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Jean Rhys quotes (showing 31-60 of 211)

“that expression you get in your eyes when you are very tired and everything is like a dream and you are starting to know what things are like underneath what people say they are.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“When you are a child you are yourself and you know and see everything prophetically. And then suddenly something happens and you stop being yourself; you become what others force you to be. You lose your wisdom and your soul.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“As soon as I turned the key I saw it hanging, the color of fire and sunset. the colour of flamboyant flowers. ‘If you are buried under a flamboyant tree, ‘ I said, ‘your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.’

She shook her head but she did not move or touch me.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“But they never last, the golden days. And it can be sad, the sun in the afternoon, can't it? Yes, it can be sad, the afternoon sun, sad and frightening.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“I've been so ridiculous all my life that a little bit more or a little bit less hardly matters now.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“Now I no longer wish to be loved, beautiful, happy or successful. I want one thing and one thing only - to be left alone.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“One realized all sorts of things. The value of an illusion, for instance, and that the shadow can be more important than the substance. All sorts of things.”
Jean Rhys, Quartet
“It's so easy to make a person who hasn't got anything seem wrong.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“....one of those long, romantic novels, six hundred and fifty pages of small print, translated from French or German or Hungarian or something -- because few of the English ones have the exact feeling I mean. And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards -- perhaps all your life, who knows? -- surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music -- everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. 'The house I was living in when I read that book,' you think, or 'This colour reminds me of that book.”
Jean Rhys, Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank
“Your red dress,’ she said, and laughed.

But I looked at the dress on the floor and it was as if the fire had spread across the room. It was beautiful and it reminded me of something I must do. I will remember I thought. I will remember quite soon now.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“I want more of this feeling - fire and wings.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“I have been too unhappy, I thought, it cannot last, being so unhappy, it would kill you”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“If I was bound for hell, let it be hell. No more false heavens. No more damned magic.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“Life if curious when reduced to its essentials”
Jean Rhys
“They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“It was the darkness that got you. It was heavy darkness, greasy and compelling. It made walls round you, and shut you in so that you felt like you could not breathe.”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“Everything tender and melancholy - as life is sometimes, just for one moment.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“I didn't know, I didn't know, I didn't know.”
Jean Rhys
“If she says goodbye perhaps adieu. Adieu - like those old time songs she sang. Always adieu (and all songs say it). If she too says it, or weeps, I'll take her in my arms, my lunatic. She's mad but mine, mine. What will I care for gods or devils or for Fate itself. If she smiles or weeps or both. For me.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“It is strange how sad it can be - sunlight in the afternoon, don't you think?”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“Some must cry so that others may be able to laugh the more heartily. Sacrifices are necessary...”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“Quite like old times,' the room says.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“She’ll have no lover, for I don’t want her and she’ll see no other.”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“I had two longings and one was fighting the other. I wanted to be loved and I wanted to be always alone.”
Jean Rhys
“Every word I say has chains round its ankles; every thought I think is weighted with heavy weights. Since I was born, hasn't every word I've said, every thought I've thought, everything I've done, been tied up, weighted, chained? And mind you, I know that with all this I don't succeed. Or I succeed in flashes only too damned well. ...But think how hard I try and how seldom I dare. Think - and have a bit of pity. That is, if you ever think, you apes, which I doubt.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
“It was like letting go and falling back into water and seeing yourself grinning up through the water, your face like a mask, and seeing the bubbles coming up as if you were trying to speak from under the water. And how do you know what it's like to try to speak from under water when you're drowned?”
Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
“It's funny when you feel as if you don't want anything more in your life except to sleep, or else to lie without moving. That's when you can hear time sliding past you, like water running.”
Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
“The last time you were happy about nothing; the first time you were afraid about nothing. Which came first?”
Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie
“I have tried," I said, "but he does not believe me. It is too late for that now" (it is always too late for truth, I thought).”
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
“Even the one moment that you thought was your eternity fades out and is forgotten and dies.”
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight


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