Coping the quote
30+ quotes from Embers by Sándor Márai

Quotes from Embers

Sándor Márai ·  214 pages

Rating: (12.4K votes)


“No, the secret is that there's no reward and we have to endure our characters and our natures as best we can, because no amount of experience or insight is going to rectify our deficiencies, our self-regard, or our cupidity. We have to learn that our desires do not find any real echo in the world. We have to accept that the people we love do not love us, or not in the way we hope. We have to accept betrayal and disloyalty, and, hardest of all, that someone is finer than we are in character or intelligence.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“She said she never wanted to have secrets from me nor from herself, which is why she wanted to write down everything that otherwise would be hard to talk about. As I said, later I understood that someone who flees into honesty like that fears something, fears that her life will fill with something that can no longer be shared, a genuine secret, indescribable, unutterable.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Do you also believe that what gives our lives their meaning is the passion that suddenly invades us heart, soul, and body, and burns in us forever, no matter what else happens in our lives? And that if we have experienced this much, then perhaps we haven’t lived in vain? Is passion so deep and terrible and magnificent and inhuman? Is it indeed about desiring any one person, or is it about desiring desire itself? That is the question. Or perhaps, is it indeed about desiring a particular person, a single, mysterious other, once and for always, no matter whether that person is good or bad, and the intensity of our feelings bears no relation to that individual’s qualities or behavior?”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“You would like to read, but somehow the rain gets into the book, too; not literally, and yet it really does, the letters are meaningless, and all you hear is the rain.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“And yet, sometimes facts are no more than pitiful consequences, because guilt does not reside in our acts but in the intentions that give rise to our act. Everything turns on our intentions.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“We all of us must come to terms with what and who we are, and recognize that this wisdom is not going to earn us any praise, that life is not going to pin a medal on us for recognizing and enduring our own vanity or egoism or baldness or our potbelly.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“And I've been waiting for you, because I couldn't do anything else. And we've both known that we would meet again, and then it would be all over with life and everything that gave our existence meaning and tension. A secret of the kind that lurks between the two of us has extraordinary power. It burns through the fabric of life like a scorching beam, and yet at the same time it also gives it tensile strength. It forces us to live.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“It is not true that fate slips silently into our lives. It steps in through the door that we have opened, and we invite it to enter. No one is strong enough or cunning enough to avert by word or deed the misfortune that is rooted in the iron laws of his character and his life.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Time is a purgatory that has cleansed all fury from my memories.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“There are worse things than suffering and death... it is worse to lose one's self-respect.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“We were quite different, but we belonged together, we were more than the sum of our two selves, we were allies, we made our own community, and that is rare in life.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Vienna wasn't just a city, it was a tone that either one carries forever in one's soul or one does not. It was the most beautiful thing in my life. I was poor, but I was not alone, because I had a friend. And Vienna was like another friend. When it rained in the tropics, I always heard the voice of Vienna. And at other times too. Sometimes deep in the virgin forests I smelled the musty smell of the entrance hall in Hietzing. Music and everything I loved was in the stones of Vienna, and in people's glances and their behavior, the way pure feelings are part of one's very heart. You know when the feelings stop hurting. Vienna in winter and spring. The allés in Schönbrunn. The blue light in the dormitory at the academy, the great white stairwell with the baroque statue. Morning ridings in the Prater. The mildew in the riding school. I remember all of it exactly, and I wanted to see it again...”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“... deep inside you was a frantic longing to be something or someone other than you are. It is the greatest scourge a man can suffer, and the most painful. Life becomes bearable only when one has come to terms with who one is, both in one's own eyes and in the eyes of the world. We all of us must come to terms with what and who we are, and recognize that this wisdom is not going to earn us any praise, that life is not gong to pin a medal on us for recognizing and enduring our own vanity or egoism or baldness or our pot-belly. No, the secret is that there's no reward and we have to endure our characters and our natures as best we can, because no amount of experience or insight is going to rectify our deficiencies, our self-regard, or our cupidity. We have to learn that our desires do not find any real echo in the world. We have to accept that the people we love do not love us, or not in the way we hope. We have to accept betrayal and disloyalty, and hardest of all, that someone is finer than we are in character or intelligence.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Is disinterest not the essence of every human relationship?”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“But like every kiss, this one is an answer, a clumsy but tender answer to a question that eludes the power of language.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Friendship is no ideal state of mind; it is a law, and a strict one, on which the entire legal systems of great cultures were built. It reaches beyond personal desires and self-regard in men's hearts, its grip is greater than that of sexual desire, and it is proof against disappointment because it asks for nothing.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Vienna, to me it was the tuning fork for the entire world. Saying the word Vienna was like striking a tuning fork and then listening to find what tone it called forth in the person I was talking to. It was how I tested people. If there was no response, this was not the kind of person I liked. Vienna wasn't just a city, it was a tone that either one carries forever in one's soul or one does not. It was the most beautiful thing in my life. I was poor, but I was not alone, because I had a friend.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“... I was surrounded by trust and affection. No one could ask more of life, it is the greatest blessing of all.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“There's a feeling of shame that is more painful than any other in life; it's the shame felt by the victim who is forced to look his killer in the eyes, as if he were the creature bowing before its creator.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“The world spares only those who remain modest and humble - and even then only for an interval, no more.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“I am thinking that people find truth and collect experiences in vain, for they cannot change their fundamental natures. And perhaps the only thing in life one can do is to take the givens of one’s fundamental nature and tailor them to reality as cleverly and carefully as one can. That is the most we can accomplish.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“La realidad no es lo mismo que la verdad —respondió el general—. La realidad son sólo detalles.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Evidently one endures anything, provided one has a goal.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“After reaching ninety, one ages differently from the way one aged at fifty or sixty: one ages without bitterness.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“We have done everything within the scope of modern medicine.' Those are just words. They apparently did everything within their erratic knowledge and the limits of their vanity. ”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Then I understood that a survivor has no right to bring a complaint. Whoever survives has won his case, he has no right and no cause to bring charges; he has emerged the stronger, the more cunning, the more obstinate, from the struggle.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“One can get closer to reality and the facts by using words, questions and answers.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“Whoever refuses to accept a part wants the whole, wants everything.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“A man who has signed away his soul and his fate to solitude is incapable of faith. He can only wait. For the day or the hour when he can talk about everything that forced him into solitude with the man or men who forced him into that condition. He prepares himself for that monument for ten or forty or forty-one years the way one prepares for a duel. He brings his affairs into order in case he dies in the duel. And he practices every day, as professional duelists do. And what weapon does he practice with? With his memories, so that he will not allow solitude and time to cloudd his sight and weaken his heart and his soul. There is one duel in life, fought without sabers, that nonetheless is worth preparing for with all one's strength. And it is the most dangerous. And one day the moment comes.”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


“And I know Krisztina's days and nights, her body and her soul, as well as I know my own”
― Sándor Márai, quote from Embers


About the author

Sándor Márai
Born place: in Kassa (today Košice in Slovakia), Hungary
Born date April 11, 1900
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Popular quotes

“Chapter 1 JEREMIAH WAS BLACK. HE COULD FEEL IT. THE WAY THE sun pressed down hard and hot on his skin in the summer. Sometimes it felt like he sweated black beads of oil. He felt warm inside his skin, protected. And in Fort Greene, Brooklyn—where everyone seemed to be some shade of black-he felt good walking through the neighborhood. But one step outside. Just one step and somehow the weight of his skin seemed to change. It got heavier. Light-skinned”
― Jacqueline Woodson, quote from If You Come Softly


“قلوب تخشى الإنكسار بعد الإنكسار الأول، فتبقى في خيامها حتى تأتي يدي غريب لتصلح أوتادها”
― Rajaa Alsanea, quote from Girls of Riyadh


“We all know about Father Damien, the French priest who voluntarily forsook the world and went to the leper island of Molokai to labor among its population of sorrowful exiles who wait there, in slow-consuming misery, for death to come and release them from their troubles;”
― Mark Twain, quote from Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World


“It’s all right,’ said Julian, putting his arm round Anne.”
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“At the end of the ceremony the crowd erupts in applause and Teague leans into me, still holding my hand. “I want you to meet someone,” he tells me. I follow him as he steps into some sort of line that has spontaneously formed behind one of the drummers. I watch as people bow before him like he is some sort of prophet.
“What are they doing?” I whisper.
“It’s a tradition.” He smiles quietly. “A way to show respect for elders.”
When it’s our turn, the two of us step in front of the man, our hands linked, as if we are bride and groom standing before a minister. I don’t know who this guy is, but I have butterflies. Teague bows. So I do too.
For the first time since that day in Sadie’s, Teague says something in his native language, then turns to me.
“Emily, this is my grandfather,” he says proudly. “Cal Denali.” The old man removes his colorful mask.
I know the smile.
My friend from Theona’s.
He reaches out and takes my hand in his and holds it for a very long while. He doesn’t say anything about Theona’s or, well, anything. His hand is warm and soft and strong for an old man. I feel like he is some sort of shaman, blessing me. And it doesn’t feel weird--it feels just the way my life is supposed to be.”
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