“Shortly afterwards it started raining, very innocently at first, but the sky was packed tight with cloud and gradually the drops grew bigger and heavier, until it was autumn’s dismal rain that was falling—rain that seemed to fill the entire world with its leaden beat, rain suggestive in its dreariness of everlasting waterfalls between the planets, rain that thatched the heavens with drabness and brooded oppressively over the whole countryside, like a disease, strong in the power of its flat, unvarying monotony, its smothering heaviness, its cold, unrelenting cruelty. Smoothly, smoothly it fell, over the whole shire, over the fallen marsh grass, over the troubled lake, the iron-grey gravel flats, the sombre mountain above the croft, smudging out every prospect. And the heavy, hopeless, interminable beat wormed its way into every crevice in the house, lay like a pad of cotton wool over the ears, and embraced everything, both near and far, in its compass, like an unromantic story from life itself that has no rhythm and no crescendo, no climax, but which is nevertheless overwhelming in its scope, terrifying in its significance. And at the bottom of this unfathomed ocean of teeming rain sat the little house and its one neurotic woman.”
“This was the first time that he has ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were yet to come, he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song this world has known. For the understanding of the soul's defencelessness, of the conflict between the two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy.”
“Þegar öllu er á botninn hvolft, þá fer allt einhvernveginn, þótt margur efist um það á tímabili.”
“The life of man is so short that ordinary people simply cannot afford to be born”
“Maðurinn finnur það sem hann leitar að, og sá sem trúir á draug finnur draug.”
“One boy's footprints are not long in being lost in the snow, in the steadily falling snow of the shortest day, the longest night; they are lost as soon as they are made. And once again the heath is clothed in drifting white. And there is no ghost, save the one ghost that lives in the heart of a motherless boy, till his footprints disappear.”
“Presently the small of coffee began to fill the room. This was morning’s hallowed moment. In such a fragrance the perversity of the world is forgotten, and the soul is inspired with faith in the future…”
“The tyranny of mankind; it was like the obstinate drip of water falling on a stone and hollowing it little by little; and this drip continued, falling obstinately, falling without pause on the souls of the children.”
“When a man has a flower in his life he builds a house.”
“The farm brook ran down from the mountain in a straight line for the fold then swerved to the west to go its way down into the marshes. There were two knee-high falls in it and two pools, knee-deep. At the bottom there was shingle, pebbles and sand. It ran in many curves. Each curve had its own tone, but not one of them was dull; the brook was merry and music-loving, like youth, but yet with various strings, and it played its music without thought of any audience and did not care though no one heard for a hundred years, like the true poet.”
“A determinação e o destino são irmãos, e ambos repousam no mesmo coração.”
“It's a useful habit never to believe more than half of what people tell you, and not to concern yourself with the rest. Rather keep your mind free and your path your own.”
“And when the spring breezes blow up the valley; when the spring sun shines on last year's withered grass on the river banks; and on the lake; and on the lake's two white swans; and coaxes the new grass out of the spongy soil in the marshes - who could believe on such a day that this peaceful, grassy valley brooded over the story of our past; and over its spectres?”
“But he could not help it. No one can help it. One is a realist. One has put up with it all ever since childhood; one has had the courage to look it full in the eye, possibly courage enough to look it in the eye all one's life long. Then one day the distances beckon with their floating possibilities, and in one's hands are the admission tickets, two slips of blue paper. One is a realist no longer. One has finished putting up with it all, one no longer has the courage to look it in the eye, one is in the power of beckoning hospitable distances, floating possibilities, perhaps forever afterwards. Perhaps one's life is over.”
“A free man can live on fish.Independence is better than meat”
“He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver; and to sound.
This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul.”
“Strange though it may seem, people rarely show such enthusiasm as when they are seeking the proof of a ghost story—the soul gathers all this sort of thing to its hungry bosom.”
“Townsfolk have no conception of the peace that mother nature bestows, and as long as that peace is unfound the spirit must seek to quench its thirst with ephemeral novelties. And what is more natural that that of the townsman's feverish search for pleasure should mould people of unstable, hare-brained character, who think only of their personal appearance and their clothes and find momentary comfort in foolish fashions and other such worthless innovations? The countryman, on the other hand walks out into the verdant meadows, into an atmosphere clear and pure, and as he breaths it into his lungs some unknown power streams through his limbs, invigorating body and soul. The peace in nature fills his mind with calm and cheer, the bright green grass under his feet awakens a sense of beauty, almost of reverence. In the fragrance that is borne so sweetly to his nostrils, in the quietude that broods so blissfully around him, there is comfort and rest. The hillsides, the dingles, the waterfalls, and the mountains are all friends of his childhood, and never to be forgotten.”
“And Ásta Sóllilja, it was she who swept on wings of poetry into those spheres which she had sensed as if in distant murmur one spring night last year when she was reading about the little girl who journeyed over the seven mountains; and the distant murmur had suddenly swelled to a song in her ears, and her soul found here for the first time its origin and its descent; happiness, fate, sorrow, she understood them all; and many other things. When a man looks at a flowering plant growing slender and helpless up in the wilderness among a hundred thousand stones, and he has found this plant only by chance, then he asks: Why is it that life is always trying to burst forth? Should one pull up this plant and use it to clean one's pipe? No, for this plant also broods over the limitation and the unlimitation of all life, and lives in the love of the good beyond these hundred thousand stones, like you and me; water it with care, but do not uproot it, maybe it is little Ásta Sóllilja.”
“It was pretty miserable wretches that minded at all whether they were wet or dry. He could not understand why such people had been born. "It's nothing but damned eccentricity to want to be dry" he would say. "I've been wet more than half my life and never been a whit the worse for it.”
“No. It was neither heroes nor sacrifice nor yet virtues that she loved most; rather the poetry which spoke to her of dreams that were either fulfilled to no purpose or never fulfilled at all; of happiness that came as a visitor or did not come, of how it came and went, or of how it never came. She saw and understood this man, not in an objective way, but in her own way: in the lambent colours of poetry, with woods in the background, and penetrating everything, the roar of the world's deepest and mightiest river.”
“He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings of his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were yet to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding of the soul's defenselessness, of the conflict between the two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.”
“Remember that every day you quicken into motion waves that undulate on to the very confines of existence; you stir up waves that break upon the shores of eternity itself. And it is of much importance whether they are waves of brightness that are radiated, bearing light and fragrance far and wide, or whether they are waves of gloom, carrying misery and misfortune to loosen pent-up glaciers that will create an Ice Age of the national heart.”
“When life is a weariness and escape impossible, it is wonderful to have a friend who can bring us peace with the touch of a hand. After this Finna decided to tend the cow herself... Those were the good days. They were serene days and quite undemonstrative, like the best days in one's like; the boy never forgot them. Nothing happens; one simply lives and breathes and wishes for nothing more, and nothing more.”
“The most remarkable thing about a man's dreams is that they will all come true; this has always been the case, though no one would care to admit it. And a peculiarity of man's behaviour is that he is not in the least surprised when his dreams come true; it is as if he expected nothing else. The goal to be reached and the determination to reach it are brother and sister, and slumber in the same heart.”
“They were allowed a little touch at each of the books, but only with their fingertips tonight, literature cannot bear dirty hands; first we'll have to back each volume with paper, the covers must not get dirty, nor the spines slit, books are the nation's most precious possession, books have preserved the nation's life through monopoly, pestilence, and volcanic eruption, not to mention the tons of snow that have lain over the country's widely scattered homesteads for the major part of every one of its thousand years.”
“Oh yes", said the old woman, "but I've heard these so-called stoves are by no means all they are supposed to be. I never saw a stove in my day, and yet never ailed a thing, at least as long as I could really be called alive, except for nettle rash one night when I was in my fifteenth year.. It was caused by some fresh fish that the boys used to catch in the lakes thereabouts."
The man did not answer for a while, but lay pondering the medical history of this incredible old creature who, without ever setting eyes on a stove, had suffered almost no ailments in the past sixty-five years.”
“So I see no reason why, just because a couple of womenfolk have kicked the bucket, people should start writing religion about them.”
“The distinctive features of the world's civilisations are not simply and solely the giraffe and the city of Rome, as the children may perhaps have been led to imagine on the first evening, but also the elephant and the country of Denmark, beside many other things. Yes, everyday brought its new animal and its new country, its new kings and its new gods, its quota of those tough little figures which seem to have no significance, but are nevertheless endowed with a life and a value of their own, and may be added together or subtracted from one another at will. And finally poetry, which is grater than any country ; poetry with its bright palaces.”
“A leader must be ready to send the soldiers under his command to their deaths”
“Los conocimientos importantes conllevan importantes responsabilidades.”
“It's time to demythologise an era and build a new myth from the gutter to the stars. It's time to embrace bad men and the price they paid to secretly define their time.”
“Trust me, not every girl would give up his sweatshirt just because a girl asks.”
“...most people need to believe in something. There are a few who don't, but they're a bit unusual.”
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