“You're beginning to dislike me, aren't you? Well, dislike me. It doesn't make any difference to me now.”
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.”
“For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay...”
“The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
“Almost all the people who’ve had the most effect on me I seem to have met by chance, yet looking back it seems as though I couldn’t but have met them.”
“Its a toss-up when you decide to leave the beaten track. Many are called, few are chosen.”
“Well, you know when people are no good at anything else they become writers.”
“I don’t think I shall ever find peace till I make up my mind about things,’ he said gravely. He hesitated. ‘It’s very difficult to put into words. The moment you try you feel embarrassed. You say to yourself: “Who am I that I should bother myself about this, that, and the other? Perhaps it’s only because I’m a conceited prig. Wouldn’t it be better to follow the beaten track and let what’s coming to you come?” And then you think of a fellow who an hour before was full of life and fun,and he’s lying dead; it’s all so cruel and meaningless. It’s hard not to ask yourself what life is all about and whether there’s any sense to it or whether it’s all a tragic blunder of blind fate.”
“You see, money to you means freedom; to me it means bondage.”
“It is very difficult to know people and I don't think one can ever really know any but one's own countrymen. For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives' tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.”
“You know, when one's in love,' I said, 'and things go all wrong, one's terribly unhappy and one thinks one won't ever get over it. But you'll be astounded to learn what the sea will do.'
What do you mean?' she smiled.
Well, love isn't a good sailor and it languishes on a sea voyage. You'll be surprised when you have the Atlantic between you and Larry to find how slight the pang is that before you sailed seemed intolerable.”
“I wish I could make you see how much fuller the life I offer you is than anything you have a conception of. I wish I could make you see how exciting the life of the spirit is and how rich in experience. It's illimitable. It's such a happy life. There's only one thing like it, when you're up in a plane by yourself, high, high, and only infinity surrounds you. You're intoxicated by the boundless space.”
“When you're eighteen your emotions are violent, but they're not durable.”
“American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.”
“I happen to think we’ve set our ideal on the wrong objects; I happen to think that the greatest ideal man can set before himself is self-perfection.”
“The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistical and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them , for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel.”
“We Americans... like change. It is at once our weakness and our strength.”
“In business sharp practice sometimes succeeds, but in art honesty is not only the best but the only policy.”
“A mother only does her children harm if she makes them the only concern of her life.”
“Art is triumphant when it can use convention as an instrument of its own purpose.”
“I suppose it was the end of the world for her when her husband and her baby were killed. I suppose she didn't care what became of her and flung herself into the horrible degradation of drink and promiscuous copulation to get even with life that had treated her so cruelly. She'd lived in heaven and when she lost it she couldn't put up with the common earth of common men, but in despair plunged headlong into hell. I can imagine that if she couldn't drink the nectar of the gods any more she thought she might as well drink bathroom gin.'
That's the sort of thing you say in novels. It's nonsense and you know it's nonsense. Sophie wallows in the gutter because she likes it. Other women have lost their husbands and children. It wasn't that that made her evil. Evil doesn't spring from good. The evil was there always. When that motor accident broke her defences it set her free to be herself. Don't waste your pity on her, she's now what at heart she always was.”
“You know, the Philistines have long since discarded the rack and stake as a means of suppressing the opinions they feared: they've discovered a much more deadly weapon of destruction -- the wisecrack.”
“Unless love is passion, it's not love, but something else; and passion thrives not on satisfaction, but on impediment.”
“There are psychologists who think that consciousness accompanies brain processes and is determined by them but doesn't itself exert any influence on them. Something like the reflection of a tree in water; it couldn't exist without the tree, but it doesn't in any way affect he tree. I think it's all stuff and nonsense to say that there can be love without passion; when people say love can endure after passion is dead they're talking of something else, affection, kindliness, community of taste and interest, and habit . . . Of course there can be desire without love. Desire isn't passion. Desire is the natural consequence of the sexual instinct . . . That's why women are foolish to make a song and dance if their husbands have an occasional flutter when the time and place are propitious . . . what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose . . . Unless love is passion, it's not love, but something else; and passion thrives not on satisfaction but impediment . . . When passion seizes the heart it invents reasons that seem not only plausible but conclusive to prove that the world is well lost for love. It convinces you that honor is well sacrificed and that shame is a cheap price to pay. Passion is destructive . . . and if it doesn't destroy it dies. It may be then that one is faced with the desolation of knowing that one has wasted the years of one's life, that one's brought disgrace upon oneself, endured the frightful pang of jealousy, swallowed every bitter mortification, that one's expended all one's tenderness, poured out all the riches of one's soul on a poor drab, a fool, a peg on which one hung one's dreams, who wasn't worth a stick of chewing gum.”
“I only wanted to suggest to you that self-sacrifice is a passion so overwhelming that beside it even lust and hunger are trifling.”
“It's a long, arduous road he's starting to travel, but it may be that at the end of it he'll find what's he's seeking.”
“I did not hesitate to put the question that came to the tip of my tongue. After all, if you want to know something the best way is to ask.”
“No one could understand; nor could she explain it herself. This senseless kindness is condemned in the fable about the pilgrim who warmed a snake in his boson. It is the kindness that has mercy on a tarantula that has bitten a child. A mad, blind kindness. People enjoy looking in stories and fables for examples of the danger of this kind of senseless kindness. But one shouldn't be afraid of it. One might just as well be afraid of a freshwater fish carried out by chance into the salty ocean. The harm from time to time occasioned a society, class, race or State by this senseless kindness fades away in the light that emanates from those who are endowed with it. This kindness, this stupid kindness, is what is most truly human in a human being. It is what sets man apart, the highest achievement of his soul. No it says, life is not evil.”
“The only path by which another person can upset you is through your own thought.”
“Alice had hoped to be brave – she'd hoped she was stronger than her fears – but Alice was injured on the inside; and though her anger kept her upright, it couldn't keep her steady, and from moment to moment Alice would slip.”
“I hate that just because you happen to be good at something,people automatically think that's what makes you happy,but it's not really like that, you know? It's not that simple.”
“She grabbed me and pulled me into a warm embrace. Just as quickly she pushed me away. She said, “Thank you for getting on my nerves for so long,” and I said, “You’re welcome, Lorraine.” We have talked three or four times a week ever since. She is family.”
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