“It kills me how these days everyone has clinical justification for their strangeness.”
“Angst is not the human condition, it’s the purgatory between what we have and what we want but can’t get.”
“Clichés remind and reassure us that we're not alone, that others have trod this ground long ago.”
“We referenced fictional characters as if they were people to learn from. As if real-life people were too nebulous, too private and unreal for us to understand.”
“How could a feeling that leaves you so hollow be a pain that is so sharp?”
“Oh, how wonderfully romantic of you. Romantics are really only in love with themselves.”
“To be an honest writer, you have to be away from home, and totally alone in life.”
“Sure, each night we staggered home, unfired, unglazed, already broken without knowing it. But at least we were trying.”
“Perhaps we have stopped ourselves from being invented, from self-realization, by blaming others for our wordlessness.”
“Literature is an ethical leap. It is a moral decision. A perilous exercise in constant failure. Literature should have grievances, because there are so many grievances in the world.”
“How do such flaws become beautiful in the right person?”
“History is changed by martyrs who tell the truth.”
“You can’t bring an unwritten place to life without losing something substantial. Manila is the cradle, the graveyard, the memory. The Mecca, the Cathedral, the bordello. The shopping mall, the urinal, the discotheque. I’m hardly speaking in metaphor. It’s the most impermeable of cities. How does one convey all that?”
“Sometimes, courage is really just cowardice. Sometimes the bravest thing is to let go.”
“I'm home and safe and filled with the comfort of being somewhere I've already been. The ruckus of homecoming is brutally enjoyable and everyone makes me feel like a champion. And all I had to do was stay away long enough.”
“The instant before something comes into focus is more exciting than any sharp certainty. Photography, child, is about the passing of time. Capturing is the goal of literature. Timelessness is the task of music and painting. But a good photograph holds time just as a vase holds water. The water will evaporate and the vase becomes a memorial to it. What separates a snapshot from a masterpiece is that the latter is a metaphor of patience...”
“And yet,from the air you think her peaceful and unflustered. On the ground is a place tangled with good intentions and a tyrannical will to live.”
“All of humanity's crimes,' Salvador said... 'are only degrees of theft.”
“There are only three truths. That which can be known. That which can never be known. The third, which concerns the writer alone, truly is neither of these.”
“When I was young, I spent my days and nights trying to impress future generations. I spent them. They’re gone. All because I was deathly afraid of being forgotten. And then came the regret. The worst things of all worst things.”
“Here, need blurs the line between good and bad, and a constant promise of random violence sticks like humidity down your back.”
“A man with battered hands is shown to be a craftsman only when he puts them to work.”
“Maybe maturity is merely accepting the tally of all the disappearing options of life.”
“I’m making this confession without hope for absolution.
One morning, I pretended to go crazy. Perhaps in pretending, I proved myself so.”
“How did we become so prejudiced by our idiosyncrasies?...We shared the same languages, but spoke of worlds so subtly different that language was not enough. Over time the big things were left unsaid; they gave way to the little things, those once-endearing imperfections that had somewhere become deal breakers.”
“You were so beautiful when you were young. So much idealism it was inspiring.”
“The little things, you know, eventually become everything.”
“I once thought that The Bridges Ablaze would be that masterpiece. I'm not so sure it matters much anymore. You must learn this while you are still young. Live in the crux of the present. And write to explain the world to yourself and to others. Look forward only to the summer of your first convertible. Look forward only if what's in front of you is a mirror. Because one day you'll be so busy looking backward, and everything will feel like winter. If you still don't get it, pare, let me make it abundantly clear. Just write and write justly. Ezra Pound be damned. Poets lie though beautifully. Don't make things new, make them whole.”
“Winnie’s silver-and-black jacket might be too dressy. She wore a”
“You play dirty, Haley." he breathed. "But this is my show."
"I can take care of myself"
"Not like I can."
"Do you want me to stop?"
"Then say it. Say it's my show."
“He had put on the best-looking uniform that he could, thinking that...victory deserved the best-looking armour.”
“the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and many-headed in its incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads.”
“Sophie held the [hand]cuffs higher, hopint to instill some sense of shame, if not in him, then at least in herself. One look at him and she wanted him again. "I found them in the bed."
"That makes sense," Phin said. "That's where I lost them."
"I'd ask what you were doing with them," Sophie said, trying not to sound bitchy, "but I probably don't want to know, do I?"
"Sure you do. It was exciting and different and depraved." Phin nodded toward the stairs. "Go put them someplace we can find them, and I'll show you later.”
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