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Quotes About Prague

Quotes tagged as "prague" (showing 1-15 of 15)
Laini Taylor
“The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Motzart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.”
Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Christopher Hitchens
“Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Dana Newman
“It's easy to fall in love among the winding cobblestone streets and snow-covered castles of Prague, but is it a good idea?”
Dana Newman, Found in Prague

Tod Wodicka
“The sun tells the best joke of a day full of them, setting so spectacularly that you can almost smell the tropical paradise lazing somewhere over this rim of endless, gray socialist towers. Miles of square windows explode orange, red, and purple, like a million TV sets broadcasting the apocalypse. Clouds unspool. The sky drains of birds.”
Tod Wodicka, All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

Philip Sington
“Old Prague was a story-book city caked in grime: ancient, soot-blackened. History lived in every detail: in the deerstalker rooftops and the blue-sparking trams. He wandered the streets in disbelief, photographing everything, images from Kafka crowding into his head. With the turn of every corner it came back to him: the special frisson you get behind enemy lines.”
Philip Sington, Zoia's Gold
tags: prague

George Eliot
“When you are quite well enough to travel, Latimer, I shall take you home with me. The journey will amuse you and do you good, for I shall go through the Tyrol and Austria, and you will see many new places. Our neighbours, the Filmores, are come; Alfred will join us at Basle, and we shall all go together to Vienna, and back by Prague...'

My father was called away before he had finished his sentence, and he left my mind resting on the word Prague with a strange sense that a new and wondrous scene was breaking upon me: a city under the broad sunshine, that seemed to me as if it were summer sunshine of a long-past century arrested in its course-unrefreshed for ages by dews of night, or the rushing rain-cloud; scorching the dusty, weary, time-eaten grandeur of a people doomed to live on in the stale repetition of memories, like deposed and superannuated kings in their regal gold inwoven tatters. The city looked so thirsty that the broad river seemed to me a sheet of metal; and the blackened statues, as I passed under their blank gaze, along the unending bridge, with their ancient garments and their saintly crowns, seemed to me the real inhabitants and owners of this place, while the busy, trivial men and women, hurrying to and fro, were a swarm of ephemeral visitants infesting it for a day. It is such grim, stony beings as these, I thought, who are the fathers of ancient faded children, in those tanned time-fretted dwellings that crowd the steep before me; who pay their court in the worn and crumbling pomp of the palace which stretches its monotonous length on the height; who worship wearily in the stifling air of the churches, urged by no fear or hope, but compelled by their doom to be ever old and undying, to live on in the rigidity of habit, as they live on in perpetual midday, without the repose of night or the new birth of morning.

A stunning clang of metal suddenly thrilled through me, and I became conscious of the objects in my room again: one of the fire-irons had fallen as Pierre opened the door to bring me my draught. My heart was palpitating violently, and I begged Pierre to leave my draught beside me; I would take it presently. ("The Lifted Veil")”
George Eliot, The Lifted Veil

Magnus Flyte
“Prague. Praha. The name actually meant “threshold”. Pollina had said the city was a portal between the life of the good and … the other. A city of dark magic, Alessandro had called it.”
Magnus Flyte, City of Dark Magic
tags: prague

Tod Wodicka
“In all these sights I achieve solace only in bringing forth trees, picturing them blooming like smoke from the roofs of gutted buildings, dreaming of what a fine and picturesque pile of rubble this city will someday make.”
Tod Wodicka, All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

Jan Neruda
“Niemand würde glauben, wie schön Prag in der Nacht ist, im Glanz des Mondes. Die Menschen schlummern, die Steine sind lebendig geworden, auch in die Standbilder auf der Karlsbrücke kommt Leben. Der Hradčin, schon am Tage majestätisch erhaben, ist bei Nacht noch erhabener. Umflort von der Farbe der Finsternis, erhebt er sich hoch in den endlosen Himmel, und sein Turm, steil aufragend, reicht bis an die funkelnden Sterne. Die Moldau rauscht hymnisch, über ihrem Tal steht der Mond, der sich so manchmal von dem herrlichen Anblick nicht trennen kann; er schaut und schaut, bis ihn die eifersüchtige Sonne verscheucht.”
Jan Neruda

“The sky's inclemency stirs up the angry winds;
the watery clouds are soaking with ceaseless rain.
The turbulent Vltava, swollen with rainy waves,
Bursting, impetuous, breaks through its river banks.”
Elizabeth Jane Weston

Melika Dannese Lux
“She rounded on me with such ferocity that for a moment I didn’t recognize her. A flash of fangs, a dark gleam in her blacker-than-night eyes. It was the most vampiric I’d ever seen her.”
Melika Dannese Lux, Corcitura

Kytka Hilmar-Jezek
“We also learned our own history and I was so grateful that such richness comes from our family stories. Now we will forever remember the day that a Russian cellist spoke the heart of Czech people. Rostropovich loved Prague and so he viewed that performance as a personal tragedy.”
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, CELLOGIRLS: Identity and Transformation in 2CELLOS Fan Culture

Caleb Crain
“Unable to see, they were briefly seized by the characteristic Prague anxiety of never finding the entrance--of arriving at one's goal but remaining blocked from it by a wall or a stone on account of having overlooked an alley or medieval door a few dozen yards back, which has served as the approach so immemorially that no one any longer marked or described it.”
Caleb Crain, Necessary Errors

Kytka Hilmar-Jezek
“As I sit here on a snowy morning watching the flakes gently fall outside my window, I look at the 300-year-old building across the street and the beautifully carved angels on its facade. There was a time people would create, just to give something beautiful to the world which we are so blessed to live in and a time when people understood the work of all of the arts.”
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, CELLOGIRLS: Identity and Transformation in 2CELLOS Fan Culture

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