The Luminaries Quotes

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The Luminaries The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
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The Luminaries Quotes (showing 1-30 of 135)
“Love cannot be reduced to a catalogue of reasons why, and a catalogue of reasons cannot be put together into love.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
tags: love
“A woman fallen has no future; a man risen has no past.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Never underestimate how extraordinarily difficult it is to understand a situation from another person's point of view.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“For although a man is judged by his actions, by what he has said and done, a man judges himself by what he is willing to do, by what he might have said, or might have done—a judgment that is necessarily hampered, not only by the scope and limits of his imagination, but by the ever-changing measure of his doubt and self-esteem.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Reason is no match for desire: when desire is purely and powerfully felt, it becomes a kind of reason of its own.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“It is a feature of human nature to give what we most wish to receive.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“If home can't be where you come from, then home is what you make of where you go.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“We spend our entire lives thinking about death. Without that project to divert us, I expect we would all be dreadfully bored. We would have nothing to evade, and nothing to forestall, and nothing to wonder about. Time would have no consequence.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“The proper way to understand any social system was to view it from above.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
tags: view
“Dawn is such a private hour, don’t you think? Such a solitary hour. One always hears that said of midnight, but I think of midnight as remarkably companionable—everyone together, sleeping in the dark.” “I am afraid I am interrupting your solitude,” Anna said. “No, no,” the boy said. “Oh, no. Solitude is a condition best enjoyed in company.” He grinned at her, quickly, and Anna smiled back. “Especially the company of one other soul,” he added, turning back to the sea.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“I have heard that in the New Zealand native tradition, the soul, when it dies, becomes a star.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Her carriage bespoke an exquisite misery, a wretchedness so perfect and so absolute that it manifested as dignity, as calm. More than a dark horse, she was darkness itself, the cloak of it.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“His temperament was deeply nostalgic, not for for his own past, but for past ages; he was cynical of the present, fearful of the future and profoundly regretful of the world's decay.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“All men want their whores to be unhappy.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Solitude is a condition best enjoyed in company.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Money is a burden, a burden most keenly felt by the poor.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“That’s a private interest of mine – what brings a fellow down here, you know, to the ends of the earth – what sparks a man?”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
tags: sparks
“It must have been unpleasant to be discussed as a curiosity, spoken about over breakfast, and between rounds at billiards, as if one's soul were a common property.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Luck only happens once and it's always an accident when it does.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“In my experience people are rarely contented to end up where they started.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“He liked lonely places, because he never really felt alone.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“He wondered what assumptions she was forming, what picture was emerging from this scant constellation of his life.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“A man ought never to trust another man’s evaluation of a third man’s disposition.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“He was not surly by temperment, and in fact did not find it difficult to form friendships, nor to allow those friendships to deepen, once they had been formed; he simply preferred to answer to himself. He disliked all burdens of responsibility, most especially when those responsibilities were expected, or enforced--and friendship nearly always devolved into matters of debt, guilt, and expectation.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“he built his persona as a shield around his person, because he knew very well how little his person could withstand.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Moody had no small genius for the art of diplomacy. As a child he had known instinctively that it was always better to tell a partial truth with a willing aspect than to tell a perfect truth in a defensive way. The appearance of cooperation was worth a great deal, if only because it forced a reciprocity, fair met with fair.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Deprecation always waits to be disputed, and, if the disputation does not come, becomes petulance.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“His manner showed a curious mixture of longing and enthusiasm, which is to say that his enthusiasms were always of a wistful sort, and his longings, always enthusiastic. He was delighted by things of an improbable or impractical nature, which he sought out with the open-hearted gladness of a child at play. When he spoke, he did so originally, and with an idealistic agony that was enough to make all but the most rigid of his critics smile; when he was silent, one had the sense, watching him, that his imagination was nevertheless usefully occupied, for he often sighed, or nodded, as though in agreement with an interlocutor whom no one else could see.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“One could know a thousand women, Gascoigne thought; one could take a different girl every night for years and years—but sooner or later, the new lovers would do little more than call to mind the old, and one would be forced to wander, lost, in that reflective maze of endless comparison, forever disappointed, forever turning back.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
“Suffering, he thought later, could rob a man of his empathy, could turn him selfish, could make him depreciate all other sufferers.”
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries

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