquamarine dress with high heels. I can’t get on a bike. “You’re in a tight, short dress and high heels?” Tack asked. “Yes.” “I’ll be in there in five.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
Sirrah, my companion chooses to engage you in knightly combat!" Halt said. The horseman stiffened, sitting upright in his saddle. Halt noticed that he nearly lost his balance at this unexpected piece of news. Nightly cermbat?" he replied, "Yewer cermpenion ers no knight!" Halt nodded hugely, making sure the man could see the gesture. Oh yes he is!" he called back. "He is Sir Horace of the Order of the Feuille du Chene." He paused and muttered to himself, "Or should that have been Crepe du Chene? Never mind." What did you tell him?" Horace asked, slinging his buckler around from where it hung at his back and setting it on his left arm. I said you were Sir Horace of the Order of the Oakleaf." Halt said to him, then added uncertainly, "At least, I think that's what I told him. I may have said you were of the Order of the Oak Pancake.
John Flanagan
That man is such a damn turd monkey." "Grandma!" I said. "Oh, Zoeybird, did I call your mother's husband a damn turd monkey out loud?" "Yes, Grandma, you did." She looked at me, her dark eyes sparkling. "Good.
Kristin Cast (Chosen (House of Night, #3))
He shook his head, staring at her like a condemned man who beheld the face of his executioner. "Aline," he whispered, "Do you know what hell is?" "Yes." Her eyes overflowed. "Trying to exist with your heart living somewhere outside your body." "No. It's knowing that you have so little faith in my love, you would have condemned me to a lifetime of agony." His face contorted suddenly. "To something worse than death.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
And do I look like the kind of man that can be intimidated?" barked Uncle Vernon. "Well..." said Moody, pushing back his bowler hat to reveal his sinisterly revolving eye. Uncle Vernon lept backward in horror and collided painfully with a luggage trolley. "Yes, I'd have to say you do, Dursley.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
We're all fools," said Clemens, "all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly.
Ray Bradbury (The Illustrated Man)
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
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)
Another relative?” Valek asked. A broad smile stretched Moon Man’s lips. “Yes. I am her mother’s uncle’s wife’s third cousin.
Maria V. Snyder (Magic Study (Study, #2))
come back so i can say yes this time do it again now that i know what to call what you did this time i'll be ready i like it rough now and i'm done with romance i never met another man who loved me so much at first sight he had to hurt me to do it
Daphne Gottlieb (Why Things Burn)
Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say...
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man: 1. Does he treat you with respect at all times? 2. If he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? 3. Does he inspire you to want to be a better person?
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
That's the big picture, your happiness. And health. You should never care what a man thinks of you -- until he demonstrates to you that he cares about making you happy. If he isn't trying to make you happy, then send him back from "whence" he came because winning him over will have no benefit. At the end of the day, happines, joy...and yes...your emotional stability...those comprise the only measuring stick you really need to have.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man. If you answer no to any of this question, run like hell.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
You’re here.” “I am.” Jason boldly took in the way she looked. “I take it you don’t often wear that dress in court.” “Probably not a good idea.” He grinned. “Yes, I can imagine it would be somewhat awkward standing before a judge who has a huge hard-on.” “Is that the effect this dress has?” Taylor’s eyes traveled downward, to the zipper of Jason’s pants, and he was momentarily caught off guard by her bluntness. Her eyes sparkled, amused. “You’re blushing, Jason. That’s cute.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
Finally, in October 1945, a man with swampy eyes, feathers of hair, and a clean-shaven face walked into the shop. He approached the counter. "Is there someone here by the name of Leisel Meminger?" "Yes, she's in the back," said Alex. He was hopeful, but he wanted to be sure. "May I ask who is calling on her?" Leisel came out. They hugged and cried and fell to the floor.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Never question another man's motive. His wisdom, yes, but not his motives.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Thalia blushed. "Hi, Lord Apollo." Zeus's girl, yes? Makes you my half sister. Used to be a tree, didn't you? Glad you're back. I hate it when pretty girls turn into trees. Man, I remember one time—
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
The woman is the home. That's where she used to be, and that's where she still is. You might ask me, What if a man tries to be part of the home -- will the woman let him? I answer yes. Because the he becomes one of the children.
Marguerite Duras
First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth. Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
He studied my appearance carefully. “You cut your hair.” “Yes. Do you like it?” “That depends. How long is it?” I pulled a curl down and showed him it ended just past my shoulder. He grunted, “That’s still long enough, so I like it.” “Long enough for what?” “Long enough for a man to run his hands through.
Colleen Houck
I am a man, and men do not drink pink drinks. Now, be gone, woman, and fetch me something brown." Jace said. "Brown?" said Isabelle. "Yes. Brown. It's a manly color. See? Alec is wearing it." Jace said. "Well, it was black but it faded." Alec said. "Well, I can always fix it up with something sparkly," Magnus said, holding a sparkley headband. "Resist the urge, Alec, resist the urge." Simon said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Do you know what friendship is?' he asked. 'Yes,' replied the gypsy; 'it is to be brother and sister; two souls which touch without mingling, two fingers on one hand.' 'And love?' pursued Gringoire. 'Oh! love!' said she, and her voice trembled, and her eye beamed. 'That is to be two and to be but one. A man and a woman mingled into one angel. It is heaven.
Victor Hugo (Notre-Dame de Paris | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
Do you smoke? Well, yes, I must admit I smoke. I'm glad to hear of it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Wolves eat coyotes," Gordon said[...] If he weren't an old man, I had some rude things I could have said to that. "Yes," observed Adam blandly. "I do." Yep. That was the one that came to mind. And he didn't even blush when he said it. Maybe Gordon would miss the double entendre. But he grinned cheerfully at Adam.
Patricia Briggs (River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6))
Every man has a weakness!” he patiently explained. “I'll find theirs, I promise you.” “Every man?” “Yes,” he answered emphatically. ... “What is your weakness, Brodick?” she asked. “You.
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
[WASHINGTON] It’s alright, you want to fight, you’ve got a hunger I was just like you when I was younger Head full of fantasies of dyin’ like a martyr? [HAMILTON] Yes [WASHINGTON] Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder
Lin-Manuel Miranda
How many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky? Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have Before he can hear people cry? Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Bob Dylan
Facinating." He broke into a wide grin. "I've discovered something, Khufu. This is not Memphis, Egypt." Khufu gave me a sideways look, and I could swear his expression meant, Duh. "I've also discovered a new form of magic called blues music," the man continued. "And barbecue. Yes, you must try barbecue.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
I have only ever liked one boy in my life. I have only wanted one man to have as my own. I have only ever had one dream since I was eight. Styx, the dream is you. You stole my heart fifteen yes ago and you still haven’t given it back.
Tillie Cole (It Ain't Me, Babe (Hades Hangmen, #1))
And now, sis. Transportation for the Hunters, you say? Good timing. I was just about ready to roll." These demigods will also need a ride," Artemis said, pointing to us. "Some of Chiron's campers." No problem!" Apollo checked us out. "Let's see... Thalia, right? I've heard all about you.". Thalia blushed. "Hi, Lord Apollo." Zues's girl. yes? Makes you my half sister. Used to be a tree didn't you? Glad your back. I hate it when pretty girls get turned into trees. Man, I remeber one time-
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
I am confident, because you said yes. Or was it....." He looks up to the ceiling in deep thought and then back at me. "Oh, I remember. It was...yes, yes, yes, fucking hell, yes!
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Beneath This Man (This Man, #2))
At the most one could say that his chi or ... personal god was good. But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also. Okonkwo said yes very strongly; so his chi agreed.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other…. Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.
Martin Buber (I and Thou)
Ah! You speak Levitan,” the man smiled. “But you’re not from Levita I think.” Like
most Levitians he was a good looking man, if perhaps a bit effete for Brown’s tastes. 
“No, I lived there for a while.” 
“Did you enjoy your stay?”
“Up to a point. The Levitian women are very beautiful.”
“Yes of course. So are the men in Levita,” the man smiled. “We used to have a
cleansing programme to ensure a healthy population.”
“You mean a culling policy, where you killed all the weakest members of the
population.
Max Nowaz (The Arbitrator)
Charlotte, darling, Henry said to his wife, who was staring at im in gape-mouthed horror. Jassamine, beside her, was wided eyed. Sorry im late. You know, i think i might nearly have the sensor working- Will interrupted. Henry, he said, your on fire. You do know that, don't you? Oh, yes, Henry said eagerly. The flames were now nearly to his shoulder. I've been working like a man possessed all day. Charlotte, did you hear what i said about the sensor? Charlotte dropped her hand from her mouth. Henry! She shrieked. Your arm! Henry glanced down at his arm, and his mouth dropped open. Bloody hell!
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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)
...maybe sometimes it's riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you're guaranteeing is that things will stay the same.
Danny Wallace (Yes Man)
Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle. But...if me, my birth, if that's a thermodynamic miracle... I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!. Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away. Come...dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
George smiles to himself, with entire self-satisfaction. Yes, I am crazy, he thinks. That is my secret; my strength.
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, "Yes, I have it all.'" Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
I want you. Am I supposed to walk away because you're a man? Maybe. They'll say yes for sure. But I'm sick of all the questions running around in my head." Tate stopped and licked his lips. "I want the man who sat down across from me and changed the way I look at the world. And if that's wrong, then I'm confused because when I'm near you, it feels so damn right.
Ella Frank (Try (Temptation, #1))
I mean a fat, ugly man can still be funny and lovable and successful,” continued Jane. “But it’s like it’s the most shameful thing for a woman to be.” “But you weren’t, you’re not—” began Madeline. “Yes, OK, but so what if I was!” interrupted Jane. “What if I was! That’s my point. What if I was a bit overweight and not especially pretty? Why is that so terrible? So disgusting? Why is that the end of the world?
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
He's the strongest man in the world.' 'Man, yes,' said Pippi, 'but I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that.
Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump, #1))
Honor?” “Yes.” “I’m going to do things to you now that a good girl definitely shouldn’t let a man do to her.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4))
Yes, poor Darren, forced to cook and clean and do other unmanly things. Next thing you know he’ll be wearing an apron and popping out babies.” He snorted as Darren turned and did something with his hand. “We’re friends, but we’re not that close, Dare.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
I shoved him. "Kishan. Kishan! Wake up!" He woke only halfway and pulled me closer. "Shh, go back to sleep. It's not morning yet." "Yes, it is morning." I pushed against his ribs. "Time to wake up. Come on!" "Okay, honey, but how about a kiss first? A man needs some motivation to get out of bed." "That kind of motivation keeps a man in bed. I'm not kissing you. Now get up.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
Nature wishes that woman should attract man, yet she often cunningly moulds into her face a little sarcasm, which seems to say, 'Yes, I am willing to attract, but to attract a little better kind of a man than any I yet behold
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes, he is a man, so genetically he's engineered to be dense about many things, but he's not stupid.
Katie MacAlister (Hard Day's Knight)
He was just hungry, Papa. He's going to die. He's going to die anyway. He's so scared, Papa. The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared. The boy didn't answer. He just sat there with his head down, sobbing. You're not the one who has to worry about everything. The boy said something but he couldn't understand him. What? He said. He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
You actually enjoyed that, didn't you? (Amanda) Oh, hell yes! Did you see the look on their faces? Man, I love this car. (Kyrian) (She looked up at the sky and implored divine aid.) Dear God, please separate me from this maniac before I die of fright. (Amanda)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
What is this woman to you?” “Vhalla, I need her in so many ways, Mother help me,” Aldrik groaned. “I need her as my redemption, I need her kindness, I need her forgiveness, I need her smiles, I need her humanity, I need her ignorance, I need her innocence, and, yes ... Mother Sun, yes, I need her as a man.
Elise Kova (Fire Falling (Air Awakens, #2))
..."Fun?" you ask. "Weren't feminists these grim-faced, humorless, antifamily, karate-chopping ninjas who were bitter because they couldn't get a man?" Well, in fact the problem was that all too many of them HAD gotten a man, married him, had his kids, and then discovered that, as mothers, they were never supposed to have their own money, their own identity, their own aspirations, time to pee, or a brain. And yes, some women indeed became bad-tempered as a result. After all, no anger, no social change.
Susan J. Douglas
Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.
Emma Goldman (Marriage and Love)
If ye loved him, he must ha' been a good man.' 'Yes, he...was.' 'Then I shall do my best to honor his spirit by serving his wife.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Shigure: JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR A SECOND, KYO! Kyo: SHUT UP! I HATE THIS! DO YOU REALLY GET THAT MUCH ENJOYMENT FROM PLAYING WITH PEOPLES' LIVES?! Shigure: Well, yes, now that you mention it, I do--BUT THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! Kyo: Man, your persuasion skills SUCK! Tohru: Um, welcome home. Dinner's- Kyo: NOT HUNGRY! Shigure: KYO! DON'T TAKE THIS OUT ON TOHRU! And come back to the entrance hall this instant and take those shoes off! Yuki: He's right, Shigure. You really do suck at persuasion.
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 1)
So did you really mean all that stuff you said when I was a dead man?" "Every word." "Could you say it again?" he asks. "My memory's a little fuzzy." "Which part?" The part where I said I wanted to stay with you forever?" "Yeah," he murmurs, his face close to mine, his breath hot on my cheek. "When I said that I love you?" He pulls back a little, searches my eyes with his. "Yes. Say it." "I love you." He takes a deep, happy breath. "I love you," he says back. "I love you, Clara." Then his gaze drops to my lips again, and he leans in, and the rest of the world simply goes away.
Cynthia Hand (Boundless (Unearthly, #3))
Max," she said. He turned and briefly closed his eyes as the girl continued. There was once a strange, small man,"she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. "But there was a word shaker,too." One of the Jews on his way to Dachau had stopped walking now. He stood absolutely still as the others swerved morosely around him, leaving him completely alone. His eyes staggered, and it was so simple. The words were given across from the girl to the Jew. They climbed on to him. The next time she spoke, the questions stumbled from her mouth. Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she would not let them out. Better to stand resolute and proud. Let the words do all of it. "Is it really you? the young man asked," she said. " Is it from your cheek that I took the seed.?" Max Vandenburg remained standing. He did not drop to his knees. People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched. As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and magnificent. There were heavy beams-- planks of son-- falling randomly, wonderfully to the road. Clouds arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. "It's such a beautiful day," he said, and his voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die,like this. Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enought to reach out and hold his bearded face. "Is it really you,Max?" Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd. He let his mouth kiss her palm. "Yes, Liesel, it's me," and he held the girl's hand in his face and cried onto her fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Yes, I am finally a match for Amy. The other morning I woke up next to her, and I studied the back of her skull. I tried to read her thoughts. For once I didn't feel like I was staring into the sun. I'm rising to my wife's level of madness. Because I can feel her changing me again: I was a callow boy, and then a man, good and bad. Now at last I'm the hero. I am the one to root for in the never-ending war story of our marriage. It's a story I can live with. Hell, at this point, I can't imagine my story without Amy. She is my forever antagonist. We are one long frightening climax.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
We done with this talk about everything?” “Yes,” I answered. “You good?” he asked. Oh yes. I was good. I nodded but added another soft, “Yes.” His hands slid down over my ass and he ordered, “Then hop up baby, Time to f**k.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
Sure, cried the tenant men,but it’s our land…We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours….That’s what makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it." "We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man." "Yes, but the bank is only made of men." "No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Oh, good grief! I’ve never had a man pick me up before and not grunt like he’s dying. I’m in heaven. Marry me, Ash, please! (Pam) I would say yes, but I come with more baggage than even Samsonite can cover. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
The old man laid a withered, spotted hand on his shoulder. "It hurts, boy," he said softly. "Oh, yes. Choosing . . . it has always hurt. And always will. I know.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Someone killed my Mother and my Father and my Sister?" "Yes, someone did." "A Man?" "A Man." "Which means," said Bod, "you're asking the wrong question." Silas raised an eyebrow. "How so?" "Well," said Bod. "If I go outside in the world, the question isn't who will keep me safe from him?" "No?" "No. It's who will keep him safe from me?
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
Jangan hanya ya-ya-ya. Tuan terpelajar, bukan yes-man. Kalau tidak sependapat, katakan. Belum tentu kebenaran ada pada pihakku ...
Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Bumi Manusia)
I don’t think a man who is fifteen years younger than me should tell me he is proud of me unless he is my sober coach or my time-travel dad.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Dad," said Will, his voice very faint. "Are you a good person?" "To you and your mother, yes, I try. But no man's a hero to himself. I've lived with me a lifetime, Will. I know everything worth knowing about myself-" "And, adding it all up...?" "The sum? As they come and go, and I mostly sit very still and tight, yes, I'm all right.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
He was a man who would never ask for sympathy. He was a man who sought only to do what was right. Such people appear in the world, every world, now and then, like a single refrain of some blessed song, a fragment caught on the spur of an otherwise raging cacophony. Imagine a world without such souls. Yes, it should have been harder to do.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Well, speaking as a feminist, I'm glad that women can lead--uh, groups of unspeakable magical evil." "Yes," Alan said gravely. "It'd be shoking if the evil magicians were sexist. For one thing, that would mean they were stupid, and having stupid enemies would be a terrible blow to my manly pride.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered , irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously "experience" an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the question: what for? — where to? — and what then?
Martin Heidegger (Introduction to Metaphysics)
What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. For example - I wonder - could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I'll tell you, that's one thing I have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I'd had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I'd provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then - yes, I know, to a tiger, but still - I wish I had said, "Richard Parker, it's over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn't have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Yes, you will. And I will warn you now that not their blood but your suspicion might build evil in them. They will be what you expect of them…I think when a man finds good or bad in his children he is seeing only what he planted in them after they cleared the womb." "You can’t make a race horse of a pig." "No," said Samuel, "but you can make a very fast pig.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Yes. We both have a bad feeling. Tonight we shall take our bad feelings and share them, and face them. We shall mourn. We shall drain the bitter dregs of mortality. Pain shared, my brother, is pain not doubled, but halved. No man is an island.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys (American Gods, #2))
He raped me, Agent Calhoun, he hit me but he didn’t kill me. As long as I’m breathing, I’ve got fight in me and luckily I’m breathing.” It was at that he whispered, “You aren’t like a lot of women.” “Yes I am,” I whispered back. “I’m like all women. You see this but inside there’s something else that I won’t let you see or him see but it’s the mess he left me. But that’s mine. No one gets to it. Everything you get and he gets is a show. One thing you learn really quickly and really well when that kind of thing happens to you is to be a fucking great actress. You don’t have a choice in that because a man like that does something like that to you, you lose having choices. The only choice you have is what role you intend to play. I picked my role and that… that Agent Calhoun is what you see.
Kristen Ashley (Wild Man (Dream Man, #2))
if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to `Yes,' she ought to say `No' directly. It is not a state to be safely entered into with doubtful feelings, with half a heart.
Jane Austen (Emma)
You are the one who wanted a happy ending, my dear. So you tell me, how does the story end?" Tears slipped from my face, and he wiped them away with his thumbs. "The foolish young man lets the beautiful maiden go." "Yes." His voice was clotted thick with unshed emotion. "He lets her go.
S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
Jasper waited until the man was gone before asking, “You ever get tired of folks puckerin’ up to your backside?” Griffin faced him with mock gravity. “Yes. It is deuced tiring, people doing whatever I wish. Makes my life so very disagreeable.
Kady Cross (The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1))
Yes, you have the very soul of me, Elisabeth.” “Then your name, mein Herr.” He laughed softly, but it was a gasp of pain, not of joy. “No.” “Why?” “So you will forget me,” he said simply. “You cannot love a man with no name.
S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
a fellow is more afraid of the trouble he might have than he ever is of the trouble he's already got. He'll cling to trouble he's used to before he'll risk a change. Yes. A man will talk about how he'd like to escape from living folks. But it's the dead folks that do him the damage. It's the dead ones that lay quiet in one place and dont try to hold him, that he cant escape from.
William Faulkner (Light in August)
Do you have a driver's license?" He laughed. "That's important?" "Oh yeah! I'd kill for a driver's license! Hey, maybe that's what the poem means! I'm going to go berserk and start attacking people because they won't let me drive..." "Could be, you never know. But yes, I have a driver's license." I leaned back against the wall, sighing. "Man, that must be so cool." "It ranks right up there with lockers. In fact, sometimes I put my drivers license inside my locker, and it's so cool I worry that the whole thing might explode with the sheer coolness of it all.
Kiersten White (Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1))
You're walking funny," Lucy said, a shit-eating grin on her face. Five days of out of this world sex with a starving man could do that to a girl. "You're just jealous." Brenna pushed through the door into DarkRiver's business HQ. Lucy made a mournful face. "Yes, I am. Goddamn but your man is hot. And he smiles at you! I've seen him do it, even if no one believes me.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling, #3))
Do I dare disturb the universe? Yes, I do, I do. I think. Jerry suddenly understood the poster--the solitary man on the beach standing upright and alone and unafraid, poised at the moment of making himself heard and known in the world, the universe.
Robert Cormier (The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1))
The face of "evil" is always the face of total need. A dope fiend is a man in total need of dope. Beyond a certain frequency need knows absolutely no limit or control. In the words of total need: "Wouldn't you?" Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
There was once a strange, small man. He decided three important details about his life: 1. He would part his hair from the opposite side to everyone else. 2. He would make himself a small, strange mustache. 3. He would one day rule the world. ...Yes, the Fuhrer decided that he would rule the world with words.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
She reached out and touched the bright colors of the cashmere scarf, her face filled with wonder as much as shock. "This . . .this is Ibrahim's scarf . . .it's a family heirloom. . . " "No, it belongs to this mobster guy named Abe. . . [...] "Mom," I said disbelievingly. "You know Abe." "Yes, Rose. I know him." "Please don't tell me. . ." Oh, man. Why couldn't I have been an illegitimate half-royal like Robert Doru? Or even the mail-man's daughter? "Please don't tell me Abe is my father. . . . " She didn't have to tell me. It was all over her face. "Oh God, " I said. "I'm Zmey's daughter. Zmey Junior. Zmeyette, even." That got her attention. She looked up at me. "What on earth are you talking about?" "Nothing," I said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
MAN: Do you have black and white film posters? BOOKSELLER: Yes, we do. They’re over here. MAN: Do you have any posters of Adolf Hitler? BOOKSELLER: Pardon? MAN: Adolf Hitler. BOOKSELLER: Well, he wasn’t a film star, was he. MAN: Yes, he was. He was American. Jewish, I think...
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Thomas More: ...And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down...d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons)
Got it all scheduled,” he noted. “Yes,” I returned. “What’s a huge-ass wedding?” “Don’t ask that,” I advised. “Just show up.” His grin turned wicked and I liked it. That was, I liked it until he enquired, “You askin’ me to marry you, Red?” I wasn’t even sipping coffee and, still, I chocked. Then I pushed out, “What?” “I accept.” I shook my head and kept shaking it when I requested clarification, “Let me get this straight. Did you just accept my non-marriage offer?” “Non-marriage?” “I didn’t ask!” My voice was rising. “So you just wanna shack up?” he asked but didn’t wait on my answer. “I’m good with that too.” Gah! “I’m getting my huge-ass wedding,” I declared. “So you are askin’ me to marry you,” he noted. Gah! Gah! Gah!! Sharp as a tack. Someone kill me.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
A man is born into this world with only a tiny spark of goodness in him. The spark is God, it is the soul; the rest is ugliness and evil, a shell. The spark must be guarded like a treasure, it must be nurtured, it must be fanned into flame. It must learn to seek out other sparks, it must dominate the shell. Anything can be a shell, Reuven. Anything. Indifference, laziness, brutality, and genius. Yes, even a great mind can be a shell and choke the spark.
Chaim Potok (The Chosen (Reuven Malther, #1))
Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely," they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.
Billy Collins (Picnic, Lightning)
Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Did you get Mom a birthday present?" Helen asked. "Yes," Gansey replied. "Myself." "The gift that keeps on giving." "I don't think that minor children are required to get gifts for their parents. I'm a dependent. That's the definition of dependent, is it not?" "You, a dependent!" his sister said, and laughed. "You haven't been a dependent since you were four. You went straight from kindergarten to old man with a studio apartment.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Take the stupidest thing you've ever done. At least it's done. It's over. It's gone. We can all learn from our mistakes and heal and move on. But it's harder to learn or heal or move on from something that hasn't happened; something we don't know and is therefore indefinable; something which could very easily have been the best thing in our lives, if only we'd taken the plunge, if only we'd held our breath and stood up and done it, if only we'd said yes.
Danny Wallace (Yes Man)
You’re pretty sharp, Clive. Do you believe in God?” Clive smiled. “I don’t know, should I?” Actually, approaching the matter from a purely logical perspective, yes. All the evidence points to the existence of a creator. The single greatest body of evidence is the dismal failure of man’s desperate attempts to come up with a reasonable alternative, beginning with evolution. I’ve always looked at the universe and seen a creator as plainly as most people who look at the ocean see water.
Ted Dekker (Blink)
He would tell you to leave?” “Yes. He is…was a rude man, but it didn’t bother me. I was used to it. As I said, I’d gotten used to Mr. Hines. He is…was, despite his rudeness, a good boss. He never questioned me or my brother on how much we spent on the house. If there was something that needed fixing, he’d instruct my brother on what was to be done.
Behcet Kaya (Body In The Woods (Jack Ludefance, #2))
A young apprentice applied to a master carpenter for a job. The older man asked him, "Do you know your trade?" "Yes, sir!" the young man replied proudly. "Have you ever made a mistake?" the older man inquired. "No, sir!" the young man answered, feeling certain he would get the job. "Then there's no way I'm going to hire you," said the master carpenter, "because when you make one, you won't know how to fix it.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
If this is the price to be paid for an idea, then let us pay. There is no need of being troubled about it, afraid, or ashamed. This is the time to boldly say, “Yes, I believe in the displacement of this system of injustice by a just one; I believe in the end of starvation, exposure, and the crimes caused by them; I believe in the human soul regnant over all laws which man has made or will make; I believe there is no peace now, and there will never be peace, so long as one rules over another; I believe in the total disintegration and dissolution of the principle and practice of authority; I am an Anarchist, and if for this you condemn me, I stand ready to receive your condemnation.
Voltairine de Cleyre (Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre — Anarchist, Feminist, Genius)
It is easy to blur the truth with a simple linguistic trick: start your story from "Secondly." Yes, this is what Rabin did. He simply neglected to speak of what happened first. Start your story with "Secondly," and the world will be turned upside-down. Start your story with "Secondly," and the arrows of the Red Indians are the original criminals and the guns of the white men are entirely the victims. It is enough to start with "Secondly," for the anger of the black man against the white to be barbarous. Start with "Secondly," and Gandhi becomes responsible for the tragedies of the British.
مريد البرغوثي (I Saw Ramallah)
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity. Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning. Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness... Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he? Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He? Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children? Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard? Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes? Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee? Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
One day Dostoevsky threw out the enigmatic remark: "Beauty will save the world". What sort of a statement is that? For a long time I considered it mere words. How could that be possible? When in bloodthirsty history did beauty ever save anyone from anything? Ennobled, uplifted, yes - but whom has it saved? There is, however, a certain peculiarity in the essence of beauty, a peculiarity in the status of art: namely, the convincingness of a true work of art is completely irrefutable and it forces even an opposing heart to surrender. It is possible to compose an outwardly smooth and elegant political speech, a headstrong article, a social program, or a philosophical system on the basis of both a mistake and a lie. What is hidden, what distorted, will not immediately become obvious. Then a contradictory speech, article, program, a differently constructed philosophy rallies in opposition - and all just as elegant and smooth, and once again it works. Which is why such things are both trusted and mistrusted. In vain to reiterate what does not reach the heart. But a work of art bears within itself its own verification: conceptions which are devised or stretched do not stand being portrayed in images, they all come crashing down, appear sickly and pale, convince no one. But those works of art which have scooped up the truth and presented it to us as a living force - they take hold of us, compel us, and nobody ever, not even in ages to come, will appear to refute them. So perhaps that ancient trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not simply an empty, faded formula as we thought in the days of our self-confident, materialistic youth? If the tops of these three trees converge, as the scholars maintained, but the too blatant, too direct stems of Truth and Goodness are crushed, cut down, not allowed through - then perhaps the fantastic, unpredictable, unexpected stems of Beauty will push through and soar to that very same place, and in so doing will fulfil the work of all three? In that case Dostoevsky's remark, "Beauty will save the world", was not a careless phrase but a prophecy? After all he was granted to see much, a man of fantastic illumination. And in that case art, literature might really be able to help the world today?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Lecture)
You are hard at work madam ," said the man near her. Yes," Answered Madam Defarge ; " I have a good deal to do." What do you make, Madam ?" Many things." For instance ---" For instance," returned Madam Defarge , composedly , Shrouds." The man moved a little further away, as soon as he could, feeling it mightily close and oppressive .
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Your mother brought a strange man to this house once, Katarina. I had hoped it might be a few years before history repeated itself.” Kat rolled her eyes at the mention of her father. “Uncle Eddie, I brought Hale home ages ago,” she reminded him; but her uncle just shook his head. “I've known my great-niece's friend. A boyfriend, on the other hand . . . that is a most different matter.” “Yes, sir,” Hale said. He stood up a little straighter, spoke a little louder. “You have a powerful family, boy.” “Yes, sir,” Hale said. “Please don't hold them against me.” Then Eddie gave a wry smile. “Who says I was talking about them?
Ally Carter (Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3))
There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it's heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: 'Yes, this is true, this is good.' This . . . this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don't forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don't really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What's most frightening is that it's so terribly clear, and there's such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn't endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it's worth it. To endure ten seconds one would have to change physically . . . .
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
– 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)
But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
I've traveled all over the world for the Institute, but I never dreamed I'd meet someone like you." "Strong?" A chuckle escaped her. "Yes." "Handsome?" "Of course." "Sharp of wit and skilled with a sword?" "Absolutely." An other chuckle. "But I mean a man… friend… guy. Oh, I don't know what to call you!" He savored her amusement—and her earnest words. "Just call me yours. That is all I want to be." (Ashlyn and Maddox)
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld, #1))
I'm the fucking Horde King, I don't woo." "Woo her," Ristan continues. "I don't woo." "Woo," he repeats. "I'm not the kind of man to woo anyone. I can make her scream my name to the rafters, isn't that enough wooing?" "Woo," Ristan smirks, which only served to irritate me more. "Woo," I grind out on an exhale. "Yes, woo," he says, already turning to walk away. I watch his shoulders quake with laughter. "Woo," I growl. "Woo!" He says over his shaking shoulders. "Fuck me," I shake my head. "No thanks, not my type...
Amelia Hutchins (Escaping Destiny (The Fae Chronicles, #3))
Yes, thought the Count, the world does spin. In fact, it spins on its axis even as it revolves around the sun. And the galaxy turns as well, a wheel within a greater wheel, producing a chime of an entirely different nature than that of a tiny hammer in a clock. And when that celestial chime sounds, perhaps a mirror will suddenly serve its truer purpose - revealing to a man not who he imagines himself to be, but who he has become.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Me?" he said in some surprise. "I won't be dancing! It's the bridal dance. The bride and groom dance alone!" For one circuit of the room," she told him. "After which they are joined by the best man and first bridesmaid, then by the groomsman and the second bridesmaid." Will reacted as he had been stung. He leaned over to speak across Jenny on his left, to Gilan. Gil! Did you know we have to dance?" he asked. Gilan nodded enthusiastically. Oh yes indeed. Jenny and I have been practicing for the past three days, haven't we, Jen?" Jenny looked up at him adoringly and nodded. Jenny was in love. Gilan was tall, dashing, good-looking, charming and very ammusing. Plus he was cloaked in the mystery and romance tat came with being a Ranger. Jenny had only ever known one ranger and that had been grim-faced, gray-bearded Halt.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
I was told The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7 She picks the colors and the cake first By the age of 10 She knows time, And location By 17 She’s already chosen a gown 2 bridesmaids And a maid of honor By 23 She’s waiting for a man Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment” Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed Someone Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen To be honest I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing I have no clue what want my wedding will look like But I imagine The women who pins my last to hers Will butterfly down the aisle Like a 5 foot promise I imagine Her smile Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps And know exactly where our wedding is being held The woman that I plan to marry Will have champagne in her walk And I will get drunk on her footsteps When the pastor asks If I take this woman to be my wife I will say yes before he finishes the sentence I’ll apologize later for being impolite But I will also explain him That our first kiss happened 6 years ago And I’ve been practicing my “Yes” For past 2, 165 days When people ask me about my wedding I never really know what to say But when they ask me about my future wife I always tell them Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long I say She thinks too much Misses her father Loves to laugh And she’s terrible at lying Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl I tell them If my alarm clock sounded like her voice My snooze button would collect dust I tell them If she came in a bottle I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys If she was a book I would memorize her table of contents I would read her cover-to-cover Hoping to find typos Just so we can both have a few things to work on Because aren’t we all unfinished? Don’t we all need a little editing? Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone? Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense She don’t always make sense But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most I don’t know when I will be married I don’t know where I will be married But I do know this Whenever I’m asked about my future wife I always say …She’s a lot like you
Rudy Francisco
Professor Langdon,' called a young man with curly hair in the back row, 'if Masonry is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?' 'Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.' 'Sounds to me like a euphemism for "freaky cult." ' 'Freaky, you say?' 'Hell yes!' the kid said, standing up. 'I heard what they do inside those secret buildings! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that's freaky!' Langdon scanned the class. 'Does that sound freaky to anyone else?' 'Yes!' they all chimed in. Langdon feigned a sad sigh. 'Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult.' Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. 'You're in a cult?' Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. 'Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh.' The class looked horrified. Langdon shrugged. 'And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.' The classroom remained silent. Langdon winked. 'Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
It's a McLaren SLR 722 Roadster." "How big is it?" "It's a convertible." "Will a tiger fit?" "No. It seats only two, but the boys are man half the day now." "Is it more than $30,000?" He squirmed and hedged, "Yes, but-" "How much more?" "Much more." "How much more?" "About $400,000 more." My mouth dropped open. "Mr. Kadam!" "Miss Kelsey, I know it's extravagant, but when you drive it, you will see it's worth every cent." I folded my hands across my chest. "I won't drive it." He looked offended. "That car was meant to be driven." "Then you drive it. I'll drive the Jeep." He looked tempted. "If it will appease you, perhaps we can share it." Kishan clapped his hands. "I can't wait." Mr. Kadam wagged a finger at him. "Oh, no! Not you. We'll get you a nice sedan. Used.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man. Yes, it was an interesting background. It posed the lad, made him more perfect as it were. Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?' Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.' Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.' Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!
Stephen King
Jaime," Brienne whispered, so faintly he thought he was dreaming it. "Jaime, what are you doing?" "Dying," he whispered back. "No," she said, "no, you must live." He wanted to laugh. "Stop telling me what to do, wench. I'll die if it pleases me." "Are you so craven?" The words shocked him. He was Jaime Lannister, a knight of the Kingsguard, he was the Kingslayer. No man had ever called him craven. Other things they called him, yes; oathbreaker, liar, murderer. They said he was cruel, treacherous, reckless. But never craven. "What else can I do, but die?" "Live," she said, "live, and fight, and take revenge." Craven, Jaime thought.... Can it be? They took my sword hand. Was that all I was, a sword hand? Gods be good, is it true? The wench had the right of it. He could not die.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
The white man's god is just like the white man. He thinks he is the only god, just like the white man thinks he is the only man. But the only reason he is god instead of Nyame or Chukwu or whoever is because we let him be. We do not fight him. We do not even question him. The white man told us he was the way, and we said yes, but when has the white man ever told us something was good for us and tat thing was really good?
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
What of the firefly, the one I love to chase? The old man smiled Love her he said but leave her wild, and the old oak tree I love to climb? Love her, he said, but leave her wild the bird that sings that song I love? Love her, he said, but leave her wild and the wolf that cries to the old joke moon? Love her, he said, but leave her wild and the horse that loves to run with storms? Love her, he said, but leave her wild. And what of her, the one I love most? And the old man smiled. Yes, he said, you must love her too but love her wild and she’ll love you
Atticus Poetry (Love Her Wild)
Well finish your story anyway." Where was I?" The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses." Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people. And Father started giggling," Castle continued. He couldn't stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?" asked Castle. Nope." 'Son,' my father said to me, 'someday this will all be yours.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Yes, Boss?' Dorcas, the last twenty or thirty years I've been a worthless, no-good parasite.' She yawned again. 'Everybody knows that.' Nevermind the flattery. There comes a time in every man's life when he has to stop being sensible--a time to stand up and be counted--strike a blow for liberty--smite the wicked.' Ummm...' So quit yawning, the time has come.' She glanced down. 'Maybe I had better get dressed.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends. Sally Albright: Why not? Harry Burns: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. Sally Albright: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved. Harry Burns: No you don't. Sally Albright: Yes I do. Harry Burns: No you don't. Sally Albright: Yes I do. Harry Burns: You only think you do. Sally Albright: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge? Harry Burns: No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you. Sally Albright: They do not. Harry Burns: Do too. Sally Albright: They do not. Harry Burns: Do too. Sally Albright: How do you know? Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her. Sally Albright: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive? Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too. Sally Albright: What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU? Harry Burns: Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story. Sally Albright: Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then. Harry Burns: I guess not. Sally Albright: That's too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.
Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally)
Have you ever been in love, Hadrian?” “I’m not sure. How do you tell?” “Love? Why, it’s like coming home.” Hadrian considered the comment. “What are you thinking?” Bulard asked. Hadrian shook his head. “Nothing.” “Yes, you were. What? You can tell me. I’m an excellent repository for secrets. I’ll likely forget, but if I don’t, well, I’m an old man in a remote jungle. I’m sure to die before I can repeat anything.” Hadrian smiled, then shrugged. “I was just thinking about the rain.
Michael J. Sullivan (Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4))
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania. “She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—” “Where did she get it from?” “Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.” Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut. Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.” Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound. He was barely breathing. “The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure, told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage, to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
You'd like Freedom, Truth, and Justice, wouldn't you, Comrade Sergeant?' said Reg encouragingly. 'I'd like a hard-boiled egg,' said Vimes, shaking the match out. There was some nervous laughter, but Reg looked offended. 'In the circumstances, Sergeant, I think we should set our sights a little higher--' 'Well, yes, we could,' said Vimes, coming down the steps. He glanced at the sheets of papers in front of Reg. The man cared. He really did. And he was serious. He really was. 'But...well, Reg, tomorrow the sun will come up again, and I'm pretty sure that whatever happens we won't have found Freedom, and there won't be a whole lot of Justice, and I'm damn sure we won't have found Truth. But it's just possible that I might get a hard-boiled egg.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
And in our Scripture class, Owen said, "IT'S TRUE THAT THE DISCIPLES ARE STUPID - THEY NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT JESUS MEANS, THEY'RE A BUNCH OF BUNGLERS, THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD AS MUCH AS THEY WANT TO BELIEVE, AND THEY EVEN BETRAY JESUS. THE POINT IS, GOD DOESN'T LOVE US BECAUSE WE'RE SMART OR BECAUSE WE'RE GOOD. WE'RE STUPID AND WE'RE BAD AND GOD LOVES US ANYWAY - JESUS ALREADY TOLD THE DUMB-SHIT DISCIPLES WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. "THE SON OF MAN WILL BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN, AND THEY WILL KILL HIM..." REMEMBER? THAT WAS IN MARK, RIGHT?" "Yes, but let's not say "dumb-shit disciples" in class, Owen," Mr. Merrill said.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstitiion will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate. I dont see what that has to do with catchin birds. The freedom of birds is an insult to me. I'd have them all in zoos. That would be a hell of a zoo. The judge smiled. Yes, he said. Even so.
Cormac McCarthy
I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up when she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking, and very masculine young man. My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
I heard you in the other room asking your mother, 'Mama, am I a Palestinian?' When she answered 'Yes' a heavy silence fell on the whole house. It was as if something hanging over our heads had fallen, its noise exploding, then - silence. Afterwards...I heard you crying. I could not move. There was something bigger than my awareness being born in the other room through your bewildered sobbing. It was as if a blessed scalpel was cutting up your chest and putting there the heart that belongs to you...I was unable to move to see what was happening in the other room. I knew, however, that a distant homeland was being born again: hills, olive groves, dead people, torn banners and folded ones, all cutting their way into a future of flesh and blood and being born in the heart of another child...Do you believe that man grows? No, he is born suddenly - a word, a moment, penetrates his heart to a new throb. One scene can hurl him down from the ceiling of childhood onto the ruggedness of the road.
غسان كنفاني
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!” Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?” William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!” Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons)
Kelsier exhaled in exasperation. “Elend Venture? You risked your life—risked the plan, and our lives—for that fool of a boy?” Vin looked up, glaring at him. “Yes.” “What is wrong with you, girl?” Kelsier asked. “Elend Venture isn’t worth this.” She stood angrily, Sazed backing away, the cloak falling the floor. “He’s a good man!” “He’s a nobleman!” “So are you!” Vin snapped. She waved a frustrated arm toward the kitchen and the crew. “What do you think this is, Kelsier? The life of a skaa? What do any of you know about skaa? Aristocratic suits, stalking your enemies in the night, full meals and nightcaps around the table with your friends? That’s not the life of a skaa!” She took a step forward, glaring at Kelsier. He blinked in surprise at the outburst. “What do you know about them, Kelsier?” she asked. “When’s the last time you slept in an alley, shivering in the cold rain, listening to the beggar next to you cough with a sickness you knew would kill him? When’s the last time you had to lay awake at night, terrified that one of the men in your crew would try to rape you? Have you ever knelt, starving, wishing you had the courage to knife the crewmember beside you just so you could take his crust of bread? Have you ever cowered before your brother as he beat you, all the time feeling thankful because at least you had someone who paid attention to you?” She fell silent, puffing slightly, the crewmembers staring at her. “Don’t talk to me about noblemen,” Vin said. “And don’t say things about people you don’t know. You’re no skaa— you’re just noblemen without titles.” She turned, stalking from the room. Kelsier watched her go, shocked, hearing her footsteps on the stairs. He stood, dumbfounded, feeling a surprising flush of ashamed guilt. And, for once, found himself without anything to say.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Edward spoke in a voice so peaceful and gentle that it made the words strangely more threatening. "I'm not going to kill you now, because it would upset Bella." "Hmph," I grumbled. Edward turned slightly to throw me a quick smile. His face was still calm. "It would bother you in the morning," he said, brushing his fingers across my cheek. The he turned back to Jacob. "But if you ever bring her back damaged again--and I don't care whose fault it is; I don't care if she merely trips, or if a meteor falls out of the sky and hits her in the head--if you return her to me in less than the perfect condition that I left her in, you will be running with three legs. Do you understand that, mongrel?" Jacob rolled his eyes. "who's going back?" I muttered Edward continued as if he hadn't heard me. "And if you ever kiss her again, I wiil break your jaw for her," he promised, his voice still gentle and velvet deadly. "What if she wants me to?" Jacob drawled, arrogant. "Hah!" I snorted. "If that's what she wants, then I won't object." Edward shrugged, untroubled. "You might want to wait for her to say it, rather than trust your interpretation of body language-but it's your face." Jacob grinned. "You wish," I grumbled. "Yes, he does," Edward murmured. "Well, if you're done rummaging through my head," Jacob said with a think edge of annoyance, "why don't you go take care of her hand?" "One more thing," Edward said slowly. "I'll be fighting for her, too. You should know that. I'm not taking anything for granted, and I'll be fighting twice as hard as you will." "Good," Jacob growled. "it's no fun beating someone who forfeits." She is mine." Edward's low voice was suddenly dark, not as composed as before, "i did't say I would fight fair." "Neither did I." "Best of luck." Jacob nodded. "Yes, may the best man win." "That sounds about right...pup.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
Halt?" he said diffidently. He heard a deep sigh from the short, slightly built man riding beside him. Mentally he kicked himself. I thought you must be coming down with some illness for a moment there," Halt said straight faced. "It must be two or three minutes since you've asked a question." Commited now, Horace continued. One of those girls," he began, and immediately felt the Ranger's eyes on him. "She was wearing a very short skirt." There was the slightest pause. Yes?" Halt prompted, not sure where this conversation was leading. Horace shrugged uncomfortably. The memory of the girl, and her shapely legs, was causing his cheeks to burn with embarrassment again. Well," he said uncertainly, "I just wondered if that was normal over, that's all." Halt considered the serious young face beside him. He cleared his throat several times. I believe that sometimes Gallican girls take jobs as couriers. he said. Couriers. They carry messages from one person to another. Or from one buisness to another, in towns and cities." Halt checked to see if Horace seemed to believe him so far. There seemed no reason to think otherwise, so he added: "Urgent messages." Urgent messages," Horace replied, still not seeing the connection. But he seemed inclined to believe what Halt was saying, so the older man continued. And I suppose for a really urgent message, one would have to run." Now he saw a glimmer of understanding in the boy's eyes. Horace nodded several times as he made the connection. So, the short skirts...they'd be to help them run more easily?" he suggested. Halt nodded in his turn. It would be more sensible for of dress than long skirts, if you wanted to do a lot of runnig." He shot a quick look at Horace to see if his gentle teasing was not being turned back on himself-to see if, in fact, the boy realized Halt was talking nosense and was simply leading him on. Horace's face, however, was open and believing. I suppose so," Horace replied finally, then added in a softer voice, "They certainly look a lot better that way too.
John Flanagan (The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3))
I don't believe in God. Can you understand that? Look around you man. Cant you see? The clamor and din of those in torment has to be the sound most pleasing to his ear. And I loathe these discussions. The argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place. Your fellowship is a fellowship of pain and nothing more. And if that pain were actually collective instead of simply reiterative then the sheer weight of it would drag the world from the walls of the universe and send it crashing and burning through whatever night it might yet be capable of engendering until it was not even ash. And justice? Brotherhood? Eternal life? Good god, man. Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness. There's a church I might enter. Yours prepares one only for more life. For dreams and illusions and lies. If you could banish the fear of death from men's hearts they wouldnt live a day. Who would want this nightmare if not for fear of the next? The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and everything that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?
Cormac McCarthy (The Sunset Limited)
It's because I haven't courage,' said Samuel. 'I could never quite take the responsibility. When the Lord God did not call my name, I might have called his name - but I did not. There you have the difference between greatness and mediocrity. It's not an uncommon disease. But it's nice for a mediocre man to know that greatness must be the loneliest state in the world.' 'I'd think there are degrees of greatness,' Adam said. 'I don't think so,' said Samuel. 'That would be like saying there is a little bigness. No. I believe when you come to that responsibility the hugeness and you are alone to make your choice. On one side you have warmth and companionship and sweet understanding, and on the other - cold, lonely greatness. There you make your choice. I'm glad I chose mediocrity, but how am I to say what reward might have come with the other? None of my children will be great either, except perhaps Tom. He's suffering over the choosing right now. It's a painful thing to watch. And somewhere in me I want him to say yes. Isn't that strange? A father to want his son condemned to greatness! What selfishness that must be.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
(a) Are the skies you sleep under likely to open up for weeks on end? (b) Is the ground you walk on likely to tremble and split? (c) Is there a chance (and please check the box, no matter how small that chance seems) that the ominous mountain casting a midday shadow over your home might one day erupt with no rhyme or reason? Because if the answer is yes to one or all of these questions, then the life you lead is a midnight thing, always a hair's breadth from the witching hour; it is volatile, it is threadbare; it is carefree in the true sense of that term; it is light, losable like a key or a hair clip. And it is lethargy: why not sit all morning, all day, all year, under the same cypress tree drawing the figure eight in the dust? More than that, it is disaster, it is chaos: why not overthrow a government on a whim, why not blind the man you hate, why not go mad, go gibbering through the town like a loon, waving your hands, tearing your hair? There's nothing to stop you---or rather anything could stop you, any hour, any minute. That feeling. That's the real difference in a life.
Zadie Smith
An old man sat down beside her. "Well, aren't you a pretty little peach?" His breath smelled near as foul as the dead men in the cages, and his little pig eyes were crawling up and down her. "Does my sweet peach have a name?" For half a heartbeat she forgot who she was supposed to be. She wasn't any peach, but she couldn't be Arya Stark either, not here with some smelly drunk she did not know. "I'm . . ." "She's my sister." Gendry put a heavy hand on the old man's shoulder, and squeezed. "Leave her be." The man turned, spoiling for a quarrel, but when he saw Gendry's size he thought better of it. "You sister, is she? What kind of brother are you? I'd never bring no sister of mine to the Peach, that I wouldn't." He got up from the bench and moved off muttering, in search of a new friend. "Why did you say that?" Arya hopped to her feet, "You're not my brother." "That's right," he said angrily. "I'm too bloody lowborn to be kin to m'lady high." Arya was taken aback by the fury in his voice. "That's not the way I mean it." "Yes it is." He sat down on the bench, cradling a cup of wine between his hands. "Go away. I want to drink this wine in peace. Then maybe I'll go find that black-haired girl and ring her bell for her." "But . . ." "I said, go away. M'lady." Arya whirled and left him there. A stupid bullheaded bastard boy, that's all he is. He could ring all the bells he wanted, it was nothing to her.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Jennifer Aniston and Her New Man'" I read the words aloud uncertainly. "What new man? Why would she need a new man?" "Oh yes." Nicole follows my gaze, unconcerned. "You know she split up from Brad Pitt?" "Jennifer and Brad split?" I stare up at her, aghast. "You can't be serious! They can't have done!" "He went off with Angelina Jolie. They've got a daughter." "No!" I wail. "But Jen and Brad were so perfect together! They looked so good and they had that lovely wedding picture and everything...." "They're divorced now." Nicole shrugs, like it's no big deal. I can't get over this. Jennifer and Brad divorced. The world is a different place.
Sophie Kinsella (Remember Me?)
Gareth sucked in a breath. Hyacinth’s brother wasn’t going to make this easy on him. But that didn’t matter. He had vowed to do this right, and he would not be cowed. He looked up, meeting the viscount’s dark eyes with steady purpose. “I would like to marry Hyacinth,” he said. And then, because the viscount did not say anything, because he didn’t even move, Gareth added, “Er, if she’ll have me.” And then about eight things happened at once. Or perhaps there were merely two or three, and it just seemed like eight, because it was all so unexpected. First, the viscount exhaled, although that did seem to understate the case. It was more of a sigh, actually—a huge, tired, heartfelt sigh that made the man positively deflate in front of Gareth. Which was astonishing. Gareth had seen the viscount on many occasions and was quite familiar with his reputation. This was not a man who sagged or groaned. His lips seemed to move through the whole thing, too, and if Gareth were a more suspicious man, he would have thought that the viscount had said, “Thank you, Lord.” Combined with the heavenward tilt of the viscount’s eyes, it did seem the most likely translation. And then, just as Gareth was taking all of this in, Lord Bridgerton let the palms of his hands fall against the desk with surprising force, and he looked Gareth squarely in the eye as he said, “Oh, she’ll have you. She will definitely have you.” It wasn’t quite what Gareth had expected. “I beg your pardon,” he said, since truly, he could think of nothing else. “I need a drink,” the viscount said, rising to his feet. “A celebration is in order, don’t you think?” “Er…yes?” Lord Bridgerton crossed the room to a recessed bookcase and plucked a cut-glass decanter off one of the shelves. “No,” he said to himself, putting it haphazardly back into place, “the good stuff, I think.” He turned to Gareth, his eyes taking on a strange, almost giddy light. “The good stuff, wouldn’t you agree?” “Ehhhh…” Gareth wasn’t quite sure what to make of this. “The good stuff,” the viscount said firmly. He moved some books to the side and reached behind to pull out what looked to be a very old bottle of cognac. “Have to keep it hidden,” he explained, pouring it liberally into two glasses. “Servants?” Gareth asked. “Brothers.” He handed Gareth a glass. “Welcome to the family.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
I could see the road ahead of me. I was poor and I was going to stay poor. But I didn't particularly want money. I didn't know what I wanted. Yes, I did. I wanted someplace to hide out, someplace where one didn't have to do anything. The thought of being something didn't only appall me, it sickened me. The thought of being a lawyer or a councilman or an engineer, anything like that, seemed impossible to me. To get married, to have children, to get trapped in the family structure. To go someplace to work every day and to return. It was impossible. To do things, simple things, to be part of family picnics, Christmas, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Mother's Day . . . was a man born just to endure those things and then die? I would rather be a dishwasher, return alone to a tiny room and drink myself to sleep.
Charles Bukowski
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
I remembered what it is I like about sex: what I like about sex is that I can lose myself in it entirely. Sex, in fact, is the most absorbing activity I have discovered in adulthood. When I was a child I used to feel this way about all sorts of things—Legos, The Jungle Book, The Hardy Boys, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Saturday morning cartoons...I could forget where I was, the time of day, who I was with. Sex is the only thing I've found like that as a grown-up, give or take the odd film: books are no longer like that once you're out of your teens, and I've certainly never found it in my work. All the horrible pre-sex self-consciousness drains out of me, and I forget where I am, the time of day...and yes, I forget who I'm with, for the time being.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
Horace, fit, and athletic and light on his feet, gave their guards the fewest opportunities to beat him, although on one occasion an angry Tualaghi, furious that Horace misunderstood an order to kneel, slashed his dagger across the young man’s face, opening a thin, shallow cut on his right cheek. The wound was superficial but as Evanlyn treated it that evening, Horace shamelessly pretended that it was more painful than it really was. He enjoyed the touch of her ministering hands. Halt and Gilan, bruised and weary, watched as she cleaned the wound and gently pated it dry. Horace did a wonderful job of pretending to bear great pain with stoic bravery. Halt shook his head in disgust. “What faker,” he said to Gilan. The younger Ranger nodded. “Yes. He’s really making a meal of it isn’t he?” He paused, then added more ruefully, “Wish I’d thought of it first.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Yes, it would be worthwhile to study clinically, in detail, the steps taken by Hitler and Hitlerism and to reveal to the very distinguished, very humanistic, very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century that without his being aware of it, he has a Hitler inside him, that Hitler inhabits him, that Hitler is his demon, that if he rails against him, he is being inconsistent and that, at bottom, what he cannot forgive Hitler for is not crime in itself, the crime against man, it is not the humiliation of man as such, it is the crime against the white man, the humiliation of the white man, and the fact that he applied to Europe colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India, and the blacks of Africa.
Aimé Césaire (Discourse on Colonialism)
A man called Ali is in need of money and asks his boss to help him. His Boss sets him a challenge: if he can spend all night at the top of a mountain, he will receive a great reward; if he fails, he will have to work for free. When he left the shop, Ali noticed that an icy wind was blowing. He felt afraid and decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if he thought he was mad to accept the wager. After considering the matter for a moment Aydi answered, " Don't worry, I'll help you. Tomorrow night, when you're sitting on top of the mountain, look straight ahead. I'll be on top of the mountain opposite, where I'll keep a fire burning all night for you. Look at the fire and think of our friendship, and that will keep you warm. You'll make it through the night, and afterward, I'll ask you for something in return. Ali won the wager, got the money, and went to his friend's house. "you said you wanted some sort of payment in return." Aydi said, "Yes, but it isn't money. Promise that if ever a cold wind blows through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me
Paulo Coelho (Aleph)
The old man spoke of nothing but shoes. He spoke of them with such love and emotion that a woman in our group had crowned him “the shoe poet.” The woman disappeared a day later but the nickname survived. “The shoes always tell the story,” said the shoe poet. “Not always,” I countered. “Yes, always. Your boots, they are expensive, well made. That tells me that you come from a wealthy family. But the style is one made for an older woman. That tells me they probably belonged to your mother. A mother sacrificed her boots for her daughter. That tells me you are loved, my dear. And your mother is not here, so that tells me that you are sad, my dear. The shoes tell the story.” I paused in the center of the frozen road and watched the stubby old cobbler shuffle ahead of me. The shoe poet was right. Mother had sacrificed for me.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Catherine turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh. "I see what you think of me," said he gravely -- "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow." My journal!" Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense." Indeed I shall say no such thing." Shall I tell you what you ought to say?" If you please." I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him -- seems a most extraordinary genius -- hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say." But, perhaps, I keep no journal." Perhaps you are not sitting in this room, and I am not sitting by you. These are points in which a doubt is equally possible. Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies' ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journaling which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
The story of the young woman whose death I witnessed in a concentration camp. It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem. This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. "I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard," she told me. "In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously." Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, "This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness." Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. "I often talk to this tree," she said to me. I was startled and didn't quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. "Yes." What did it say to her? She answered, "It said to me, 'I am here-I am here-I am life, eternal life.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
I read an article once that said that when women have a conversation, they're communicating on five levels. They follow the conversation that they're actually having, the conversation that is specifically being avoided, the tone being applied to the overt conversation, the buried conversation that is being covered only in subtext, and finally the other person's body language. That is, on many levels, astounding to me. I mean, that's like having a freaking superpower. When I, and most other people with a Y chromosome, have a conversation, we're having a conversation. Singular. We're paying attention to what is being said, considering that, and replying to it. All these other conversations that have apparently been booing on for the last several thousand years? I didn't even know that they existed until I read that stupid article, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. ... So, ladies, if you ever have some conversation with your boyfriend or husband or brother or male friend, and you are telling him something perfectly obvious, and he comes away from it utterly clueless? I know it's tempting to thing to yourself, 'The man can't possibly be that stupid!' But yes. Yes, he can. Our innate strengths just aren't the same. We are the mighty hunters, who are good at focusing on one thing at a time. For crying out loud, we have to turn down the radio in the car if we suspect we're lost and need to figure out how to get where we're going. That's how impaired we are. I'm telling you, we have only the one conversation. Maybe some kind of relationship veteran like Michael Carpenter can do two, but that's pushing the envelope. Five simultaneous conversations? Five? Shah. That just isn't going to happen. At least, not for me.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
Do you see that man in the black Porsche?" I asked the women. They squinted out at Ranger. "Yes," they said."Your partner." "He's homeless. He's looking for a place to stay and he might be interested in renting Singh's room." Mrs.Apusenja's eyes widened. "We could use the income."She looked at Nonnie and then back at Ranger. "Is he married?" "Nope. He's single. He's a real catch." Connie did something between a gasp and a snort and buried her head back behind the computer. "Thank you for everything." Mrs.Apusenja said. "I suppose you are not such a bad slut. I will go talk to your partner.: "Omigod," Connie said, when the door closed behind the Apusenja's. "Ranger's going to kill you." The Apusenjas stood beside the Porsche, talkig to Ranger for a few long minutes, giving him the big sales pitch. The pitch wound down, Ranger responded, and Mrs. Apusenja looked disappointed. The two women crossed the road and got into the burgundy Escort and quickly drove away. Ranger turned his head in my direction and our eyes met. His expression was still bemused, but this time it was the sort of bemused expression a kid has when he's pulling the wings off a fly. "Uh-Oh,"Connie said. I whipped around and faced Connie. "Quick, give me an FTA. You're backed up, right? For God's sake, give me something fast. I need a reason to stand here until he calms down!" Connie shoved a pile of folders at me. "Pick one. Any one! Oh shit, he's getting out of his car.".... He leaned into me and his lips brushed the shell of my ear. "Feeling playful?" "I don't know what you're talking about." "Watch your back babe. I will get even." -Ranger and Stephanie
Janet Evanovich (To the Nines (Stephanie Plum, #9))
Bramble's lips were tight. Her fists still shook. "Take it back," she said. She gazed at the floor, but the words whipped. "We don't want the picture. We don't want your charity. Take it back!" Teddie drew himself up to his full, towering taffy height. "N-dash it-O!" he said. "It's not charity and I won't take it back! It's a gift! A gift, dash it all! Because I liked your mum! And I like your sisters! And you, Bramble! I love you!" The words echoed. Everyone's hands clasped over their mouths, and they stared at Lord Teddie, who panted but kept a tight chin up. Bramble's lips were still pursed. They were white. "Young man," said the King gently. "Your ship leaves soon?" Azalea guessed that, with the fiasco of everything, the King had annulled any arrangements between Bramble and Lord Teddie. Lord Teddie's entire taffylike form slumped. He turned to go, all bounciness dissolved. "Do you mean it?" Lord Teddie turned quickly. Bramble's lips remained tight, but her gaze was up, blazing yellow. "Gad, yes," said Lord Teddie. "I love you so much, my fingers hurt!" "Oh!" Bramble slapped he hand over her mouth and doubled over. "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" She shook. It was hard to tell if she was crying, or coughing, or ill. "Oh!" In a billow of skirts, Bramble leaped. It was a grand jete worthy of the Delchastrian prima ballerina. She landed right on Lord Teddie, who had no choice but to catch her, and threw her arms around his neck. Then, to everyone's shock, she pressed her lips full on his. "Oh...my," said Clover. No one seemed more surprised than Lord Teddie who stumbled back under Bramble's assault.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything, Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment... "And when did you find out that you were so happy?" "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night." "And what was the occasion?" "I don't remember, just so; I was pacing the room...it makes no difference. I stopped my clock, it was two thirty-seven." "As an emblem that time should stop?" Kirillov did not reply. "They're not good," he suddenly began again, "because they don't know they're good. When they find out, they won't violate the girl. They must find out that they're good, then they'll all become good at once, all, to a man. "Well, you did find out, so you must be good?" "I am good." "With that I agree, incidentally," Stavrogin muttered frowningly. "He who teaches that all are good, will end the world." "He who taught it was crucified." "He will come, and his name is the man-god." "The God-man?" "The man-god--that's the whole difference." "Can it be you who lights the icon lamp?" "Yes, I lit it." "You've become a believer?" "The old woman likes the icon lamp...she's busy today," Kirillov muttered. "But you don't pray yet?" "I pray to everything. See, there's a spider crawling on the wall, I look and am thankful to it for crawling." His eyes lit up again. He kept looking straight at Stavrogin, his gaze firm and unflinching. Stavrogin watched him frowningly and squeamishly, but there was no mockery in his eyes. "I bet when I come the next time you'll already believe in God," he said, getting up and grabbing his hat. "Why?" Kirillov also rose. "If you found out that you believe in God, you would believe; but since you don't know yet that you believe in God, you don't believe," Nikolai Vsevolodovich grinned.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
Despite her apparent freedom, her life consisted of endless hours spent waiting for a miracle, for true love, for an adventure with the same romantic ending she had seen in films and read about in books. A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. But there was the other side of the coin, the second thing that could make a human being take a totally different course from the one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job more quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Uphill? There's nothing up the hill," Colly said, trying desperately to work out where this conversation was going. "As a matter of fact, there is. There's a bluff about twelve meters high, with a river running below it. The water's deep, so it'll be quite safe for you to jump." In his brief glimpse of the river, Halt had noticed that the fast-flowing water cut under the bluff in a sharp curve. That should mean that the bottom had been scoured out over the years. A thought struck him. "You can swim, I assume?" "Yes. I can swim," Colly said. "But I'm going jumping off some bluff just because you say to!" "No, no. Of course not. That'd be asking far too much of you. You'll jump off because if you don't, I'll shoot you. It'll be the same effect, really. If I have to shoot you, you'll fall off. But I thought I'd give you a chance to survive." Halt paused, then added, "Oh, and if you decide to run downhill, I'll also shoot you with an arrow. Uphill and off is really your only chance of survival." "You can't be serious!" Colly said. "Do you really-" But he got no further. Halt leaned forward, putting a hand up to stop the outburst. "Colly, take a good, long look into my eyes and tell me if you see anything, anything at all, that says I'm not deadly serious." His eyes were deep brown, almost black. They were steady and unwavering and there was no sign of anything there but utter determination. Colly looked at them and after a few second, his eyes dropped away. halt nodded as the other man's gaze slid away from his. "Good. Now we've got that settled, you should try to get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father. But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore. Are those real islands?' asked the young prince. Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress. And those strange and troubling creatures?' They are all genuine and authentic princesses.' Then God must exist!' cried the prince. I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow. The young prince returned home as quickly as he could. So you are back,' said the father, the king. I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved. Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved. Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.' I saw them!' Tell me how God was dressed.' God was in full evening dress.' Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?' The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled. That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.' At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress. My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.' The man on the shore smiled. It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.' The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes. Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?' The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves. Yes, my son, I am only a magician.' Then the man on the shore was God.' The man on the shore was another magician.' I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.' There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king. The prince was full of sadness. He said, 'I will kill myself.' The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses. Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.' You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician.
John Fowles
Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even, like the writer of the letter to the New Statesman, saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw? Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing. The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits; an unemployed man doesn't. Here the tendency of which I spoke at the end of the last chapter comes into play. When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don't want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit 'tasty'. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
What other agents then are there, which, at the same time that they are under the influence of man's direction, are susceptible of happiness? They are of two sorts: (1) Other human beings who are styled persons. (2) Other animals, which, on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things... But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several. The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes.
Jeremy Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields. Some of that exclusion is due to regular old misogyny, but it’s also true that—all too often—women are the ones holding themselves back from participating in the first place. Holding back their ideas, holding back their contributions, holding back their leadership and their talents. Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’. And I don’t say this as a criticism of men, by the way. I like that feature in men—their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!” Yes, sometimes the results are ridiculous and disastrous, but sometimes, strangely enough, it works—a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps. But I’ve watched too many women do the opposite. I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, “I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.” Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves—and we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
The Doctor: Amy, what are you doing? Amy: That gravestone, Rory's, there's room for one more name isn't there? The Doctor: What are you talking about? Back away from the Angel. Come back to the TARDIS, we'll figure something out. Amy: The Angel, would it send me back to the same time, to him? The Doctor: I don't know. Nobody knows. Amy: But it's my best shot, yeah? The Doctor: No! River: Doctor, shut up! Yes, yes, it is! The Doctor: Amy— Amy: Well then. I just have to blink, right? The Doctor: No! Amy: It'll be fine. I know it will. I'll be with him like I should be. Me and Rory together. {calling River over} Melody. The Doctor: Stop it! Just, just, stop it! Amy: You look after him. And you be a good girl and you look after him. The Doctor: You are creating fixed time. I will never be able to see you again. Amy: I'll be fine. I'll be with him. The Doctor: Amy. Please. Just come back into the TARDIS, Come along, Pond. Please. Amy: Raggedy Man, goodbye. -Doctor Who
Steven Moffat
This is the legend of Cassius Clay, The most beautiful fighter in the world today. He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y, of a muscular punch that's incredibly speed-y. The fistic world was dull and weary, But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary. Then someone with color and someone with dash, Brought fight fans are runnin' with Cash. This brash young boxer is something to see And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y. This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance, But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance. This kid's got a left; this kid's got a right, If he hit you once, you're asleep for the night. And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten, You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again. For I am the man this poem’s about, The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. This I predict and I know the score, I’ll be champ of the world in ’64. When I say three, they’ll go in the third, 10 months ago So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word. He is the greatest! Yes! I am the man this poem’s about, I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment, I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went. When I say two, there’s never a third, Standin against me is completely absurd. When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse, Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is! I AM THE GREATEST!
Muhammad Ali
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
I understand that you are an accomplished swords-man,” she finally said. He eyed her curiously. Where was she going with this? “I like to fence, yes,” he replied. “I have always wanted to learn.” “Good God,” Gregory grunted. “I would be quite good at it,” she protested. “I’m sure you would,” her brother replied, “which is why you should never be allowed within thirty feet of a sword.” He turned to Gareth. “She’s quite diabolical.” “Yes, I’d noticed,” Gareth murmured, deciding that maybe there might be a bit more to Hyacinth’s brother than he had thought. Gregory shrugged, reaching for a piece of shortbread. “It’s probably why we can’t seem to get her married off.” “Gregory!” This came from Hyacinth, but that was only because Lady Bridgerton had excused herself and followed one of the footmen into the hall. “It’s a compliment!” Gregory protested. “Haven’t you waited your entire life for me to agree that you’re smarter than any of the poor fools who have attempted to court you?” “You might find it difficult to believe,” Hyacinth shot back, “but I haven’t been going to bed each night thinking to myself—Oh, I do wish my brother would offer me something that passes for a compliment in his twisted mind.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
Nature, who has played so many queer tricks upon us, making us so unequally of clay and diamonds, of rainbow and granite, and stuffed them into a case, often of the most incongruous, for the poet has a butcher’s face and the butcher a poet’s; nature, who delights in muddle and mystery, so that even now (the first of November, 1927) we know not why we go upstairs, or why we come down again, our most daily movements are like the passage of a ship on an unknown sea, and the sailors at the mast-head ask, pointing their glasses to the horizon: Is there land or is there none? to which, if we are prophets, we make answer “Yes”; if we are truthful we say “No”; nature, who has so much to answer for besides the perhaps unwieldy length of this sentence, has further complicated her task and added to our confusion by providing not only a perfect ragbag of odds and ends within us—a piece of a policeman’s trousers lying cheek by jowl with Queen Alexandra’s wedding veil—but has contrived that the whole assortment shall be lightly stitched together by a single thread. Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind. Instead of being a single, downright, bluff piece of work of which no man need feel ashamed, our commonest deeds are set about with a fluttering and flickering of wings, a rising and falling of lights.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
He misinterpreted it. "It is a gift," he said stiffly. Wounded, proud prince. I touched his face. He'd given me my mom and dad, my whole town, the entire state of Georgia back. "I was shaking my head at something I was thinking, not your words. Yes, I'd like to have your name, V'lane." He gave me that brilliant smile again, then his mouth was on mine. This time, when he kissed me, the unpronounceable Fae name slid sweeter than tupelo honey across my tongue and pooled there, warm and delicious, filling my mouth with a feast of taste and sensation beyond description before melting into the meat of it. Unlike the other times he's implanted his name in my tongue, it felt natural, unobtrusive. Also unlike those times, I wasn't battered by an erotic attack, forced into orgasm by his touch. It was an extraordinary kiss, but it invited without invading, gave without taking. He drew back. "We are learning from each other," he said. "I begin to understand Adam." I blinked. "The first man ? You know about Adam and Eve ?" V'lane didn't seem the kind to study human creation myths. "No. One of my race that chose to become human," he clarified. "Ah, Barrons comes growling." He gave the startling equivalent of a human snicker and was gone. I reached instinctively for my spear. It was back in the holster. I frowned. I'd forgotten to check. Had it ever been gone ? I turned. "Growling" was a mild word for it. Barrons stood in the doorway, and if looks could kill, I'd have been flayed alive in the street.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
What about me?’ said Grantaire. ‘I’m here.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me.’ ‘You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Are you capable of being good for something?’ ‘I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire. ‘You don’t believe in anything.’ ‘I believe in you.’ ‘Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’ ‘Anything. Polish your boots.’ ‘Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’ ‘You’re heartless, Enjolras.’ ‘As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’ ‘I’m capable of going down Rue des Grès, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following Chaussée du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’ ‘Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?' ‘Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’ ‘What will you say to them?’ ‘I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. “The liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an Hébertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’ ‘Be serious,’ said Enjolras. ‘I mean it,’ replied Grantaire. Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, ‘Grantaire,’ he said gravely, ‘I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’ Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to Café Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat. ‘Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest. And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, ‘Don’t worry.’ He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think. If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting. A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing. Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated. A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know. A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-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. Now 80 percent 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
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage... The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything... One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice. Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy? I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Haven't you noticed, too, on the part of nearly everyone you know, a growing rebellion against the present? And an increasing longing for the past? I have. Never before in all my long life have I heard so many people wish that they lived 'at the turn of the century,' or 'when life was simpler,' or 'worth living,' or 'when you could bring children into the world and count on the future,' or simply 'in the good old days.' People didn't talk that way when I was young! The present was a glorious time! But they talk that way now. For the first time in man's history, man is desperate to escape the present. Our newsstands are jammed with escape literature, the very name of which is significant. Entire magazines are devoted to fantastic stories of escape - to other times, past and future, to other worlds and planets - escape to anywhere but here and now. Even our larger magazines, book publishers and Hollywood are beginning to meet the rising demand for this kind of escape. Yes, there is a craving in the world like a thirst, a terrible mass pressure that you can almost feel, of millions of minds struggling against the barriers of time. I am utterly convinced that this terrible mass pressure of millions of minds is already, slightly but definitely, affecting time itself. In the moments when this happens - when the almost universal longing to escape is greatest - my incidents occur. Man is disturbing the clock of time, and I am afraid it will break. When it does, I leave to your imagination the last few hours of madness that will be left to us; all the countless moments that now make up our lives suddenly ripped apart and chaotically tangled in time. Well, I have lived most of my life; I can be robbed of only a few more years. But it seems too bad - this universal craving to escape what could be a rich, productive, happy world. We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can't we have it? ("I'm Scared")
Jack Finney (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Now, for example, people with freckles aren’t thought of as a minority by the nonfreckled. They aren’t a minority in the sense we’re talking about. And why aren’t they? Because a minority is only thought of as a minority when it constitutes some kind of a threat to the majority, real or imaginary. And no threat is ever quite imaginary. Anyone here disagree with that? If you do, just ask yourself, What would this particular minority do if it suddenly became the majority overnight? You see what I mean? Well, if you don’t – think it over! “All right. Now along come the liberals – including everybody in this room, I trust – and they say, ‘Minorities are just people, like us.’ Sure, minorities are people – people, not angels. Sure, they’re like us – but not exactly like us; that’s the all-too- familiar state of liberal hysteria in which you begin to kid yourself you honestly cannot see any difference between a Negro and a Swede….” (Why, oh why daren’t George say “between Estelle Oxford and Buddy Sorensen”? Maybe, if he did dare, there would be a great atomic blast of laughter, and everybody would embrace, and the kingdom of heaven would begin, right here in classroom. But then again, maybe it wouldn’t.) “So, let’s face it, minorities are people who probably look and act and – think differently from us and hay faults we don’t have. We may dislike the way they look and act, and we may hate their faults. And it’s better if we admit to disliking and hating them than if we try to smear our feelings over with pseudo liberal sentimentality. If we’re frank about our feelings, we have a safety valve; and if we have a safety valve, we’re actually less likely to start persecuting. I know that theory is unfashionable nowadays. We all keep trying to believe that if we ignore something long enough it’ll just vanish…. “Where was I? Oh yes. Well, now, suppose this minority does get persecuted, never mind why – political, economic, psychological reasons. There always is a reason, no matter how wrong it is – that’s my point. And, of course, persecution itself is always wrong; I’m sure we all agree there. But the worst of it is, we now run into another liberal heresy. Because the persecuting majority is vile, says the liberal, therefore the persecuted minority must be stainlessly pure. Can’t you see what nonsense that is? What’s to prevent the bad from being persecuted by the worse? Did all the Christian victims in the arena have to be saints? “And I’ll tell you something else. A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority–not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities, because all minorities are in competition: each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest. And the more they all hate, and the more they’re all persecuted, the nastier they become! Do you think it makes people nasty to be loved? You know it doesn’t! Then why should it make them nice to be loathed? While you’re being persecuted, you hate what’s happening to You, you hate the people who are making it happen; you’re in a world of hate. Why, you wouldn’t recognize love if you met it! You’d suspect love! You’d think there was something behind it – some motive – some trick…
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Even now, so many years later, all this is somehow a very evil memory. I have many evil memories now, but ... hadn't I better end my "Notes" here? I believe I made a mistake in beginning to write them, anyway I have felt ashamed all the time I've been writing this story; so it's hardly literature so much as a corrective punishment. Why, to tell long stories, showing how I have spoiled my life through morally rotting in my corner, through lack of fitting environment, through divorce from real life, and rankling spite in my underground world, would certainly not be interesting; a novel needs a hero, and all the traits for an anti-hero are expressly gathered together here, and what matters most, it all produces an unpleasant impression, for we are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us, more or less. We are so divorced from it that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life, and so cannot bear to be reminded of it. Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard work, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books. And why do we fuss and fume sometimes? Why are we perverse and ask for something else? We don't know what ourselves. It would be the worse for us if our petulant prayers were answered. Come, try, give any one of us, for instance, a little more independence, untie our hands, widen the spheres of our activity, relax the control and we ... yes, I assure you ... we should be begging to be under control again at once. I know that you will very likely be angry with me for that, and will begin shouting and stamping. Speak for yourself, you will say, and for your miseries in your underground holes, and don't dare to say all of us-- excuse me, gentlemen, I am not justifying myself with that "all of us." As for what concerns me in particular I have only in my life carried to an extreme what you have not dared to carry halfway, and what's more, you have taken your cowardice for good sense, and have found comfort in deceiving yourselves. So that perhaps, after all, there is more life in me than in you. Look into it more carefully! Why, we don't even know what living means now, what it is, and what it is called? Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise. We are oppressed at being men--men with a real individual body and blood, we are ashamed of it, we think it a disgrace and try to contrive to be some sort of impossible generalised man. We are stillborn, and for generations past have been begotten, not by living fathers, and that suits us better and better. We are developing a taste for it. Soon we shall contrive to be born somehow from an idea. But enough; I don't want to write more from "Underground." [The notes of this paradoxalist do not end here, however. He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here.]
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an unnatural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …'" Mustapha Mond paused, put down the first book and, picking up the other, turned over the pages. "Take this, for example," he said, and in his deep voice once more began to read: "'A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false–a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.'" Mustapha Mond shut the book and leaned back in his chair. "One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn't dream about was this" (he waved his hand), "us, the modern world. 'You can only be independent of God while you've got youth and prosperity; independence won't take you safely to the end.' Well, we've now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God. 'The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.' But there aren't any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute for distractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan