Philip Pullman · 405 pages
Rating: (19.3K votes)
“Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.”
“The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put robin redbreast in a cage.”
“Princess, princess, youngest daughter,
Open up and let me in!
Or else your promise by the water
Isn’t worth a rusty pin.
Keep your promise, royal daughter,
Open up and let me in!”
“He sat down and collected his thoughts. They were quite easy to collect, because there weren't very many of them, and they all concerned the same subject--what a burden his life was.”
“the particular plant longed for by the wife, which was originally parsley, was a well-known abortifacient.”
“Much ingenious interpretation of story is little more than seeing pleasing patterns in the sparks of a fire, but it does no harm.”
“and she saw a bed of lamb’s lettuce, or rapunzel.”
“to make up in an hour for all their wasted yesterdays.”
“bureaucrat said. “Come back with a search warrant”
“Ele tinha o desespero, não a coragem, para ser ele mesmo. Uma vez que você tem isso, você não pode dar errado, porque você não pode cometer nenhum erro quando as pessoas o amam por você ser você mesmo. Mas, para Kurt, não importava que as outras pessoas o amassem; ele simplesmente não se amava o bastante.”
“She was so damn beautiful, so kind and sweet. She made him so damn happy. He couldn’t imagine going a single day without seeing her, holding her, kissing her or showing her just how much he loved her. Every day he did everything in his power to show her how much he loved her, but he’d foolishly never told her how he felt, because he was terrified that she wouldn’t feel the same way.”
“Time is to clock as mind is to brain. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp. Whether it flows as sand or turns on wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch. Even when the bulbs of the hourglass shatter, when darkness withholds the shadow from the sundial, when the mainspring winds down so far that the clock hands hold still as death, time itself keeps on.”
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