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Classics Quotes

Quotes tagged as "classics" Showing 1-30 of 580
Italo Calvino
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”
Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“And so it goes...”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Jane Austen
“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Emily Brontë
“If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you, I would be your slave.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Homer
“…There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.”
Homer, The Iliad

William Shakespeare
“O teach me how I should forget to think (1.1.224)”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Edmond Rostand
“A great nose may be an index
Of a great soul”
Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac

Zora Neale Hurston
“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

E.M. Forster
“When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made.”
E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose”
Mary Shelley

Charlotte Brontë
“No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Benjamin Disraeli
“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write about it. ”
Benjamin Disraeli

John Ruskin
“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hours, and the books of all Time.”
John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies

William Makepeace Thackeray
“Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?”
William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair

J.M. Barrie
“The last thing he ever said to me was, 'Just always be waiting for me, and then some night you will hear me crowing.”
J.M. Barrie

Charles Bukowski
“I often stood in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get.”
Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye

Deborah Moggach
“You may only call me "Mrs. Darcy"... when you are completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy.”
Deborah Moggach, Pride & Prejudice screenplay

Clifton Fadiman
“When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before.”
Clifton Fadiman, Any Number Can Play

Homer
“Why so much grief for me? No man will hurl me down to Death, against my fate. And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you - it’s born with us the day that we are born.”
Homer, The Iliad

George Orwell
“If there really is such a thing as turning in one's grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.”
George Orwell, All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays

Horatius
“Ut haec ipsa qui non sentiat deorum vim habere is nihil omnino sensurus esse videatur."

If any man cannot feel the power of God when he looks upon the stars, then I doubt whether he is capable of any feeling at all.”
Horace

Emily Brontë
“May you not rest, as long as I am living. You said I killed you - haunt me, then.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Sophocles
“Time, which sees all things, has found you out.”
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Jane Austen
“What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.”
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Lao Tzu
“Countless words
count less
than the silent balance
between yin and yang”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Donna Tartt
“What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star?

That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star…

Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago.

I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble.

I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below.

I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon.

History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment.

'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow.

It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple.

I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.'

He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.'

'What?'

He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said.

'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.'

Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him.

'That information is classified, I'm afraid.'

1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor.

'Is it open to the public?' I said.

'Not generally, no.'

I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point.

'Are you happy here?' I said at last.

He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said.

'But you're not very happy where you are, either.'

St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch.

'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.'

He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Jane Austen
“They had no conversation together, no intercourse but what the commonest civility required. Once so much to each other! Now nothing! There had been a time, when of all the large party now filling the drawing-room at Uppercross, they would have found it most difficult to cease to speak to one another. With the exception, perhaps, of Admiral and Mrs. Croft, who seemed particularly attached and happy, (Anne could allow no other exception even among the married couples) there could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so simliar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become aquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.”
Jane Austen, Persuasion

Lord Byron
“I live not in myself, but I become
Portion of that around me: and to me
High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
of human cities torture.”
George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Daniel Defoe
“I saw the Cloud, though I did not foresee the Storm.”
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

Emily Brontë
“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
emily bronte

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