“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
“Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.”
“Does such a thing as 'the fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.”
“It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown I back, throat to the stars, "more like deer than human being." To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”
“I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.”
“But how,” said Charles, who was close to tears, “how can you possibly justify cold-blooded murder?’
Henry lit a cigarette. “I prefer to think of it,” he had said, “as redistribution of matter.”
“There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty - unless she is wed to something more meaningful - is always superficial.”
“Are you happy here?" I said at last.
He considered this for a moment. "Not particularly," he said. "But you're not very happy where you are, either.”
“Could it be because it reminds us that we are alive, of our mortality, of our individual souls- which, after all, we are too afraid to surrender but yet make us feel more miserable than any other thing? But isn't it also pain that often makes us most aware of self? It is a terrible thing to learn as a child that one is a being separate from the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one's burned tongues and skinned knees, that one's aches and pains are all one’s own. Even more terrible, as we grow old, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy, and that's why we're so anxious to lose them, don't you think?”
“Some things are too terrible to grasp at once. Other things - naked, sputtering, indelible in their horror - are too terrible to really grasp ever at all. It is only later, in solitude, in memory that the realization dawns: when the ashes are cold; when the mourners have departed; when one looks around and finds oneself - quite to one's surprise - in an entirely different world.”
“It is is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.”
“One likes to think there's something in it, that old platitude amor vincit omnia. But if I've learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn't conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.”
“Forgive me, for all the things I did but mostly for the ones that I did not.”
“For if the modern mind is whimsical and discursive, the classical mind is narrow, unhesitating, relentless. It is not a quality of intelligence that one encounters frequently these days. But though I can digress with the best of them, I am nothing in my soul if not obsessive.”
“There are such things as ghosts. People everywhere have always known that. And we believe in them every bit as much as Homer did. Only now, we call them by different names. Memory. The unconscious.”
“In short: I felt my existence was tainted, in some subtle but essential way.”
“Once, over dinner, Henry was quite startled to learn from me than men had walked on the moon. “No,” he said, putting down his fork.
“It’s true,” chorused the rest, who had somehow managed to pick this up along the way.
“I don’t believe it.”
“I saw it,” said Bunny. “It was on television.”
“How did they get there? When did this happen?"”
“Anything is grand if it's done on a large enough scale.”
“Love doesn't conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.”
“Does such a thing as "the fatal flaw," that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature?”
“Any action, in the fullness of time, sinks to nothingness.”
“Death is the mother of beauty,” said Henry. “And what is beauty?” “Terror.”
“Why does that obstinate little voice in our heads torment us so? Could it be because it reminds us that we are alive, of our mortality, of our individual souls – which, after all, we are too afraid to surrender but yet make us feel more miserable than any other thing? It is a terrible thing to learn as a child that one is a being separate from the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one’s burned tongues and skinned knees, that one’s aches and pains are all one’s own. Even more terrible, as we grow older, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy, and that’s why we’re so anxious to lose them, don’t you think?”
“All those layers of silence upon silence.”
“I suppose the shock of recognition is one of the nastiest shocks of all.”
“It is easy to see things in retrospect. But I was ignorant then of everything but my own happiness, and I don’t know what else to say except that life itself seemed very magical in those days: a web of symbol, coincidence, premonition, omen. Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together–my future, my past, the whole of my life–and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!”
“Not quite what one expected, but once it happened one realized it couldn't be any other way.”
“Being the only female in what was basically a boys’ club must have been difficult for her. Miraculously, she didn’t compensate by becoming hard or quarrelsome. She was still a girl, a slight lovely girl who lay in bed and ate chocolates, a girl whose hair smelled like hyacinth and whose scarves fluttered jauntily in the breeze. But strange and marvelous as she was, a wisp of silk in a forest of black wool, she was not the fragile creature one would have her seem.”
“It's funny, but thinking back on it now, I realize that this particular point in time, as I stood there blinking in the deserted hall, was the one point at which I might have chosen to do something very much different from what I actually did. But of course I didn't see this crucial moment for what it actually was; I suppose we never do. Instead, I only yawned, and shook myself from the momentary daze that had come upon me, and went on my way down the stairs.”
“Well, I cannot claim any great experience in life,' the Saw-Horse answered for himself; 'but I seem to learn very quickly, and often it occurs to me that I know more than any of those around me.' 'Perhaps you do,' said the Emperor; 'for experience does not always mean wisdom. - The Marvellous Land Of Oz by L. Frank Baum pg 89 chapter 11”
“He hated himself," Gwen said. "You just got caught in the cross fire.”
“We find our way to the marble kitchen, open the fancy silver fridge, and serve ourselves a heaping plate of coleslaw and chicken fingers. “Mmm,” I say. Prince makes sloppy eating sounds. “Delicious,” says Jonah. He smiles at Frederic. “Tastes just like frog legs.” I laugh so hard I snort coleslaw out of my nose.”
“It was such a lovely day too, and the sky and sea were so blue. They sat eating and drinking, gazing out to sea, watching the waves break into spray over the rocks beyond the old wreck.”
“We shall have to stay the night here,' he said, as if preparing to spend the night at an inn, and he proceeded to unfasten the collar-straps. The buckles came undone.
'But shan't we be frozen?' remarked Vasili Andreevich.
'Well, if we are we can't help it.' said Nikita.”
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