C.S. Lewis · 324 pages
Rating: (42.3K votes)
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
“I was with book, as a woman is with child.”
“It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all the beauty came from.”
“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
“Death opens a door out of a little, dark room (that's all the life we have known before it) into a great, real place where the true sun shines and we shall meet.”
“Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.”
“Are the gods not just?"
"Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?”
“No man can be an exile if he remembers that all the world is one city.”
“I felt ashamed."
"But of what? Psyche, they hadn't stripped you naked or anything?"
"No, no, Maia. Ashamed of looking like a mortal -- of being a mortal."
"But how could you help that?"
"Don't you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can't help?”
“Did I hate him, then? Indeed, I believe so. A love like that can grow to be nine-tenths hatred and still call itself love.”
“There must, whether the gods see it or not, be something great in the mortal soul. For suffering, it seems, is infinite, and our capacity without limit.”
“But now I discovered the wonderful power of wine. I understood why men become drunkards. For the way it worked on me was not at all that it blotted out these sorrows, but that it made them seem glorious and noble, like sad music, and I somehow great and revered for feeling them.”
“You don’t think – not possibly – not as a mere hundredth chance – there might be things that are real though we can’t see them? … If there are souls, could there not be soul-houses?”
“The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, 'Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'
A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
“but who can feel ugly, when their heart feels joy”
“As for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream.”
“I have seen something like it happen in battle. A man was coming at me, I at him, to kill. Then came a sudden great gust of wind that wrapped out cloaks over our swords and almost over our eyes, so that we could do nothing to one another but must fight the wind itself. And that ridiculous contention, so foreign to the business we were on, set us both laughing, face to face - friends for a moment - and then at once enemies again and forever.”
“Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, “Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.” A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the centre of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words.”
“I wonder do the gods know what it feels like to be a man.”
“Oh, I can see it happening, age after age, and growing worse the more you reveal your beauty: the son turning his back on the mother and the bride on her groom, stolen away by this everlasting calling, calling, calling of the gods. Taken where we can't follow. It would be far better for us if you were foul and ravening. We'd rather you drank their blood than stole their hearts. We'd rather they were ours and dead than yours and made immortal.”
“It may well be that by trickery of priests men have sometimes taken a mortal's voice for a god's. But it will not work the other way. No one who hears a god's voice takes it for a man's.”
“What began the change was the very writing itself. Let no one lightly set about such a work. Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant.”
“Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
“I have said that she had no face; but that meant she had a thousand faces”
“the Divine Nature wounds and perhaps destroys us merely by being what it is.”
“The change which the writing wrought in me (and of which I did not write) was only a beginning; only to prepare me for the gods' surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound. ”
“And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth.”
“It now seemed to me that all my other guesses had been only self-pleasing dreams spun out of my wishes, but now I was awake.”
“This is where men, even the trustiest, fail us. Their heart is never so wholly given to any matter but that some trifle of a meal, or a drink, or a sleep, or a joke, or a girl, may come in between them and it, and then (even if you are a queen) you'll get no more good out of them until they've had their way.”
“Home was not a perfect place. But it was the only home they had and they could hope to make it better.”
“The writing seemed like the books that held it; crumbly and antique and bearing the stink of centuries. Still, it was compelling. His voice was smooth and kind, and once in a while an observation that would ring so true it vibrated like flicked crystal.”
“You can't lose what you never had.”
“You better not be dead. This team is already overflowing with ankle spankers. I was looking forward to having more women around."
Yara's eyelids fluttered open. She blinked a few times, focused on him, and frowned.
"Ankle spanker? The only thing you've got that'll reach that far is your ego.”
“No fucking popcorn? No Junior Mints?”
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.