“My Dad says that we're the meanest to the ones we love because we know they'll still love us.”
“People who think that grammar is just a collection of rules and restrictions are wrong. If you get to like it, grammar reveals the hidden meaning of history, hides disorder and abandonment, links things and brings opposites together. Grammar is a wonderful way of organising the world how you'd like it to be.”
“Some secrets are like fossils and the stone has become too heavy to turn over.”
“Before I met No I thought that violence meant shouting and hitting and war and blood. Now I know that there can also be violence in silence and that it’s sometimes invisible to the naked eye. There’s violence in the time that conceals wounds, the relentless succession of days, the impossibility of turning back the clock. Violence is what escapes us. It’s silent and hidden. Violence is what remains inexplicable, what stays forever opaque...
My mother stands there at the living room door with her arms by her sides. And I think that there's violence in that too - in her inability to reach out to me, to make the gesture which is impossible and so forever suspended.”
“All my life I've felt on the outside wherever I am - out of the picture, the conversation, at a distance, as though I were the only one able to hear the sounds or words that other's can't, and deaf to the words that they hear. As if I'm outside the frame, on the other side of a huge, invisible window.”
“If you consider that a single straight line can be drawn between any two points, one day I'm going to draw a line from him to me or me to him.”
“And when he catches me looking at him, he gives me this incredibly sweet, calm smile, and I think that we've got our lives ahead of us, our whole lives.”
“But sometimes the night reveals the only truth that time passes and things will never be seen the same again.”
“I used to think things were the way they are for a reason, that there was some hidden meaning. I used to think that this meaning governed the way the world was. But it's an illusion to think that there are good and bad reasons. Grammar is a lie to make us think that what we say is connected by a logic that you'll find if you study it, a lie that gone on for centuries. Because I now know that life just lurches between stability and instability and doesn't obey any law.”
“Now I know without a shadow of doubt that you can't chase away those images, let alone the visible holes that burrow deep down inside. You can't chase away the reverberations or the memories that stir as night falls or in the early hours. You can't chase away echoing screams, still less echoing silence”
“In books there are chapters to separate out the moments, to show that time is going by and things are changing, and sometimes the parts even have titles that are full of promise—'The Meeting', 'Hope', 'Downfall'—like paintings do. But in life there's nothing like that, no titles or signs or warnings, nothing to say 'Beware, danger!' or 'Frequent landslides' or 'Disillusion ahead'. In life you stand all alone in your costume, and too bad if it's in tatters.”
“You can learn to find unknowns in equations, draw equidistant lines and demonstrate theorems, but in real life there's nothing to position, calculate, or guess.”
“Wir sind imstande, Überschallflugzeuge und Raketen ins All zu schicken, einen Verbrecher anhand eines Haars oder eines winzigen Hautpartikels zu identifizieren, eine Tomate zu züchten, die im Kühlschrank drei Monate lang völlig faltenfrei bleibt, und Milliarden von Informationen auf einem Mikrochip zu speichern. Wir sind imstande, die Leute auf der Straße sterben zu lassen.”
“I’m not too keen on talking. I always have the feeling that the words are getting away from me, escaping and scattering. It’s not to do with vocabulary or meanings, because I know quite a lot of words, but when I come out with them they get confused and scattered. That’s why I avoid stories and speeches and just stick to answering the questions I’m asked. All the extra words, the overflow, I keep to myself, the words that I silently multiply to get close to the truth.”
“I don't go after him. He's a funny sort of boy. I've known that from the start. Not just because he seems angry and contemptuous or the way he walks like a tough guy. Because of his smile - it's a child's smile.”
“Those moments aren't ours any more. They're shut up in a box, buried at the back of a cupboard, out of reach. They're frozen like on a postcard or a calendar. The colours will end up disappearing, fading. They're forbidden to our memories and our words.”
“Vorher glaubte ich, die Dinge hätten eine Bestimmung, einen verborgenen Sinn. Vorher glaubte ich, dieser Sinn sei der Gestaltung der Welt vorausgegangen. Aber der Gedanke, es gebe schlechte und gute Gründe, ist eine Illusion,[...], denn ich weiß jetzt, dass das Leben nur eine Folge von Ruhe- und Ungleichgewichtszuständen ist, deren Anordnung keiner Notwendigkeit unterliegt.”
“Imagine that you're an extremely modern car, equipped with a greater number of options and functions than most cars. You're faster and higher performance. You're very lucky. But it's not easy. Because no one knows exactly the number of options you have or what they enable you to do. Only you can know. And speed can be dangerous. Like when you're eight, you don't know how to drive. There are many things you have to learn: how to drive when it's wet, when it's snowy, to look out for other cars and respect them, to rest when you've been driving for too long. That's what it means to be a grown up.' I'm thirteen and I can see that I'm not managing to grow up in the right way: I can't understand the road signs, I'm not in control of my vehicle, I keep taking the wrong turnings and most of the time I feel like I'm stuck on the dodgems rather than on a race track.”
“But I can’t manage to grow up and change shape. I’m still tiny, and staying that way, perhaps because I know the secret that everyone pretends to be unaware of, perhaps because I know that deep down we’re all tiny.”
“Alors j'ai pensé aux adverbes et aux conjonctions de coordination qui indiquent une rupture dans le temps (soudain, tout à coup), une opposition (néantmoins, en revanche, par contre, cependant) ou une concession (alors que , même si, quand bien même), je n'ai plus pensé qu'à ça, j'ai cherché à les énumérer dans ma tête, à en faire l'inventaire, je ne pouvais rien dire, rien du tout, parce que ça se brouillait autour de moi, les murs et la lumiere.
Alors, j'ai pensé que la grammaire a tout prévu, les désenchantements, les defaites et les emmerdements en général.”
“I thought there was nothing more worthwile or more respectable than directing the traffic, going from red to green and green to red in order to protect people.”
“I wanted Sundays in wintry colours, the smell of soup drifting from the kitchen. I wanted our lives to be like other people's. I wanted everyone to have their place at the table, their time for the bathroom, their part in the domestic routine, for there be nothing to do by let time drift by.”
“I often regret the fact that you can't rub out words in mid-air like you can on paper, that there isn't a special pen that you can wave in front of you to remove the clumsy words before anyone can hear them.”
“Noël est un mensonge qui réunit les familles autour d'un arbre mort recouvert de lumières, un mensonge tissé de conversations insipides, enfoui sous des kilos de crème au beurre, un mensonge auquel personne ne croit.”
“I don’t want my world to be subset A such that it doesn’t intersect with any others (B, C or D), a watertight shape drawn on a slate, whole but empty. I’d rather be elsewhere, following a line that leads to places where worlds communicate with each other, overlap, where the edges are permeable, where life follows a path without breaks, where things don’t come to an end brutally for no reason, where important events come with instructions (level of risk, mains or batteries, expected duration) and the necessary equipment (airbags, GPS, ABS).”
“When I was still quite young I had a complete presentiment of life. It was like the nauseating smell of cooking escaping from a ventilator: you don't have to have eaten it to know that it would make you throw up. ”
“…jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.”
“Because sometimes it’s about letting go of what your mind tells you and following what your heart shows you instead. That’s how you know it will always be real.”
“Memories never did anyone any good, and weepy sentiment was for fools too weak to suck it up and do what needed to be done.”
“With respect to the requirement of art, the probable impossible is always preferable to the improbable possible.”
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