Caroline > Caroline's Quotes

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  • #1
    Pat Conroy
    “The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave
    anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the
    genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language.
    Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a
    ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in "Lonesome Dove" and had
    nightmares about slavery in "Beloved" and walked the streets of Dublin in
    "Ulysses" and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my
    mother killed by a baseball in "A Prayer for Owen Meany." I've been in ten
    thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers
    in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous
    English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and
    women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me
    when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English
    language. ”
    Pat Conroy


  • #2
    Pat Conroy
    “Man wonders but God decides
    When to kill the Prince of Tides.”
    Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides


  • #3
    Pat Conroy
    “The only word for goodness is goodness, and it is not enough.”
    Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides


  • #4
    Pat Conroy
    “I stood face to face with the moon and the ocean and the future that spread out with all its bewildering immensity before me.”
    Pat Conroy


  • #5
    Pat Conroy
    “Books are living things and their task lies in their vows of silence. You touch them as they quiver with a divine pleasure. You read them and they fall asleep to happy dreams for the next 10 years. If you do them the favor of understanding them, of taking in their portions of grief and wisdom, then they settle down in contented residence in your heart.”
    Pat Conroy, My Reading Life


  • #6
    Pat Conroy
    “Here is all I ask of a book- give me everything. Everything, and don't leave out a single word.”
    Pat Conroy, My Reading Life


  • #7
    Sharon Kay Penman
    “I inhale hope with every breath I take.”
    Sharon Kay Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept
    tags: hope


  • #8
    John Irving
    “If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
    John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany


  • #9
    John Irving
    “The only way you get Americans to notice anything is to tax them or draft them or kill them.”
    John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany


  • #10
    Louis de Bernières
    “Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
    Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin


  • #11
    Louis de Bernières
    “Did you know that childhood is the only time in our lives when insanity is not only permitted to us, but expected?”
    Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin


  • #12
    Louis de Bernières
    “Love is not breathlessness; It is not excitement; It is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love”, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
    Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin


  • #13
    Michael Chabon
    “Poor little librarians of the world, those girls, secretly lovely, their looks marred forever by the cruelty of a pair of big dark eyeglasses!”
    Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay


  • #14
    Michael Chabon
    “The magician seemed to promise that something torn to bits might be mended without a seam, that what had vanished might reappear, that a scattered handful of doves or dust might be reunited by a word, that a paper rose consumed by fire could be made to bloom from a pile of ash. But everyone knew that it was only an illusion. The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place.”
    Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay


  • #15
    Michael Chabon
    “We have the idea that our hearts, once broken, scar over with an indestructible tissue that prevents their ever breaking again in quite the same place...”
    Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay


  • #16
    Audrey Niffenegger
    “Maybe I'm dreaming you. Maybe you're dreaming me; maybe we only exist in each other's dreams and every morning when we wake up we forget all about each other.”
    Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife


  • #17
    Audrey Niffenegger
    “Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?”
    Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife


  • #18
    Audrey Niffenegger
    “I have a sort of Christmas-morning sense of the library as a big box full of beautiful books.”
    Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife


  • #19
    Charlotte Brontë
    “Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”
    Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


  • #20
    Charlotte Brontë
    “Reader, I married him.”
    Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


  • #21
    Charlotte Brontë
    “It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?"

    I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still.

    "Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.”
    Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


  • #22
    Charlotte Brontë
    “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”
    Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


  • #23
    Susanna Clarke
    “Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never would.”
    Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • #24
    Susanna Clarke
    “To be more precise it was the color of heartache.”
    Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • #25
    Susanna Clarke
    “There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure - it is, after all, what everybody does all the time.”
    Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • #26
    Susanna Clarke
    “There is nothing else in magic but the wild thought of the bird as it casts itself into the void. There is no creature upon the earth with such potential for magic. Even the least of them may fly straight out of this world and come by chance to the Other Lands. Where does the wind come from that blows upon your face, that fans the pages of your book? Where the harum-scarum magic of small wild creatures meets the magic of Man, where the language of the wind and the rain and the trees can be understood, there we will find the Raven King.”
    Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • #27
    Susanna Clarke
    “I reached out my hand, England's rivers turned and flowed the other way...
    I reached out my hand, my enemies's blood stopt in their veins...
    I reached out my hand; thought and memory flew out of my enemies' heads like a flock of starlings;
    My enemies crumpled like empty sacks.
    I came to them out of mists and rain;
    I came to them in dreams at midnight;
    I came to them in a flock of ravens that filled a northern sky at dawn;
    When they thought themselves safe I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood...

    The rain made a door for me and I went through it;
    The stones made a throne for me and I sat upon it;
    Three kingdoms were given to me to be mine forever;
    England was given to me to be mine forever.
    The nameless slave wore a silver crown;
    The nameless slave was a king in a strange country...

    The weapons that my enemies raised against me are venerated in Hell as holy relics;
    Plans that my enemies made against me are preserved as holy texts;
    Blood that I shed upon sncient battlefields is scraped from the stained earth by Hell's sacristans and placed in a vessel of silver and ivory.
    I gave magic to England, a valuable inheritance
    But Englishmen have despised my gift
    Magic shall be written upon the sky by the rain but they shall not be able to read it;
    Magic shall be written on the faces of the stony hills but their minds shall not be able to contain it;
    In winter the barren trees shall be a black writing but they shall not understand it...

    Two magicians shall appear in England...
    The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me;
    The first shall be governed by thieves and murderers; the second shall conspire at his own destruction;
    The first shall bury his heart in a dark wood beneath the snow, yet still feel its ache;
    The second shall see his dearest posession in his enemy's hand...

    The first shall pass his life alonel he shall be his own gaoler;
    The second shall tread lonely roads, the storm above his head, seeking a dark tower upon a high hillside...

    I sit upon a black throne in the shadows but they shall not see me.
    The rain shall make a door for me and I shall pass through it;
    The stones shall make a throne for me and I shall sit upon it...

    The nameless slave shall wear a silver crown
    The nameless slave shall be a king in a strange country...”
    Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • #28
    Richard Lederer
    “Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

    If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

    You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

    And finally, why doesn't "buick" rhyme with "quick"?”
    Richard Lederer




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