“Lady Russell loved them all; but it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again.”
“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.”
“To be claimed as a good, though in an improper style, is at least better than being rejected as no good at all...”
“There is hardly any personal defect... which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one to.”
“...an agreeable manner may set off handsome features, but can never alter plain ones.”
“He had not forgiven Anne Elliot. She had used him ill, deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure. She had given him up to oblige others. It had been the effect of over-persuasion. It had been weakness and timidity.”
“Personal size and mental sorrow have certainly no necessary proportions. A large bulky figure has as good a right to be in deep affliction, as the most graceful set of limbs in the world. But, fair or not fair, there are unbecoming conjunctions, which reason will patronize in vain which taste cannot tolerate which ridicule will seize.”
“Anne did not wish for more of such looks and speeches. His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything.”
“...a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favour of happiness as a very resolute character.”
“He did not mean to say that there were no pretty women, but the number of the plain was out of all proportion. He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five-and-thirty frights...”
“A submissive spirit might be patient, a strong understanding would supply resolution, but here was something more; here was that elasticity of mind, that disposition to be comforted, that power of turning readily from evil to good, and of finding employment which carried her out of herself, which was from nature alone.”
“...human nature may be great in times of trial; but generally speaking; it is its weakness and not its strength that appears in a sick chamber: it is selfishness and impatience rather than generosity and fortitude, that one hears of.”
“...she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.”
“Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer lived; which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments.”
“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.”
“You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do not believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F.W.”
“I was wrong in yielding to persuasion once, remember that it was to persuasion exerted on the side of safety, not of risk.”
Firstly, I was shocked to learn that The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde’s only novel; and what a novel it is! Through the two main characters...moreFirstly, I was shocked to learn that The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde’s only novel; and what a novel it is! Through the two main characters Dorian Gray and Lord Henry, Wilde explores themes such as identity, beauty, aesthetics, hedonism, love, moral degradation and accountability. Much to the horror of society at the time, Wilde bravely explored themes of homosexuality; his words later used against him as examples of his "gross indecency", which ultimately lead to his imprisonment and exile.
"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."
"Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes."
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty."
"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”
“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”
“To define is to limit.”
“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
"What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
“Her trust makes me faithful, her belief makes me good.”
I picked up Lolita and began reading expecting to be repulsed by Vladimir Nabokov's work of fiction. Many people before me have stated that this book...moreI picked up Lolita and began reading expecting to be repulsed by Vladimir Nabokov's work of fiction. Many people before me have stated that this book changed the way they think about this issue. I am glad to say that it didn't do that. It did however, allow me to step outside my comfort zone and step inside the mind of a paedophile. To sympathise and empathise with a man that would ordinarily repulse me, a man whose quest for passion ultimately damaged that which he sought to protect; and that is what makes it a truly great work of fiction. “...‘offensive’ is frequently but a synonym for ‘unusual’; and a great work of art is of course always original, and thus by its very nature should come as a more or less shocking surprise.“
“...“A desperate honesty that throbs through his confession does not absolve him from sins of diabolical cunning. He is abnormal. He is not a gentleman.”
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”
“You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limb, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate the little deadly demon among the wholesome children; she stands unrecognized by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.”
“...there must be a gap of several years, never less than ten I should say, generally thirty or forty, and as many as ninety in a few known cases, between maiden and man to enable the latter to come under a nymphet’s spell.”
“Despite our tiffs, despite her nastiness, despite all the fuss and faces she made, and the vulgarity, and the danger, and the horrible hopelessness of it all, I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames but still a paradise.”
“...I could switch in the course of the same day from one pole of insanity to the other from the thought that around 1950 I would have to get rid somehow of a difficult adolescent whose magic nymphage had evaporated to the thought that with patience and luck I might have her produce eventually a nymphet with my blood in her exquisite veins, a Lolita the Second, who would be eight or nine around 1960, when I would still be dans la force de l’ge...”
“We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night every night, every night the moment I feigned sleep.”
“I thought to myself how those fast little articles forget everything, everything, while we, old lovers, treasure every inch of their nymphancy.”
“Did I ever mention that her bare arm bore the 8 of vaccination? That I loved her hopelessly? That she was only fourteen?”
“The turquoise blue swimming pool some distance behind the lawn was no longer behind that lawn, but within my thorax, and my organs swam in it like excrements in the blue sea water in Nice.”
“...I also knew that the child, my child, knew he was looking, enjoyed the lechery of his look and was putting on a show of gambol and glee, the vile and beloved slut.”
“Who can say what heartbreaks are caused in a dog by our discontinuing a romp?”
“I could do nothing with the anguish of knowing Lolita to be so tantalizingly, so miserably unattainable and beloved on the very even of a new era, when my alembics told me she should stop being a nymphet, stop torturing me.”
“Singularly enough, I seldom if ever dreamed of Lolita as I remembered her as I saw her constantly and obsessively in my conscious mind during my daymares and insomnias.”
“If he was silent I could be silent too. Indeed, I could very well do with a little rest in this subdued, frightened-to-death rocking chair, before I drove to wherever the beast’s lair was and then pulled the pistol’s foreskin back, and then enjoyed the orgasm of the crushed trigger: I was always a good little follower of the Viennese medicine man.”
“She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine, with a far wood under a white sky, and brown leaves choking the brook, and one last cricket in the crisp weeds... but thank God it was not that echo alone that I worshipped.”
“...and there she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope-veined narrow hands and her goose-flesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt armpits, there she was (my Lolita!), hopelessly worn at seventeen, with that baby, dreaming already in her of becoming a big shot and retiring around 2020 A.D. and I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else.”
“You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and half throttled, I will shout my poor truth. I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still gray-eyed, still sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine...”
“No matter, even if those eyes of hers would fade to myopic fish, and her nipples swell and crack, and her lovely young velvety delicate delta be tainted and torn even then I would go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of your dear wan face, at the mere sound of your raucous young voice, my Lolita.”
“are you quite, quite sure that well, not tomorrow, of course, and not after tomorrow, but well some day, any day, you will not come to live with me? I will create a brand new God and thank him with piercing cries, if you give me that microscopic hope”
“And presently I was driving through the drizzle of the dying day, with the windshield wipers in full action but unable to cope with my tears.”
“I was weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.”
“Alas, I was unable to transcend the simple human fact that whatever spiritual solace I might find, whatever lithophanic eternities might be provided for me, nothing could make my Lolita forget the foul lust I had inflicted upon her. Unless it can be proven to me to me as I am now, today, with my heart and by beard, and my putrefaction that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.”
“The moral sense in mortals is the duty We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty.”
“I simply did not know a thing about my darling’s mind and that quite possibly, behind the awful juvenile clichs, there was in her a garden and a twilight, and a palace gate – dim and adorable regions which happened to be lucidly and absolutely forbidden to me, in my polluted rags and miserable convulsions...”
“...oh my poor, bruised child.”
“I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais! And there were times when I knew how you felt, and it was hell to know it, my little one. Lolita girl, brave Dolly Schiller.”
“It had become gradually clear to my conventional Lolita during our singular and bestial cohabitation that even the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest, which, in the long run, was the best I could offer the waif.”
"Sickness and trouble: that’s what Ethan’s had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping."
"...the coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth."
"Against the dark background of the kitchen she stood up tall and angular, one hand drawing a quilted counterpane to her flat breast, while the other held a lamp. The light, on a level with her chin, drew out of the darkness her puckered throat and the projecting wrist of the hand that clutched the quilt, and deepened fantastically the hollows and prominences of her high-boned face under its rings of crimping-pins."
"After the funeral, when he saw her preparing to go away, he was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm; and before he knew what he was doing he had asked her to stay with him. He had often thought since that it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter."
"...their evening together had given him a vision of what life at her side might be, and he was glad now that he had done nothing to trouble the sweetness of the picture."
"The inexorable facts closed in on him like prison-warders handcuffing a convict. There was no way out - none. He was a prisoner for life, and now his one ray of light was to be extinguished."
"It's bad enough to see the two women sitting there - but his face, when he looks around that bare place, just kills me."
"...if she'd ha' died, Ethan might ha' lived; and the way they are now, I don't see's there's much difference between the Fromes up at the farm and the Fromes down in the graveyard; 'cept that down there they're all quiet, and the women have got to hold their tongues."
"...will I ever be able to write something great..." "I want to go on living even after my death!" Well Anne Frank you did both!
I think people need t...more"...will I ever be able to write something great..." "I want to go on living even after my death!" Well Anne Frank you did both!
I think people need to consider the context when reading this book. It is not a book about the holocaust. It is a young girl's diary. An unbelievably intelligent, honest, insightful, reflective and brave young girl; who despite her awful circumstances living her teenage years in hiding, manages to remain cheerful and optimistic throughout her ordeal, right up until the very end. It is a somewhat voyeuristic read, but she wrote it with the intention of publishing it, of allowing the world to see and feel the world of Anne Frank.
"...beauty remains, even in misfortune."
"A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!"
"I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!"
"But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great..."
"One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we'll be people again and not just Jews!"
"There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!"
"You don't even have to live in fear of eternal punishment; the concepts of purgatory, heaven and hell are difficult for many people to accept, yet religion itself, any religion, keeps a person on the right path. Not the fear of God, but upholding your own sense of honor and obeying your own conscience."
Ethan Frome "Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart one's get away."
"He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing unfriendly in his silence.“
“...he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access...”
“It looks just as if it was painted!” It seemed to Ethan that the art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been found to utter his secret soul...”
“Now, in the bright morning air, her face was still before him. It was part of the sun’s red and of the pure glitter on the snow.”
“He had often thought since that it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter...”
"It was almost as if the other face, the face of the superseded woman, had obliterated that of the intruder.”
“I’ve been in a dream, and this is the only evening we’ll ever have together.”
“Ethan looked at her with loathing. She was no longer the listless creature who had lived at his side in a state of sullen self-absorption, but a mysterious alien presence, an evil energy secreted from the long years of silent brooding. It was the sense of his helplessness that sharpened his antipathy.”
“All the while he felt as if he were still kissing her, and yet dying of thirst for her lips.”
“For the life of her smile, the warmth of her voice, only cold paper and dead words!”
“...it seemed as though all the beauty of the night had been poured out to mock his wretchedness...”
“The words were like fragments torn from his heart.”
“Her sombre violence constrained him: she seemed the embodied instrument of fate.”
“...the way they are now, I don’t see there’s much difference between the Fromes up at the farm and the Fromes down in the graveyard; ‘cept that down there they’re all quiet, and the women have got to hold their tongues.”
The Pretext "...ghosts vanish when one names them!”
“It had simply given her a secret life of incommunicable joys, as if all the wasted springs of her youth had been stored in some hidden pool, and she could return there now to bathe in them.”
The Legend "Have you any notion how it shifts the point of view to wake under new constellations? I advise any who’s been in love with a woman under Cassiopeia to go and think about her under the Southern Cross.”
"...she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.”
"When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes, and left them a sober gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also.”
"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”
"...the greatest loss I had known was the loss of my heart. While I was in love I was the happiest man on earth; but no one can love who has not a heart...”
"I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
"I shall take the heart ...for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."
Birches “I’d like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate wilfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again.”
The Road Not Taken "Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry i could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth"
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
The Sound of Trees "I shall set forth for somewhere, I shall make the reckless choice Some day when they are in voice And tossing so as to scare The white clouds over them on. I shall have less to say, But I shall be gone."
The Tuft of Flowers "I looked for him behind an isle of trees; I listened for his whetstone on the breeze. But he had gone his way, the grass all mown, And I must be, as he had been,--alone, As all must be,' I said within my heart, Whether they work together or apart."
“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”
Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the running to spread the truth among such persons.”
“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.”
“I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”
“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.”
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
“I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.”
“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.”
“Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.”
“And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.”
“There is not love of life without despair about life.”
“I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored”
“It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.”