“A reader doesn't really see the characters in a story; he feels them.”
“you can not fully read a book without being alone. But through this very solitude you become intimately involved with people whom you might never have met otherwise, either because they have been dead for centuries or because they spoke languages you cannot understand. And, nonetheless, they have become your closest friends, your wisest advisors, the wizards that hypnotize you, the lovers you have always dreamed of.
-Antonio munoz molinas, "the power of the pen”
“He saw so many emotions mingled on her face: anger disappointment, fear – and defiance. Like her daughter, thought Fenoglio again. So uncompromising, so strong. Women were different, no doubt about it. Men broke so much more quickly. Grief didn’t break women. Instead it wore them down, it hollowed them out, very slowly.”
“Nothing is more terrifying than fearlessness.”
“I wish you luck,' she said, kissing him on the cheek. He still had the most beautiful eyes of any boy she'd ever seen. But now her heart beat so much faster for someone else.”
“Why did death make life taste so much sweeter? Why could the heart love only what it could also lose?”
“Because by now Elinor had understood this, too: A longing for books was nothing compared with what you could feel for human beings. The books told you about that feeling. The books spoke of love, and it was wonderful to listen to them, but they were no substitute for love itself. They couldn't kiss her like Meggie, they couldn't hug her like Resa, they couldn't laugh like Mortimer. Poor books, poor Elinor.”
“In love - it sounded like a sickness without any cure, and wasn't that just how it sometimes felt?”
“Weren’t all books ultimately related? After all, the same letters filled them, just arranged in a different order. Which meant that, in a certain way, every book was contained in every other!”
“She read and read and read, but she was stuffing herself with the letters on the page like an unhappy child stuffing itself with chocolate. They didn’t taste bad, but she was still unhappy.”
“perhaps because this time not fear but love made him read.”
“Didn't books say that too: that there is always price to pay for happiness?”
“And he will have a great aunt called Elinor who tells him there's a world not like this one. A world with neither fairies nor glass men, but with animals who carry their young in a pouch in front of their bellies, and birds with wings that beat so fast it sounds like the humming of a bumblebee, with carriages that drive along without any horses and pictures that move on their own accord... She will tell him that even the most powerful men don't carry swords in the other world, but there are much, much more terrible weapons there...She will even claim that the people there have built coaches that can fly...So the boy will think that perhaps he'll have to go alone one day, if he wants to see that world...Because it must be exciting in that other world, much more exciting than in his own...”
“You really don't understand the first thing about writing...for one thing, early in the morning is the worst possible time. the brain is like a wet sponge at that hour. And for another, real writing is a question of staring into space and waiting for the right ideas.”
“Go back and rid the word of that book. Fill it with words before spring comes, or winter will never end for you. And I will take not only your life for the Adderhead's but your daughter's, too, because she helped you bind the book. Do you undersand, Bluejay"
Why two?" asked Mo hoarsely. "How can you ask for two lives in return for one?”
“The heart was a weak, changeable thing, bent on nothing but love, and there could be no more fatal mistake than to make it your master. Reason must be in charge. It comforted you for the heart's foolishness, it sang mocking songs about love, derided it as a whim of nature, transient as flowers. So why did she still keep following her heart?”
“Who are you?' Mo looked at the White Women. Then he looked at Dustfinger's still face.
Guess.' The bird ruffled up its golden feathers, and Mo saw that the mark on its breast was blood.
You are Death.' Mo felt the word heavy on his tongue. Could any word be heavier?”
“She had found him and was bringing back his thanks. Nor did she forget to mention that he had assured her that she was indeed the most beautiful fairy he had ever set eyes on.”
“How fast the ears learned to tell what sounds meant, much faster than it took the eyes to decipher written words.”
“A longing for books [is] nothing compared with what you [can] feel for human beings. The books [tell] you about that feeling. The books [speak] of love, and it [is] wonderful to listen to them, but they [are] no substitute for love itself.”
“A story is a labyrinth, it looks as if there were several ways to go, but only one is right, and there's a nasty surprise ready to punish you for every false step.”
“What was a slap for ten pages of escapism, ten pages far from everything that made him unhappy, ten pages of real life instead of the monotony that other people called the real world?”
“Secrets... nothing eats away at love faster.”
“Orpheus. Had the name he had taken ever suited him better? But he would be wilier than the singer whose name he had stolen. He would indeed. He would send another man into the realm of Death in the Fire-Dancer's place-and he'd make sure that he didn't come back.”
“Belive you me, this maze is a labrinth!”
“But his heart, strangely enough, told him something else.”
“Hunter kissed me as if he was going to hell, and he had this one kiss left and he was going to make the most of it.”
“she might be dying. The idea pleased her.”
“...Wizard's Fifth Rule: Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”
“For the next half hour it continued. Dr. Joseph would call on someone who looked half bright, then he would call on someone whom he felt was just the opposite. In the upper grades—fourth, fifth, and sixth—he asked grammatical, mathematical, and geographical questions. And besides looking at hands, now he began inspecting teeth. Open wide, say “Ahhh”—and he would have the poor children spreading out their lips as far as they could while he peered into their mouths. At the university I had read about slave masters who had done the same when buying new slaves, and I had read of cattlemen doing it when purchasing horses and cattle. At least Dr. Joseph had graduated to the level where he let the children spread out their own lips, rather than using some kind of crude metal instrument. I appreciated his humanitarianism.”
Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.”
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