Acker (Kathy): “I'm no longer a child and I still want to be, to live with the pirates. Because I want to live forever in wonder. The difference between me as a child and me as an adult is this and only this: when I was a child, I longed to travel into, to live in wonder. Now, I know, as much as I can know anything, that to travel into wonder is to be wonder. So it matters little whether I travel by plane, by rowboat, or by book. Or, by dream. I do not see, for there is no I to see. That is what the pirates know. There is only seeing and, in order to go to see, one must be a pirate.”
Beckett: "Grammar and Style. To me they seem to have become as irrelevant as a Victorian bathing suit or the imperturbability of a true gentleman. A mask."
Cortazar: "I am an axolotl for good now, and if I think like a man it's only because every axolotl thinks like a man inside his stony resemblance."
Davis (Lydia): “I looked like a woman in glasses, but I had dreams of leading a very different kind of life, the life of a woman who would not wear glasses, the kind of woman I saw from a distance now and then in a bar.”
Esteban (Claude): "hobble, my pure spirit, the toads
snigger in their marsh."
Faulkner: "...not the heritage of Ham, not the mark of servitude but of bondage; the knowledge that for a while part of his blood had been the blood of slaves."
Gogol: "But nothing lasts long in this world. Even joy grows less lively the next moment. And a moment later, again, it weakens further. And at last it remerges insensibly with the normal mood, even as the ripple from a pebble’s impact becomes remerged with the smooth surface of the water at large. So Kovalev relapsed into thought again. For by now he had realised that even yet the affair was not wholly ended, seeing that, though retrieved, the nose needed to be re-stuck."
Hoban (Russell): “An ordinary mirror is silvered at the back but the window of the night train has darkness behind the glass. My face and the faces of other travellers were now mirrored on this darkness in a succession of stillnesses. Consider this, said the darkness: any motion at any speed is a succession of stillnesses; any section through an action will show just such a plane of stillness as this dark window in which your seeking face is mirrored. And in each plane of stillness is the moment of clarity that makes you responsible for what you do.”
Ionesco: "Nothing goes beyond the why, not even the nothing, because the nothing is not the explanation; when silence confronts us, the question to which there is no answer rings out in the silence."
James: "There was the whole of the rest of the house to traverse, and how should he screw himself to that if the door he had seen closed were at present open? He could hold to the idea that the closing had practically been for him an act of mercy, a chance offered him to descend, depart, get off the ground and never again profane it. This conception held together, it worked; but what it meant for him depended now clearly on the amount of forbearance his recent action, or rather his recent inaction, had engendered. The image of the “presence” whatever it was, waiting there for him to go—"
Kingsolver: “God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.”
Lispector: “And I want to be held down. I don't know what to do with the horrifying freedom that can destroy me.”
Mandelstam: "I propose to you, my family, a coat of arms: a glass of boiled water."
Nabokov: "It is fun to be present at the coming true of a dream, even if it is not one's own."
O'Brien (Edna): “There was I, devouring books and yet allowing a man who had never read a book to walk me home for a bit of harmless fumbling on the front steps.”
Paz (Octavio): "...I told her of my life with the wave. Nothing moves women so much as the possibility of saving a man."
Quintais (Luis): "Give what’s left of your future
to that house’s reinforcement.
Give it your attention and your affliction.
Give it the intelligence of your fear."
Rilke: "When I think back to my home, where there is nobody left now, I imagine that formerly this must have been otherwise. Formerly one knew (or perhaps one guessed it) that one had one's death within one, as a fruit its kernel. The children had a little death within them and the grown-ups a big one."
Stendhal: “But, if I sample this pleasure so prudently and circumspectly, it will no longer be a pleasure.”
Tsvetaeva: “I have two enemies in all the world,
Two twins, inseparably fused:
The hunger of the hungry and the fullness of the full.”
Uribe (Kirmen): "Every one of us keeps forever someone else’s hidden side,
If it’s a secret, if a mistake, if a gesture."
Valenzuela (Luisa): “Because fear called her by her name. (Her own name, not fear’s name. Fear doesn’t have a name; it’s just the steady beat underneath a smile."
Winterson (Jeanette): “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect. Not to see you when you stand before me. Not to think of you in the little things. Not to make the road wide for you, the table spread for you. To choose you out of habit not desire, to pass the flower seller without a thought. To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade, to ignore you in the mornings, make use of you at night. To crave another while pecking your cheek. To say your name without hearing it, to assume it is mine to call.”
X (Malcolm): “How can you thank a man for giving you what's already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what is yours?”
Yuknavitch: “That image of Joan of Arc burning up in a fire burned inside me like a new religion. Her face skyward. Her faith muscled up like a holy war. And always the voice of a father in her head. Like me. Jesus. What is a thin man pinned to wood next to the image of a burning woman warrior ablaze? I took the image of a burning woman into my heart and left belief to the house of father forever.”
Zapruder: “......I will
never know a single thing anyone feels,
just how they say it, which is why I am standing
here exactly, covered in shame and lightning,
doing what I’m supposed to do.”