“Who here wants to be a writer?' I asked. Everyone in the room raised his hand. 'Why the hell aren't you home writing?' I said, and left the stage.”
“After all, the only thing that is going to save mankind is if enough people live their lives for something or someone other than themselves.”
“Too many writers start with a good idea and carry it through the first chapters, then fall apart because they had no idea where the top of the mountain was in the first place.”
“In God's scheme what is a few billion years here and there. Perhaps there have come and gone a dozen human civilizations in the past billion years that we know nothing about. And after this civilization we are living in destroys itself, it will all start up again in a million years when the planet has all its messes cleaned up. Then, finally, one of these civilizations, say five billion years from now, will last because people treat each other the way they ought to.”
“If you had ordered British troops to drive children and old people into gas chambers, none of whom had done anything wrong except they were the children of their parents, can you imagine British troops doing anything but mutiny against such orders?
"Well, as a matter of fact there were some Germans, soldiers, officers, priests, doctors, and ordinary civilians who refused to obey these orders and said, 'I am not going to do this because I would not like to live and have this on my conscience. I'm not going to push them into gas chambers and then say later I was under orders and justify it by saying they were going to be pushed in by someone anyhow, and I can't stop it and other people will push them more cruelly. Therefore, it's in their best interest that I shove them in gently.'
"You see, the trouble was, not enough of these people refused.”
“Mirror, Standard, Telegraph, Birmingham Post, Sketch, all careful to report accurately the events without editorial comment. Unlike some countries, the British press must be exceedingly careful not to try a man in the newspapers and magazines before he comes to court. In such cases when a newspaper becomes an accuser or prejudger, turning public sentiment, the paper can be named as a defendant to the action. It keeps journalism honest.”
“But once you allow yourself to think that there are some people, because of their race, their color, or religion, who are really not human beings you have established a justification for imposing every sort of humiliation on them.”
“I fell in love. It felt exactly like a fall, a head-over-heels tumble into a state of unbearable lightness. The earth tilted on its axis. I did not believe in romantic love at the time, thinking it a human construct, an invention of fourteenth century Italian poets. I was as unprepared for love as I had been for goodness and beauty. Suddenly, my heart seemed swollen, too large for my chest.”
“Being afreaid proves you're alive and awake.”
“He’s talking to rocks now,” Kernel says.
“A definite lunatic,” Kirilli purrs.”
“Zsadist scese dall'auto e girò intorno al baule. Dopo un secolo in cui per scelta era sempre stato a stecchetto, adesso aveva messo su dodici chili abbondanti sui suoi quasi due metri di altezza. La cicatrice in faccia restava evidente, così come le fasce che gli avevano tatuato intorno al collo e ai polsi quand'era uno schiavo di sangue, ma grazie a Bella, la sua shellan, i suoi occhi non erano più due pozzi neri d'odio. Quasi più.”
“I wonder if the conversations you've never had with someone count, if you've been over them a thousand times in your mind.”
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