“That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn't expect.”
“Though the funny thing about never being asked for anything is that after a while you start to feel like maybe you don’t have anything worth giving.”
“Everybody wanted to be the hero of their own story. Nobody wanted to be comic relief.”
“By now he had learned enough to know that when he was getting annoyed at somebody else, it was usually because there was something that he himself should be doing, and he wasn't doing it.”
“He who completes a quest does not merely find something. He becomes something.”
“You didn’t get the quest you wanted, you got the one you could do.”
“Genuinely social people never ceased to amaze him. Their brains seemed to generate an inexhaustible fund of things to say, naturally, with no effort, out of nothing at all.”
“Magic: it was what happened when the mind met the world, and the mind won for a change.”
“She still had her bad days, no question, when the black dog of depression sniffed her out and settled its crushing weight on her chest and breathed its pungent dog breath in her face. On those days she called in sick to the IT shop where, most days, she untangled tangled networks for a song. On those days she pulled down the shades and ran dark for twelve or twenty-four or seventy-two hours, however long it took for the black dog to go on home to its dark master.”
“You’re all so obsessed with other worlds, you’re so convinced that this one is crap and everywhere else is great, but you’ve never bothered to figure out what’s going on here!”
“Maybe this was one of those times when being a hero didn’t involve looking particularly brave. It was just doing what you should.”
“Careful what you hunt, lest you catch it.”
“Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn't the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn't trying to save the world from Sauron, he was trying to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders…”
“A big silvery janitor. Penny, this can’t be how the universe works.”
“In the Order we call it ‘inverse profundity.’ We’ve observed it in any number of cases. The deeper you go into the cosmic mysteries, the less interesting everything gets.”
“Being a hero, the man had observed, is largely a matter of knowing one’s cues.”
“Julia would do anything to make the time pass. She killed time, murdered it, massacred it and hid the bodies. She threw her days in bunches onto the bonfire with both hands and watched them go up in fragrant smoke. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes it felt like the hours had ground to a halt. They fought her as they passed, one after the other, like stubborn stools.”
“Sometimes you just have to do things, Quentin,” Julia said, as he climbed on board after her. “You spend too much of your time waiting.”
“You’re saying the gods don’t have free will.”
“The power to make mistakes,” Penny said. “Only we have that. Mortals.”
“It was strange to be naked in front of anybody. It was like that cold water out there in the bay: scary, you didn’t think you could stand it, but then you plunged in and pretty soon you got used to it. There was enough hiding in life. Sometimes you just wanted to show somebody your tits.”
“She had never expected anything special to just happen to her. Her plan for life was to get out there and make special things happen, which was a much more sensible plan from a probability point of view.”
“Sometimes he wasn’t sure if he was in love with Julia or just that he wanted to be in love with her, because it would be so comforting, such a relief, to be in love with her. It seemed like such a good idea. Was there really that big of a difference?”
“She knew she was obsessed, but it was turning out that she was the kind of person who needed to be obsessed with something, and she could have done a lot worse.”
“It's true," Eliot said. "Statistically, historically, and however else you want to look at it, you are almost never right. A monkey making life decisions based on its horoscope in USA Today would be right more often than you. But in this case, yes, you were right. Don't spoil it.”
“In one huge leather-gloved fist Jollyby held up a large, madly kicking hare by its ears.
'Son of a bitch,' Dauntless said. 'He caught it.'
Dauntless was a talking horse. She just didn't talk much.”
“What makes you think what happened to you on Earth wasn't an adventure?”
“A key part of successfully being Julia, it seemed, was not giving a shit if you looked weird.”
“There was enough hiding in life. Sometimes you just wanted to show somebody your tits.”
“My ACTIONS should draw people to the God I serve, not my SALES PITCH. If people want what I have, they'll ask me how to get it. If not, that's their business.”
“Overtaken by demographic transformation and two generations of socio-geographic mobility, France’s once-seamless history seemed set to disappear from national memory altogether.
The anxiety of loss had two effects. One was an increase in the range of the official patrimoine, the publicly espoused body of monuments and artifacts stamped ‘heritage’ by the authority of the state. In 1988, at the behest of Mitterrand’s Culture Minister Jack Lang, the list of officially protected items in the patrimoine culturel of “France—previously restricted to UNESCO-style heirlooms such as the Pont du Gard near Nîmes, or Philip the Bold’s ramparts at Aigues-Mortes—was dramatically enlarged.
It is revealing of the approach taken by Lang and his successors that among France’s new ‘heritage sites’ was the crumbling façade of the Hôtel du Nord on Paris’s Quai de Jemappes: an avowedly nostalgic homage to Marcel Carné’s 1938 film classic of that name. But Carné shot that movie entirely in a studio. So the preservation of a building (or the façade of a building) which never even appeared in the film could be seen—according to taste—either as a subtle French exercise in post-modern irony, or else as symptomatic of the unavoidably bogus nature of any memory when subjected thus to official taxidermy.”
“But the words she chooses withhold their best qualities, they refuse to match the way she feels inside.”
“They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear.”
“What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin.”
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