“Adieu," he said, "this is goodbye. I'll never forget you, never."
She stood silent. He looked at her and saw her eyes full of tears. He turned away.
At this moment she wasn't ashamed of loving him, because her physical desire had gone and all she felt towards him now was pity and a profound, almost maternal tenderness. She forced herself to smile. "Like the Chinese mother who sent her son off to war telling him to be careful 'because war has its dangers,' I'm asking you, if you have any feelings for me, to be as careful as possible with your life."
Because it is precious to you?" he asked nervously.
Yes. Because it is precious to me.”
“How sad the world is, so beautiful yet so absurd...”
“But what is certain is that in five, ten or twenty years, this problem unique to our time, according to him, will no longer exist, it will be replaced by others...Yet this music, the sound of this rain on the windows, the great mournful creaking of the cedar tree in the garden outside, this moment, so tender, so strange in the middle of war, this will never change, not this, this is forever.”
“...for music alone can abolish differences
of language or culture between two people and invoke something indestructible within them.”
“After all, people judge one another according to their own feelings. It is only the miser who sees other enticed by money, the lustful who see others obsessed by desire.”
“All the light of the day, fleeing the earth, seemed for one brief moment to take refuge in the sky; pink clouds spiralled round the full moon that was as green as pistachio sorbet and as clear as glass; it was reflected in the lake.”
“...because all happiness is contagious, and disarms the spirit of hatred.”
“Paris had its sweetest smell, the smell of chestnut trees in bloom and of petrol with a few grains of dust that crack under your teeth like pepper. In the darknes the danger seemed to grow. You could smell the suffering in the air, in the silence. Everyone looked at their house and thought, "Tomorrow it will be in ruins, tomorrow I'l have nothing left.”
“They felt a strange happiness, an urgent need to reveal their hearts to each other- the urgency of lovers, which is already a gift, the very first one, the gift of the soul before the body surrenders. 'Know me, look at me. This is who I am. This is how I have lived, this is what I have loved. And you? What about you, my darling?”
“What separates or unites people is not their language, their laws, their customs, their principles, but the way they hold their knife and fork.”
“Heureux sont ceux qui peuvent aimer et haïr sans feinte, sans détour, sans nuance.”
“The tender June day persisted, refusing to die. Each pulse of light was fainter and more exquisite than the last, as if bidding farewell to the earth, full of love and regret.”
“These two sections [of Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise], plus some of the author's notes, are all we have -- this in itself is a tragedy and waste of war. Had this novel been finished we would be hailing it as one of the supreme works of literature. As it stands, it is like a great cathedral gutted by a bomb. The ruined shell still soars to heaven, a reminder of the human spirit triumphing despite human destructiveness.”
“This thing of Beauty is a Guilt forever.”
“I keep telling you, you don't pay enough attention to the minor characters. A novel should be like a street full of strangers, where no more than two or three people are known to us in depth.”
“He hated the war; it threatened much more than his lifestyle or peace of mind. It continually destroyed the world of the imagination, the only world where he felt happy.”
“Mothers and women in love: both ferocious females.”
“Evil is visible, it burns, it smugly displays itself for all to see.”
“Dopo tutto, si giudicano gli altri solo in base al proprio cuore: l’avaro vede sempre la gente spinta dall’interesse, il lussurioso dall’ossessione del desiderio.”
“An enemy soldier never seemed to be alone--one human being like any other--but followed, crushed from all directions by innumerable ghosts, the missing and the dead. Speaking to him wasn't like speaking to a solitary man but to an invisible multitude; nothing that was said was either spoken or heard with simplicity: there was always that strange sensation of being no more than lips that spoke for so many others, others who had been silenced.”
“So what? German or French, friend or enemy, he's first and foremost a man and I'm a woman. He's good to me, kind, attentive. . .that's good enough for me. I'm not looking for anything else. Our lives are complicated enough with all these wars and bombings. Between a man and a woman, none of that's important. I couldn't care less if the man I fancy is English or black - I'd still offer myself to him if I got the opportunity.”
“Anything was better than music, for music alone can abolish differences of language or culture between two people and evoke something indestructible within them.”
“- Draga moja prijateljice, imam sezdeset godina, ne plasim se smrti!
- Zasto onda odlazite?
- Ne mogu da podnesem ovaj haos, ove izlive mrznje, odvratni prizor rata. Otici cu u beki miran kutak, na selo. Zivecu od ono malo para sto mi je ostalo dok se ljudi ponovo ne dozovu pameti.”
“After the calm comes the storm; it starts out slowly, reaches its peak, then it's over and other periods of calm, some longer, some shorter, come along. It's just been our bad luck to be born in a century full of storms, that's all. They'll die down.”
“Un soldato nemico non era mai solo - un essere umano di fronte a un altro - ma portava con sé una folla innumerevole di fantasmi, i fantasmi degli assenti e dei morti. Non ci si rivolgeva a un uomo ma a una moltitudine invisibile; così nessuna delle parole pronunciate era detta semplicemente e come tale ascoltata; si aveva sempre la strana sensazione che a parlare fosse soltanto una bocca, che parlava per tante altre, mute.”
“Then a dark shape would glide across the star-covered sky, everyone would look up and the laughter would stop. It wasn't exactly what you'd call fear, rather a strange sadness--a sadness that had nothing human about it any more, for it lacked both courage and hope. This was how animals waited to die. It was the way fish caught in a net watch the shadow of the fisherman moving back and forth above them.”
“No one quite knew why, but they felt light-hearted. Maybe it was because of the beautiful weather. The sky, so blue, seemed gently to bow down towards the horizon and caress the earth.”
“«Signora, dopo la guerra ritornerò. Mi permetta di tornare. Tutti i nostri contrasti tra Francia e Germania saranno vecchi... dimenticati... per almeno quindici anni. Una sera suonerò alla sua porta. Lei mi aprirà e non mi riconoscerà, perché sarò in abiti civili. Allora io dirò: “Sono... l'ufficiale tedesco... si ricorda? Ora c'è la pace, la felicità, la libertà. La porto via con me”. Partiremo insieme. Le farò visitare molti paesi. Io naturalmente sarò un compositore famoso, e lei sarà bella come adesso...»”
“Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary...”
“I did what I have been told to do by my queen. In so doing, I fell into a trap I couldn't escape. I still can't."
"The trap of LUUUUVVVV, I thought sarcastically. But he was too serious, too calm, to mock.”
“There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for--that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own.”
“You'd expect that as much as a samurai would expect a kick in the balls.”
“There's always someone who secretly believes in myths and legends; or at least parts of them. Those are the people who will look beyond the obvious and see things in this world that are truly wonderful.”
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