A Fine and Private Place Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
A Fine and Private Place A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
2,378 ratings, 4.00 average rating, 226 reviews
A Fine and Private Place Quotes (showing 1-30 of 30)
“There are honest people in the world, but only because the devil considers their asking prices ridiculous.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I'll tell you something. Once I was very fond of a poem by Emily Dickinson or somebody. I only remember one line of it, but it goes, 'The soul selects her own society.' I used to tell it to everybody. Once I quoted it to a friend of mine, and he said, 'Maybe, but the body gets thrown into bed with the goddamnedest people.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Sitting up all night would be pointless if somebody you loved wasn't sitting up with you, picking out music to play and helping you kill the bourbon. Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“If a man loved me, I would have talked myself into loving him, and I would have loved him very deeply after a while.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
tags: love
“... some things aren't any good unless they're shared. Sitting up all night would be pointless if somebody you loved wasn't sitting up with you, picking out music to play and helping you kill the bourbon. Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Tell you something," the raven said. "I was flying over the Midwest once." He stopped abruptly, closed his eyes for a moment, opened them, and began again. "I was flying over the Midwest. Iowa or Illinois, or some place like that. And I saw this big damn seagull. Right in the middle of Iowa, a seagull. And he was flying around in big, wide circles, real sweeping circles, the way a seagull flies, flapping his wings just enough to keep on the updrafts. Every time he saw water he'd go flying down toward it, yelling, "I found it! I found it!" The poor sonofabitch was looking for the ocean. And every time he saw water, he thought that was the ocean. He didn't know anything about ponds or lakes or anything. All the water he ever saw was the ocean. He thought that was all the water there was.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“The tune was wailing and mournful, almost flagrantly so, and the total effect was of a heartbroken piccolo being parted forever from its bagpipe lover.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“There are people,' he said, 'who give, and there are people who take. There are people who create, people who destroy, and people who don't do anything and drive the other two kinds crazy. It's born in you, whether you give or take, and that's the way you are. Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it. We'd much rather be eagles, or swans, or even one of those moronic robins, but we're ravens and there you are. Ravens don't feel right without somebody to bring things to, and when we do find somebody we realize what a silly business it was in the first place." He made a sound between a chuckle and a cough. "Ravens are pretty neurotic birds. We're closer to people than any other bird, and we're bound to them all our lives, but we don't have to like them. You think we brought Elijah food because we liked him? He was an old man with a dirty beard.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“You have to be very deep to be dead, he thought, and I'm not. He began to have some concept of forever, and his mind shivered as his body had when he had wakened in the cold nights and thrust his hands between his thighs to keep warm. It will be a long night, he thought.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I am afraid! It is not starving I fear, or talking to people, or even being alone. But I cannot bear to be useless and ineffectual. There must be some meaning to me, if not to my life; there must surely be some purpose that has my name written on it. If this is not so, if I am deceiving myself about this too, then why should I want to become real? What reason have I to live anywhere?”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“...I was one of the haves, and one of the secrets of being a have is not wasting your time on empathy.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I love you, more, I think, than I know, but our kind of love isn't a sword. It's a light. Not a fire. A small light, just bright enough to read love letters by and keep the animals at a growling distance. In time it will go out. All lights go out. So do all fires, if it's any comfort. Love me, and look at me, and remember me, as I'll remember you.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Alarm clocks were going off in the city now. One after another, sometimes two or three together, they drove their small silver knives into the body of the great dream that sprawled naked on the housetops. Sensual, amiable, and defenseless as it was, it would still take a little while to die.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Walking by yourself in the rain is for college kids who think loneliness makes poets.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I love you," Laura said hopelessly. "I'd love you if you were afraid of everything in the world.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
tags: love
“The baloney weighed the raven down, and the shopkeeper almost caught him as he whisked out the delicatessen door.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Hell of an ornithologist you'd make.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“The stars were going out now, one by one, dropping like pennies behind the television aerials and the skylights and the washing strung between the chimneys. The sky was still dark - a sated, navy-blue woman - but the grass was jittery with the expectation of dawn.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I am infected with life and will die of it in time.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“The dead," he had said once, "need nothing from the living, and the living can give nothing to the dead." At twenty-two, it had sounded precocious; at thirty-four, it sounded mature, and this pleased Michael very much. He had liked being mature and reasonable. He disliked ritual and pomposity, routine and false emotion, rhetoric and sweeping gestures. Crowds made him nervous. Pageantry offended him. Essentially a romantic, he had put away the trappings of romance, although he had loved them deeply and never known.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Forget it, Jonathan, and go back to sleep. And before you go to sleep, pray that no well-meaning god ever makes you immortal.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Man searches constantly for identity, he thought as he trotted along the gravel path. He has no real proof of this existence except for the reaction of other people to that fact. So he listens very closely to what people say to one another about him, whether it's good or bad, because it indicates that he lives in the same world they do, and that all his fears about being invisible, impotent, lacking some mysterious dimension that other people have, are groundless.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“It's like marriage. The race there is between total knowledge of each other and death. If death comes first, it's considered a successful marriage.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“I had a good time that night, too," Michael said, "but I kept thinking, This is forever. This is forever. You will have this good time again and again, a million times over, until it will be like a play in which you and Laura and a few fugitive lives sit around an imaginary fire and talk and sing songs and love each other and sometimes throw imaginary brands at the eyes blinking beyond the circle of imaginary firelight. And then I thought - and this is where I sounded just like a real philosopher - And even when you admit that you know every line in the play and every song that will be sung, even when you know that this evening spent with friends is pleasant and joyful because you remember it as pleasant and joyful and wouldn't change it for the world, even when you know that anything you feel for these good friends has no more reality than a dream faithfully remembered every night for a thousand years - even then it goes on. Even then it has just begun.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“The air was motionless, carved, a block of warm copper fitting neatly around the earth, molded while soft to fit every house and every human being on the earth, and now hardened forever so that no man could move and no air ever came through. The earth rumbled down its alley like a golden bowling ball, shining.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
tags: earth
“Sure, she loves him. But they've got two different ideas of love. He wants to dance with her on a terrace with a full moon and a thirty-six-piece orchestra; he wants to go singing through storms with her, like Gene Kelly. She knows about thirty-six-piece orchestras. You have to feed them, and then there's nothing left for the children.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“We are all ghosts," Morris Klapper said at last. "We are conceived in a moment of death and born out of ghost wombs, and we play in the streets with other little ghosts, chanting ghost-rhymes and scratching to become real. We are told that life is full of goals and that, although it is sadly necessary to fight, you can at least choose your war. But we learn that for ghosts there can only be one battle: to become real. A few of us make it, thus encouraging other ghosts to believe it can be done.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“There are no happy endings, he knew, because nothing ends; and if there were any being dispensed, a great many worthier people would be in line for them long before Michael and Laura and himself. But the happiness of the unworthy and the happiness of the so-so is as fragile and self-centered and dear as the happiness of the righteous and the worthy; and the happiness of the living is no less short and desperate and forgotten than the joys of the dead.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“The whistling of a ghost is like no other sound in a fistful of universes, because it is woven of all the whistles the ghost has ever heard, and so it usually includes train moans, lunch whistles, fire alarms, and the affronted-virgin screaming of tea kettles.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place

All Quotes
Quotes By Peter S. Beagle
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game