"He was possessed by the ticklish feeling of having been seen, of understanding that he could be seen by others, who passed certain judgments or came to certain opinions about him because they saw not the inside of himself that he saw but the outside, where the face he couldn't see and the smells of himself and the smuts and the wrinkles on him (that he inside could always account for or discount) came first, first and foremost."
"Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."
"He'd put before her a choice between the safe but unlikely and the regular but risky, and then taken away the risk of the regular, so it was not a choice but a banquet."
"She was more lonely than the caravan crossing the desert; she was infinitely more mysterious, moving by her own power and sustained by her own resources. The sea might give her death or some unexampled joy, and none would know of it. She was a bride going forth to her husband, a virgin unknown of men; in her vigor and purity she might be likened to all beautiful things, for as a ship she had a life of her own."
"To feel anything strongly was to create an abyss between oneself and others who feel strongly perhaps but differently."
"Love makes use of the worst traps. The least noble. The rarest. It exploits coincidence."
"Everything within me turns worshipper. The external vision of the accessories of my desire isolates me, far from the world."
"She went to get the revolver, which had long since been loaded by a most considerate Providence, and when she held it in her hand, weighty as a phallus in action, she knew that she was big with murder, pregnant with a corpse."
"Acts have aesthetic and moral value only insofar as those who perform them are endowed with power."
"Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning. Even science, the strict measurer, is obliged to start with a make-believe nit, and must fix on a point in the stars' unceasing journey when his sidereal clock shall pretend that time is at Nought. His less accurate grandmother Poetry has always been understood to start in the middle; but on reflection it appears that her proceeding is not very different from his; since science, too, reckons backward as well as forward, divides his unit into billions, and with his clock-finger at Nought really sets off in medias res. No retrospect will take us to the true beginning; and whether our prologue be in Heaven or on Earth, it is but a fraction of that all-presupposing fact with which our story sets out."
"The most innocent words are the most pernicious, the most wily, and they're the ones you have to watch out for. Almost immediately, the colossus was upon him and grabbed his wrist. He charged like a tremendous wave upon the bather sleeping on the beach. Through the old woman's words and the man's gesture, a new universe instantaneously presented itself to Darling: the universe of the irremediable. It is the same as the one we were in, with one peculiar difference: instead of acting and knowing we are acting, we know we are acted upon. A gaze--and it may be of our own eyes--has the sudden and precise keenness of the extra-lucid, and the order of this world--seen inside out--appears so perfect in its inevitability that this world has only to disappear. That's what it does in the twinkling of an eye. The world is turned inside out like a glove. It happens that I am the glove and that I finally realize that on Judgement Day it will be with my own voice that God will call me."
"The greatness of a man is not only a function of his faculties, of his intelligence, of whatever gifts he may have; it is also made up of the circumstances that have elected him to serve them as support. A man is great if he has a great destiny; but this greatness is of the order of visible, measurable greatness. It is magnificence seen from without. Though it may be wretched when seen from within, it is then poetic, if you are willing to agree that poetry is the breaking apart (or rather the meeting at the breaking point) of the visible and the invisible."
"'...unless one can think wisely it is better to remain a dummy.'"
"'It is well for me to be careful, for my very existence is in danger." "I have to be as careful as you do," said Jack. "Not exactly," replied the Scarecrow, "for if anything happened to me, that would be the end of me. But if anything happened to you, they could use you for seed.'"
"'Do not, I beg of you, dampen today's sun with the showers of tomorrow.'"
"Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination."
"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes and inclinations."
"The rebel is thus at once a public danger and a benefactor. He threatens the existing order, but it is in the name of a larger and better social life. And because of this it is his usual lot to be crucified when living and deified when dead."
"Each man should learn what is within him, that he may strive to mend; he must be taught what is without him, that he may be kind to others."
"A human truth, which is always very much a lie, hides as much of life as it displays. It is men who hold another truth, or, as it seems to us, perhaps, a dangerous lie, who can extend our restricted field of knowledge, and rouse our drowsy consciences. Something that seems quite new, or that seems insolently false or very dangerous, is the test of a reader. If he tries to see what it means, what truth excuses it, he has the gift, and let him read. If he is merely hurt, or offended, or exclaims upon his author's folly, he had better take to the daily papers; he will never be a reader."
"The philosophy which is so important in each of us is not a technical matter; it is our more or less dumb sense of what life honestly and deeply means."
"I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds."
"In the morning and in the evening and at night in his dreams, this street was filled with constantly bustling traffic, which seen from above seemed like a continually self-replenishing mixture of distorted human figures and of the roofs of all sorts of vehicles, constantly scattered by new arrivals, out of which there arose a new, stronger, wilder mixture of noise, dust, and smells, and, catching and penetrating it all, a powerful light that was continually dispersed, carried away, and avidly refracted by the mass of objects that made such a physical impression on one's dazzled eye that it seemed as if a glass pane, hanging over the street and converging everything, were being smashed again and again with the utmost force."
"No one wants to live in any community of intercourse really, save for the sake of the individualities he would meet there. The fertilising conflict of individualities is the ultimate meaning of the personal life, and all out Utopias no more than schemes for bettering the interplay. At least, that is how life shapes itself more and more to modern perceptions. Until you bring in individualities, nothing comes into being, and a Universe ceases when you shiver the mirror of the least of individual minds."
"A natural death is better than an artificial life."
"'Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your war life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine,. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.'"
"'There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.'"
"This new concept of the "finest, highest achievement of art" had no sooner entered my mind than it located the imperfect enjoyment I had had at the theater, and added to it a little of what it lacked; this made such a heady mixture that I exclaimed, "What a great artiste she is!" It may be thought I was not altogether sincere. Think, however, of so many writers who, in a moment of dissatisfaction with a piece they have just written, may read a eulogy of the genius of Chateaubriand, or who may think of some other great artist whom they have dreamed of equaling, who hum to themselves a phrase of Beethoven for instance, comparing the sadness of it to the mood they have tried to capture in their prose, and are then so carried away by the perception of genius that they let it affect the way they read their own piece, no longer seeing it as they first saw it, but going so far as to hazard an act of faith in the value of it, by telling themselves "It's not bad you know!" without realizing that the sum total which determines their ultimate satisfaction includes the memory of Chateaubriand's brilliant pages, which they have assimilated to their own, but which, of course, they did not write. Think of all the men who go on believing in the love of a mistress in whom nothing is more flagrant than her infidelities; of all those torn between the hope of something beyond this life (such as the bereft widower who remembers a beloved wife, or the artist who indulges in dreams of posthumous fame, each of them looking forward to an afterlife which he knows is inconceivable) and the desire for a reassuring oblivion, when their better judgement reminds them of the faults they might otherwise have to expiate after death; or think of the travelers who are uplifted by the general beauty of a journey they have just completed, although during it their main impression, day after day, was that it was a chore--think of them before deciding whether, given the promiscuity of the ideas that lurk within us, a single one of those that affords us our greatest happiness has not begun life by parasitically attaching itself to a foreign idea with which it happened to come into contact, and by drawing from it much of the power of pleasing which it once lacked."
"...genius, or even great talent, lies less in elements of mind and social refinement superior to those of others than in the ability to transform and transpose them. To heat a liquid with a flashlight, what is required is not the strongest possible torch, but one in which the current can be diverted from the production of light and adapted to the production of heat. To fly through the air, it is not necessary to have the most powerful motorcar, but a motor which, by turning its earthbound horizontal line into a vertical, can convert its speed along the ground into ascent. Likewise, those who produce works of genius are not those who spend their days in the most refined company, whose conversation is the most brilliant, or whose culture is the broadest; they are those who have the ability to stop living for themselves and make a mirror of their personality, so that their lives, however nondescript they may be socially, or even in a way intellectually, are reflected in it. For genius lies in reflective power, and not in the intrinsic quality of the scene reflected."
"...in love, unlike war, the more one is defeated, the more one imposes harsh conditions."
"The image of the woman we love, though we think it has a pristine authenticity, has actually been often made and remade by us. And the memory that wounds is not contemporaneous with the restored image; it dates from a very different time; it is one of the few witnesses to a monstrous past. Since this past goes on existing, though not inside us, where we have seen fit to replace it with a wondrous golden age, a paradise where we are to be reunited and reconciled, such memories and such letters are a reminder of reality; their sudden stab ought to make us realize how far we have strayed from that reality, and how foolish are the hopes with which we sustain our daily expectation."
"'Who,' said she, 'has allowed on play-acting wantons to approach this sick man--these who, so far from giving medicine to heal his malady, even feed it with sweet poison? These it is who kill the rich crop of reason with the barren thorns of passion, who accustom men's minds to disease, instead of setting them free. Now, were it some common man whom your allurements were seducing as is usually your way, I should be less indignant. On such a one I should not have spent my pains for naught. But this one is nurtured in the Eleatic and Academic philosophies. Nay, get ye gone, ye sirens, whose sweetness lasteth not; leave him for my muses to tend and heal!'"
"So true is it that nothing is wretched, but thinking makes it so, and conversely every lot is happy if borne with equanimity."
"'This is nothing,' cried she: 'I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I work sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. Ive no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.'"
"'I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.--My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again: it is impracticable.'"
"'He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly. That was his most perfect idea of heaven's happiness: mine was rocking in a rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing, and bright white clouds flitting rapidly above; and not only larks, but throstles, and blackbirds, and linnets, and cuckoos pouring out music on every side, and the moors seen at a distance, broken into cool dusky dells; but close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze; and woods and sounding water, and the whole world awake and wild with joy. He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive; and he said mine would be drunk: I said I should fall asleep in his; and he said he could not breath in mine, and began to grow very snappish. At last, we agreed to try both, as soon as the right weather came; and then we kissed each other and were friends.'"