Lisa > Lisa's Quotes

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  • #1
    Philip Pullman
    “We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair...death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...”
    Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

  • #2
    Toni Morrison
    “Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
    Toni Morrison, Beloved

  • #3
    Rich Shapero
    “To be free means always leaving...or returning to a place where leaves never fall.”
    Rich Shapero

  • #4
    Toni Morrison
    “No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.”
    Toni Morrison, Beloved
    tags: joy

  • #5
    Susan Sontag
    “Wherever people feel safe (...) they will be indifferent.”
    Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

  • #6
    Susan Sontag
    “So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may- in ways we might prefer not to imagine- be linked to their suffering, as the wealth as some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.”
    Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

  • #7
    Susan Sontag
    “All memory is individual, unreproducible - it dies with each person. What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.”
    Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

  • #8
    Susan Sontag
    “Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead. So the belief that remembering is an ethical act is deep in our natures as humans, who know we are going to die, and who mourn those who in the normal course of things die before us—grandparents, parents, teachers, and older friends. Heartlessness and amnesia seem to go together. But history gives contradictory signals about the value of remembering in the much longer span of a collective history. There is simply too much injustice in the world. And too much remembering (of ancient grievances: Serbs, Irish) embitters. To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited. If the goal is having some space in which to live one’s own life, then it is desirable that the account of specific injustices dissolve into a more general understanding that human beings everywhere do terrible things to one another. *   *   * P”
    Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

  • #9
    Michel Faber
    “They both sat in silence for the rest of the journey, as if conscious of having let each other down.”
    Michel Faber, Under the Skin

  • #10
    Stacie Cassarino
    “We should insist that letting go is one form of hope. Here, defiance in a stand of evergreens.”
    Stacie Cassarino

  • #11
    Madeline Miller
    “What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another. We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory… We are men only, a brief flare of the torch.”
    Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

  • #12
    “This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: You hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the speech from the screams.”
    Peter Watts, Blindsight

  • #13
    Michel Faber
    “The highway looked different to him now, as they drove on. In theory it was the same stretch of tarmac, bounded by the same traffic paraphernalia and flimsy metal fences, but it had been transformed by their own intent. It was no longer a straight line to an airport, it was a mysterious hinterland of shadowy detours and hidey-holes. Proof, once again, that reality was not objective, but always waiting to be reshaped and redefined by one’s attitude. Of course, everybody on earth had the power to reshape reality. It was one of the things Peter and Beatrice talked about a lot. The challenge of getting people to grasp that life was only as grim and confining as you perceived it to be. The challenge of getting people to see that the immutable facts of existence were not so immutable after all. The challenge of finding a simpler word for immutable than immutable.”
    Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things

  • #14
    Toni Morrison
    “In Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.”
    Toni Morrison, Beloved

  • #15
    Ava Gardner
    “The truth is, honey, I've enjoyed my life. I've had a hell of a good time.”
    Ava Gardner

  • #16
    Leonora Carrington
    “We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
    Leonora Carrington

  • #17
    Michel Faber
    “Some people go through heavy stuff. They fight in wars. They’re in jail. They start a business and it gets shut down by gangsters. They end up hustling their ass in a foreign country. It’s one long list of setbacks and humiliations. But it doesn’t touch them, not really. They’re having an adventure. It’s like: What’s next? An then there’s other people who are just trying to live quietly, they stay out of trouble, they’re maybe ten years old, or fourteen, and one Friday morning at 9:35 something happens to them, something private, something that breaks their heart. Forever.”
    Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things

  • #18
    Ava Gardner
    “When I’m old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in.”
    Ava Gardner

  • #19
    Madeline Miller
    “When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”
    Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

  • #20
    Madeline Miller
    “It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I both know there is no peace for those who live after.”
    Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

  • #21
    Madeline Miller
    “Name one hero who was happy."
    I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason's children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus' back.
    "You can't." He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
    "I can't."
    "I know. They never let you be famous AND happy." He lifted an eyebrow. "I'll tell you a secret."
    "Tell me." I loved it when he was like this.
    "I'm going to be the first." He took my palm and held it to his. "Swear it."
    "Why me?"
    "Because you're the reason. Swear it."
    "I swear it," I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes.
    "I swear it," he echoed.
    We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.
    "I feel like I could eat the world raw.”
    Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

  • #22
    “Evolution has no foresight. Complex machinery develops its own agendas. Brains — cheat. Feedback loops evolve to promote stable heartbeats and then stumble upon the temptation of rhythm and music. The rush evoked by fractal imagery, the algorithms used for habitat selection, metastasize into art. Thrills that once had to be earned in increments of fitness can now be had from pointless introspection. Aesthetics rise unbidden from a trillion dopamine receptors, and the system moves beyond modeling the organism. It begins to model the very process of modeling. It consumes evermore computational resources, bogs itself down with endless recursion and irrelevant simulations. Like the parasitic DNA that accretes in every natural genome, it persists and proliferates and produces nothing but itself. Metaprocesses bloom like cancer, and awaken, and call themselves I.”
    Peter Watts, Blindsight

  • #23
    Dave Eggers
    “The only infallible truth of our lives is that everything we love in life will be taken from us.”
    Dave Eggers

  • #24
    James  Jones
    “He could not believe that any of them might actually hit somebody. If one did, what a nowhere way to go: killed by accident; slain not as an individual but by sheer statistical probability, by the calculated chance of searching fire, even as he himself might be at any moment. Mathematics! Mathematics! Algebra! Geometry! When 1st and 3d Squads came diving and tumbling back over the tiny crest, Bell was content to throw himself prone, press his cheek to the earth, shut his eyes, and lie there. God, oh, God! Why am I here? Why am I here? After a moment's thought, he decided he better change it to: why are we here. That way, no agency of retribution could exact payment from him for being selfish.”
    James Jones, The Thin Red Line

  • #25
    James  Jones
    “The little bit you and me might change the world," Malloy smiled, "it wouldnt show up until a hundred years after we were dead. We'd never see it."

    "But it'd be there.”
    James Jones, From Here to Eternity

  • #26
    Dave Eggers
    “His lies were so exquisite I almost wept.”
    Dave Eggers, What Is the What

  • #27
    James  Jones
    “And the strange thing was he had never loved her more than in that moment, because at that moment she had become himself.

    But thats not love, he thought, thats not what she wants, not what any of them want, they do not want you to find yourself in them, they want instead that you should lose yourself in them. And yet, he thought, they are always trying to find themselves in you. [...]

    And it seemed to him then that every human was always looking for himself, in bars, in railway trains, in offices, in mirrors, in love, especially in love, for the self of him that is there, someplace, in every other human. Love was not to give oneself, but find oneself, describe oneself. And that the whole conception had been written wrong. Because the only part of any man that he can ever touch or understand is that part of himself he recognises in him. And that he is always looking for the way in which he can expose his sealed bee cell and reach the other airtight cells with which he is connected in the waxy comb.

    And the only way he had ever found, the only code, the only language by which he could speak and be heard by other men, could communicate himself, was with a bugle. If you had a bugle here, he told himself, you could speak to her and be understood, you could play Fatigue Call for her, with its tiredness, its heavy belly going out to sweep somebody else's streets when it would rather stay home and sleep, she would understand it then.

    But you havent got a bugle, himself said, not here nor any other place. Your tongue has been ripped out. All you got is two bottles, one nearly full, one nearly empty.”
    James Jones, From Here to Eternity

  • #28
    Richard Siken
    “All night I streched my arms across
    him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing
    with all my skin and bone ''Please keep him safe.
    Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be
    like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed
    to pieces.'' Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
    me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
    his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.”
    Richard Siken, Crush

  • #29
    Dave Eggers
    “We see the beauty within and cannot say no.”
    Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

  • #30
    Toni Morrison
    “How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.”
    Toni Morrison, Paradise



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