A Passage to India Quotes

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A Passage to India A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
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A Passage to India Quotes (showing 1-30 of 62)
“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
tags: life
“Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim 'I do enjoy myself' or 'I am horrified' we are insincere. 'As far as I feel anything, it is enjoyment, horror' - it's no more than that really, and a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Adventures do occur, but not punctually. Life rarely gives us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“She had come to that state where the horror of the universe and its smallness are both visible at the same time—the twilight of the double vision in which so many elderly people are involved. If this world is not to our taste, well, at all events, there is Heaven, Hell, Annihilation—one or other of those large things, that huge scenic background of stars, fires, blue or black air. All heroic endeavour, and all that is known as art, assumes that there is such a background, just as all practical endeavour, when the world is to our taste, assumes that the world is all. But in the twilight of the double vision, a spiritual muddledom is set up for which no high-sounding words can be found; we can neither act nor refrain from action, we can neither ignore nor respect Infinity.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“I believe in teaching people to be individuals, and to understand other individuals.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Why can't we be friends now?" said the other, holding him affectionately. "It's what I want. It's what you want." But the horses didn't want it — they swerved apart: the earth didn't want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temple, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they emerged from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn't want it, they said in their hundred voices "No, not yet," and the sky said "No, not there.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“But it struck him that people are not really dead until they are felt to be dead. As long as there is some misunderstanding about them, they possess a sort of immortality.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“I'd far rather leave a thought behind me than a child. Other people can have children.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Sometimes I think too much fuss is made about marriage. Century after century of carnal embracement and we're still no nearer to understanding one another.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Excuse my mistakes, realize my limitations. Life is not easy as we know it on the earth.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“It was unbearable, and he thought again, 'How unhappy I am!' and became happier.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“In Europe life retreats out of the cold, and exquisite fireside myths have resulted—Balder, Persephone—but [in India] the retreat is from the source of life, the treacherous sun, and no poetry adorns it because disillusionment cannot be beautiful. Men yearn for poetry though they may not confess it; they desire that joy shall be graceful and sorrow august and infinity have a form, and India fails to accommodate them.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“It is easy to sympathize at a distance,' said an old gentleman with a beard. 'I value more the kind word that is spoken close to my ear.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Outside the arch, always there seemed another arch. And beyond the remotest echo, a silence.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Man can learn everything if he will but try.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“God has put us on earth to love our neighbors and to show it, and He is omnipresent, even in India, to see how we are succeeding.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Aziz winked at him slowly and said: “...There are many ways of being a man; mine is to express what is deepest in my heart.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“One can tip too much as well as too little, indeed the coin that buys the exact truth has not yet been minted.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“...for literature had always been a solace for him, something that the ugliness of facts could not spoil.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“At the moment they vanished they were everywhere, the cool benediction of the night descended, the stars sparkled, and the whole universe was a hill.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“He stretched out his hands as he sang, sadly, because all beauty is sad…The poem had done no ‘good’ to anyone, but it was a passing reminder, a breath from the divine lips of beauty, a nightingale between two worlds of dust. Less explicit than the call to Krishna, it voiced our loneliness nevertheless, our isolation, our need for the Friend who never comes yet is not entirely disproved.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“The issues Miss Quested had raised were so much more important than she was herself that people inevitably forgot her.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“One touch of regret- not the canny substitute but the true regret from the heart- would have made him a different man, and the British Empire a different institution.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“There is no harm in deceiving society as long as she does not find you out, because it is only when she finds you out that you have harmed her; she is not like a friend or God, who are injured by the mere existence of unfaithfulness.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“Sensuality, as long as it is straightforward did not repel him, but this derived sensuality - the sort that classes a mistress among motor-cars if she is beautiful, and among eye-flies if she isn't - was alien to his own emotions . . . It was, in a new form, the old, old trouble that eats the heart out of every civilization: snobbery, the desire for possessions, creditable appendages; and it is to escape this rather than the lusts of the flesh that the saints retreat into the Himalayas.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“It never bored them to hear words, words; they breathed them with the cool night air.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“They had tried to reproduce their own attitude to life upon the stage, and to dress up as the middle-class English people they actually were.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“I'm a holy man minus the holiness. Hand that on to your three spies, and tell them to put it in their pipes.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
“He did not know, but presently he would know. Great is information, and she shall prevail.”
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

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