Quotes from The Dumb House

John Burnside ·  204 pages

Rating: (1.5K votes)


“No one could say it was my choice to kill the twins, any more than it was my decision to bring them into the world.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


“The trick and the beauty of language is that it seems to order the whole universe, misleading us into believing that we live in sight of a rational space, a possible harmony.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


“It's laughable, looking back, to see the processes I went through, pretending to make a reasoned decision. No choice is ever made on the basis of logic; the logic is fabricated around the impulse, the initial desire which is innate and incontrovertible. All the time, I knew where I was going, the elements of my fulfillment or ruin were always present; I only had to work my way into that seam of desire and find the hidden vein of dross or gold. It's not a question of predestination, it's just that free will and destiny are illusions, false opposites, consolations. In the end, they are one and the same: a single process. You choose what you choose and it could not have been otherwise: the choice is destiny. It was there all along, but any alternative you might have considered is an absurd diversion, because it is in your nature to make one choice rather than another. That is identity. To speak of freedom or destiny is absurd because it suggests there is something outside yourself, directing your life, where really it is of the essence: identity, the craftwork of the soul.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


“If the components of the body were organs and veins and cells, then the components of thought and language were words and grammar.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


“I have always been suspicious of the phrase, the glow of pregnancy, and my suspicions were only confirmed by Lillian's appearance. Instead of a glow, her whole body seemed to become more and more dull, sallow and sickly sweet and vague, like a candle burning out or a line of smudged writing.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House



“Sometimes, coming home in the early morning like this, I'd imagine things had altered while I was absent: a knife on the bread board that I didn't remember leaving out, a book face down on the table, a cup brimming with tea and dishwater in the sink. The evidence I wanted didn't need to be too elaborate or detailed. I could have constructed an entire afterlife from a half-moon of lemon rind or a small blister of jam on the tablecloth.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


About the author

John Burnside
Born place: in Glasgow, Scotland, The United Kingdom
Born date January 1, 1955
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“You killed a tree?"
"It tried to kill me first."
"Perhaps you should tell me exactly what happened to you, Princess.”
― Lesley Livingston, quote from Darklight


“Many of our problems are broadly similar to those that undermined ... Norse Greenland, and that many other past societies also struggled to solve. Some of those past societies failed (like the Greenland Norse) and others succeeded ... The past offers us a rich database from which we can learn in order that we may keep on succeeding.”
― Jared Diamond, quote from Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed


“It's a date," Leo repeats, and we shake on it.Leo's mother sticks her head in the door. "You guys are too young to be dating!"
"Mom!"Leo cries,turning bright red.”
― Wendy Mass, quote from 11 Birthdays


“...When I set my mind on something I am a force to be reckoned with. Today I will be gravity - subtle, but powerful and undeniable.”
― Ellen Hopkins, quote from Tilt


“People have to create some sort of art so they have something to think about other than their shitty lives.”
― Leila Sales, quote from This Song Will Save Your Life


Interesting books

Sealed with a Curse
(3.8K)
Sealed with a Curse
by Cecy Robson
Invasion of the Overworld:  A Minecraft Novel
(1.1K)
Invasion of the Over...
by Mark Cheverton
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories
(1.9K)
Tunneling to the Cen...
by Kevin Wilson
Refuge
(472)
Refuge
by N.G. Osborne
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend
(2.1K)
These Strange Ashes
(0.9K)
These Strange Ashes
by Elisabeth Elliot

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.