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Jean Rhys quotes (showing 31-60 of 157)

“Of course she had some pathetic illusions about herself or she would not be able to go on living.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“As soon as I turned the key I saw it hanging, the color of fire and sunset. the colour of flamboyant flowers. ‘If you are buried under a flamboyant tree, ‘ I said, ‘your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.’

She shook her head but she did not move or touch me.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“that expression you get in your eyes when you are very tired and everything is like a dream and you are starting to know what things are like underneath what people say they are.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“When you are a child you are yourself and you know and see everything prophetically. And then suddenly something happens and you stop being yourself; you become what others force you to be. You lose your wisdom and your soul.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“I've been so ridiculous all my life that a little bit more or a little bit less hardly matters now.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“Your red dress,’ she said, and laughed.

But I looked at the dress on the floor and it was as if the fire had spread across the room. It was beautiful and it reminded me of something I must do. I will remember I thought. I will remember quite soon now.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“It was the darkness that got you. It was heavy darkness, greasy and compelling. It made walls round you, and shut you in so that you felt like you could not breathe.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“It is strange how sad it can be - sunlight in the afternoon, don't you think?”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“I like shape very much. A novel has to have shape, and life doesn't have any. ”
Jean Rhys, Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography
“If I was bound for hell, let it be hell. No more false heavens. No more damned magic.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“I didn't know, I didn't know, I didn't know.”
Jean Rhys
“Some must cry so that others may be able to laugh the more heartily. Sacrifices are necessary...”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“A room? A nice room? A beautiful room? A beautiful room with bath? Swing high, swing low, swing to and fro...This happened and that happened...

And then the days came and I was alone.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“If she says goodbye perhaps adieu. Adieu - like those old time songs she sang. Always adieu (and all songs say it). If she too says it, or weeps, I'll take her in my arms, my lunatic. She's mad but mine, mine. What will I care for gods or devils or for Fate itself. If she smiles or weeps or both. For me.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“The last time you were happy about nothing; the first time you were afraid about nothing. Which came first?”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“One realized all sorts of things. The value of an illusion, for instance, and that the shadow can be more important than the substance. All sorts of things.”
Jean Rhys, Quartet
“Every word I say has chains round its ankles; every thought I think is weighted with heavy weights. Since I was born, hasn't every word I've said, every thought I've thought, everything I've done, been tied up, weighted, chained? And mind you, I know that with all this I don't succeed. Or I succeed in flashes only too damned well. ...But think how hard I try and how seldom I dare. Think - and have a bit of pity. That is, if you ever think, you apes, which I doubt.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“It was like letting go and falling back into water and seeing yourself grinning up through the water, your face like a mask, and seeing the bubbles coming up as if you were trying to speak from under the water. And how do you know what it's like to try to speak from under water when you're drowned?”
Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
“Stephan was secretive and a liar, but he was a very gentle and expert lover. She was the petted, cherished child, the desired mistress, the worshipped, perfumed goddess. She was all these things to Stephan - or so he made her believe.”
Jean Rhys, Quartet
“Quite like old times,' the room says.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“There is always another side, always.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to do.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“When he talked his eyes went away from mine and then he forced himself to look straight at me and he began to explain and I knew that he felt very strange with me and that he hated me, and it was funny sitting there and talking like that, knowing he hated me.”
Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
“I have tried," I said, "but he does not believe me. It is too late for that now" (it is always too late for truth, I thought).”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“I have been here five days. I have decided on a place to eat in at midday, a place to eat in at night, a place to have my drink in after dinner. I have arranged my little life.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“She’ll have no lover, for I don’t want her and she’ll see no other.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“Would you like a whiskey?' I say. 'I've got some.'

(That's original. I bet nobody's ever thought of that way of bridging the gap before.)”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“I took the red dress down and put it against myself. 'Does it make me look intemperate and unchaste?' I said.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“After all this, what happened?
What happened was that, as soon as I had the slightest chance of a place to hide in, I crept into it and hid.
Well, sometimes it's a fine day isn't it? Sometimes the skies are blue. Sometimes the air is light, easy to breathe.
And there is always tomorrow...”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight


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