26+ quotes from A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle

Quotes from A Fine and Private Place

Peter S. Beagle ·  304 pages

Rating: (3.2K votes)


“There are honest people in the world, but only because the devil considers their asking prices ridiculous.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I'll tell you something. Once I was very fond of a poem by Emily Dickinson or somebody. I only remember one line of it, but it goes, 'The soul selects her own society.' I used to tell it to everybody. Once I quoted it to a friend of mine, and he said, 'Maybe, but the body gets thrown into bed with the goddamnedest people.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Sitting up all night would be pointless if somebody you loved wasn't sitting up with you, picking out music to play and helping you kill the bourbon. Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“If a man loved me, I would have talked myself into loving him, and I would have loved him very deeply after a while.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“... some things aren't any good unless they're shared. Sitting up all night would be pointless if somebody you loved wasn't sitting up with you, picking out music to play and helping you kill the bourbon. Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Tell you something," the raven said. "I was flying over the Midwest once." He stopped abruptly, closed his eyes for a moment, opened them, and began again. "I was flying over the Midwest. Iowa or Illinois, or some place like that. And I saw this big damn seagull. Right in the middle of Iowa, a seagull. And he was flying around in big, wide circles, real sweeping circles, the way a seagull flies, flapping his wings just enough to keep on the updrafts. Every time he saw water he'd go flying down toward it, yelling, "I found it! I found it!" The poor sonofabitch was looking for the ocean. And every time he saw water, he thought that was the ocean. He didn't know anything about ponds or lakes or anything. All the water he ever saw was the ocean. He thought that was all the water there was.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I love you, more, I think, than I know, but our kind of love isn't a sword. It's a light. Not a fire. A small light, just bright enough to read love letters by and keep the animals at a growling distance. In time it will go out. All lights go out. So do all fires, if it's any comfort. Love me, and look at me, and remember me, as I'll remember you.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“There are people,' he said, 'who give, and there are people who take. There are people who create, people who destroy, and people who don't do anything and drive the other two kinds crazy. It's born in you, whether you give or take, and that's the way you are. Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it. We'd much rather be eagles, or swans, or even one of those moronic robins, but we're ravens and there you are. Ravens don't feel right without somebody to bring things to, and when we do find somebody we realize what a silly business it was in the first place." He made a sound between a chuckle and a cough. "Ravens are pretty neurotic birds. We're closer to people than any other bird, and we're bound to them all our lives, but we don't have to like them. You think we brought Elijah food because we liked him? He was an old man with a dirty beard.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“The tune was wailing and mournful, almost flagrantly so, and the total effect was of a heartbroken piccolo being parted forever from its bagpipe lover.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“The baloney weighed the raven down, and the shopkeeper almost caught him as he whisked out the delicatessen door.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I am afraid! It is not starving I fear, or talking to people, or even being alone. But I cannot bear to be useless and ineffectual. There must be some meaning to me, if not to my life; there must surely be some purpose that has my name written on it. If this is not so, if I am deceiving myself about this too, then why should I want to become real? What reason have I to live anywhere?”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Forget it, Jonathan, and go back to sleep. And before you go to sleep, pray that no well-meaning god ever makes you immortal.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“...I was one of the haves, and one of the secrets of being a have is not wasting your time on empathy.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“He knew very well that the great majority of human conversation is meaningless. A man can get through most of his days on stock answers to stock questions, he thought. Once he catches onto the game, he can manage with an assortment of grunts. This would not be so if people listened to each other, but they don't. They know that no one is going to say anything moving and important to them at that very moment. Anything important will be announced in the newspapers and reprinted for those who missed it. No one really wants to know how his neighbor is feeling, but he asks him anyway, because it is polite, and because he knows that his neighbor certainly will not tell him how he feels. What this woman and I say to each other is not important. It is the simple making of sounds that pleases us.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“They know these mornings well and love them desperately because they cannot last - these people who know that nothing lasts.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“The stars were going out now, one by one, dropping like pennies behind the television aerials and the skylights and the washing strung between the chimneys. The sky was still dark - a sated, navy-blue woman - but the grass was jittery with the expectation of dawn.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Sure, she loves him. But they've got two different ideas of love. He wants to dance with her on a terrace with a full moon and a thirty-six-piece orchestra; he wants to go singing through storms with her, like Gene Kelly. She knows about thirty-six-piece orchestras. You have to feed them, and then there's nothing left for the children.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Man searches constantly for identity, he thought as he trotted along the gravel path. He has no real proof of this existence except for the reaction of other people to that fact. So he listens very closely to what people say to one another about him, whether it's good or bad, because it indicates that he lives in the same world they do, and that all his fears about being invisible, impotent, lacking some mysterious dimension that other people have, are groundless.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I love you," Laura said hopelessly. "I'd love you if you were afraid of everything in the world.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“Hell of an ornithologist you'd make.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I believe myself to be good, he thought, and so I can afford to titillate myself by considering evil, like a child frightening himself with horror stories. I am not a bad man. But I am not a wise one, either, nor understanding. And yet, if I lose this rumpled and comfortable skin that I wear, how will I ever find anything to replace it? I wish I were younger and could grow skin easily.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“There are no happy endings, he knew, because nothing ends; and if there were any being dispensed, a great many worthier people would be in line for them long before Michael and Laura and himself. But the happiness of the unworthy and the happiness of the so-so is as fragile and self-centered and dear as the happiness of the righteous and the worthy; and the happiness of the living is no less short and desperate and forgotten than the joys of the dead.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“The dead," he had said once, "need nothing from the living, and the living can give nothing to the dead." At twenty-two, it had sounded precocious; at thirty-four, it sounded mature, and this pleased Michael very much. He had liked being mature and reasonable. He disliked ritual and pomposity, routine and false emotion, rhetoric and sweeping gestures. Crowds made him nervous. Pageantry offended him. Essentially a romantic, he had put away the trappings of romance, although he had loved them deeply and never known.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


“I wish something would happen to me, something that would show me exactly how cruel and jealous and vengeful I can be. Then I could go back to gentleness because I chose it over brutality for its own sake, not because I didn't have the courage to be cruel. I might even like cruelty. I doubt very much that I would, but I ought to find out.”
― Peter S. Beagle, quote from A Fine and Private Place


About the author

Peter S. Beagle
Born place: in New York, The United States
Born date April 20, 2018
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