Clocks Quotes

Quotes tagged as "clocks" Showing 1-30 of 42
Charles Dickens
“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.”
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Jerry Spinelli
“The Clock on the Morning Lenape Building

Must Clocks be circles?
Time is not a circle.
Suppose the Mother of All Minutes started
right here, on the sidewalk
in front of the Morning Lenape Building, and the parade
of minutes that followed--each of them, say, one inch long--
headed out that way, down Bridge Street.
Where would Now be? This minute?
Out past the moon?
The nearest star?

Who came up with minutes, anyway?
Who needs them?
Name one good thing a minute's ever done.
They shorten fun and measure misery.
Get rid of them, I say.
Down with minutes!
And while you're at it--take hours
with you too. Don't get me started
on them.

Clocks--that's the problem.
Every clock is a nest of minutes and hours.
Clocks strap us into their shape.
Instead of heading for the nearest star, all we do
is corkscrew.
Clocks lock us into minutes, make Ferris wheel
riders of us all, lug us round and round
from number to number,
dice the time of our lives into tiny bits
until the bits are all we know
and the only question we care to ask is
"What time is it?"

As if minutes could tell.
As if Arnold could look up at this clock on
the Lenape Building and read:
15 Minutes till Found.
As if Charlie's time is not forever stuck
on Half Past Grace.
As if a swarm of stinging minutes waits for Betty Lou
to step outside.
As if love does not tell all the time the Huffelmeyers
need to know.”
Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Robertson Davies
“I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind... At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme, I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy, and wise in spite of themselves.”
Robertson Davies, The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks

Brian Selznick
“Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults. That's what happened to me. Once upon a time, I was a boy named Hugo Cabret, and I desperately believed that a broken automaton would save my life. Now that my cocoon has fallen away and I have emerged as a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas, I can look back and see that I was right. The automaton my father discovered did save me. But now I have built a new automaton. I spent countless hours designing it. I made every gear myself, carefully cut every brass disk, and fashioned every bt of machinery with my own hands. When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other automaton in the world can do. It can tel you the incredible story of Georges Melies, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician. The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce one-hundred and fifty-eight different pictures, and it can wrote, letter, by letter, an entire book, twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. These words.

Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

“One can expect an agreement between philosophers sooner than between clocks.”
Seneca, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina

Courtney M. Privett
“I miss the floral scent of her hair, the perfume that barely masked the underlying truth of what she was. She was lost time. She smelled of dusty libraries and unwound clocks, salted sand and rain riding on the first rays of dawn. And lilac. When she held me to her, lilac was what I smelled first.”
Courtney M. Privett, Rain Falls on Malora

Tod Wodicka
“The schoolroom clock was worn raw by stares; and you couldn't look up at the big Puritanical face of it and not feel the countless years of young eyes reflected in it, urging it onwards. It was a dark, old spirit that didn't so much mark time as bequeath it.”
Tod Wodicka, All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

William Faulkner
“And so I told myself to take that one. Because Father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. The hands were extended, slightly off the horizontal at a faint angle, like a gull tilting into the wind.”
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

Ursula K. Le Guin
“His alarm clock ticked by the head of the bed. He gazed at its whitish face, the hands both drawing downward. There were no clocks, there. There were no hours. It was not the river of time flowing that moved the clock's hands forward; their mechanism moved them. Seeing them move men said, Time is passing, passing, but they were fooled by the clocks they made. It is we who pass through time, Hugh thought.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Beginning Place

Dava Sobel
“Any clock that can track this sideral schedule proves itself as perfect as God's magnificent clockwork.

Dava Sobel”
Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

“All clocks break, and what breaks them is Time.”
Marty Rubin

Diana Gabaldon
“Hell was full of clocks, he was sure of it. There was no torment, after all, that could not be exacerbated by a contemplation of time passing. The large case clock at the end of the corridor had a particularly penetrating tick-tock, audiable above and through all the noises of the house. It seemed to Lord John Grey to echo his own heartbeats, each one a step on the road towards death.”
Diana Gabaldon, Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Erna Grcic
“You can hear it in the midst of the night
While your gaze roams the vast plains on the ceiling”
Erna Grcic, Beneath the Surface

Beth Revis
“More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock. Time passes, it must pass, but I have no more assurance of moving through time than I have that I am moving through space. In a way, I’m glad: this means perhaps 300 years and 364 days have passed, and tomorrow I will wake up. Sometimes after a cross-country meet or a long day at school, I’d fall into bed with all my clothes on and be out before I knew it. When I’d finally open my eyes, it would feel like I’d just shut them for a minute, but really, the whole rest of the day and half the night was gone. But. There were other times when I’d collapse onto my mattress, shut my eyes and dream, and it felt like I’d lived a whole lifetime in that dream, but when I woke up, it had only been a few minutes. What if only a year has gone by? What if we haven’t even left yet? That is my greatest fear.”
Beth Revis, Across the Universe

Laurence Sterne
“My father, you must know, who was originally a Turkey merchant, but had left off business for some years, in order to retire to, and die upon, his paternal estate in the county of ——, was, I believe, one of the most regular men in every thing he did, whether 'twas matter of business, or matter of amusement, that ever lived. As a small specimen of this extreme exactness of his, to which he was in truth a slave, he had made it a rule for many years of his life,—on the first Sunday-night of every month throughout the whole year,—as certain as ever the Sunday-night came,—to wind up a large house-clock, which we had standing on the back-stairs head, with his own hands:—And being somewhere between fifty and sixty years of age at the time I have been speaking of,—he had likewise gradually brought some other little family concernments to the same period, in order, as he would often say to my uncle Toby, to get them all out of the way at one time, and be no more plagued and pestered with them the rest of the month.

It was attended but with one misfortune, which, in a great measure, fell upon myself, and the effects of which I fear I shall carry with me to my grave; namely, that from an unhappy association of ideas, which have no connection in nature, it so fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the said clock wound up,—but the thoughts of some other things unavoidably popped into her head.”
Laurence Sterne

Courtney M. Privett
“She was lost time. She smelled of dusty libraries and unwound clocks, salted sand and rain riding on the first rays of dawn.”
Courtney M. Privett, Rain Falls on Malora

Vincent Louis Carrella
“The Lord made no better clock than a child, and none more bitter. Oh, what beautiful clocks they are.”
Vincent Louis Carrella, Serpent Box: A Novel

“How could I known then that failure then that failure of ambition is like a long lingering death and that disappoint with your life never goes away? It only grows stronger with the passage of time as the clock ticks off the remaining days of your life, and any residual, hope slips like sand through arthritic fingers.”
Peter May

K. Martin Beckner
“People create all kind of fancy watches and clocks, never stopping to realize they're building monuments to the greatest of all thieves.”
K. Martin Beckner, A Million Doorways

Georges Rodenbach
“Besides that, his secret - and principal - reason for retiring was to devote himself entirely to his idée fixe, his collection which was becoming ever larger and more complicated. Van Hulle's concern was no longer simply to have beautiful clocks or rare timepieces; his feelings for them were not simply those one has for inanimate objects. True, their outward appearance was still important, their craftsmanship, their mechanisms, heir value as works of art, but the fact that he had collected so many was for a different reason entirely. It was a result of his strange preoccupation with the exact time. It was no longer enough for him that they were interesting. He was irritated by the differences in time they showed. Above all when they struck the hours and the quarters. One, very old, was deranged and got confused in keeping count of the passage of time, which it had been doing for so long. Others were behind, little Empire clocks with children's voices almost, as if they had not quite grown up. In short, the clocks were always at variance. They seemed to be running after each other, calling out, getting lost, looking for each other at all the changing crossroads of time.”
Georges Rodenbach, The Bells of Bruges

Kerry Greenwood
“I hate clocks. They tick. Other things make noises in their time and need, but clocks mechanically beat the seconds to death.”
Kerry Greenwood

Ursula K. Le Guin
“His alarm clock ticked by the head of the bed. He gazed at its whitish face, the hands both drawing downward. There were no clocks, there. There were no hours. It was not the the river of time flowing that moved the clock's hands forward; their mechanism moved them. Seeing them move men said, Time is passing, passing, but they were fooled by the clocks they made. It is we who pass through time, Hugh thought.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

“Clocks are as pointless on the Tennessee as poets are on Earth.”
Andrew Smith

Angela Panayotopulos
“The wind breezed through the neighborhoods and pushed the hands of household clocks. Waves rose and fell with the regularity of a sleeping god's snores. People cupped snowflakes in their hands, scraps of divinity that melted at the human touch, as ephemeral as time. Seasons are only man-made time-traps after all. We can call them what we please.”
Angela Panayotopulos, The Wake Up

“Souls do not have calenders or clocks to feel your absence. You are like the untouched breath of my life.”
Sangeeta Das

Salman Rushdie
“Unnerved by Miss Salma R's temporal absolutism, the clocks gave up arguing and stopped trying to run the hours in the normal fashion, so that when people looked in their direction to see what the time was, the clocks showed them whatever time they wanted it to be, and in spite of the chronometric havoc that was created by this abdication they still permitted everyone to get home on time.”
Salman Rushdie, Quichotte

Viet Thanh Nguyen
“Saigon time was fourteen hours off, although if one judged time by this clock, it was we who were fourteen hours off. Refugee, exile, immigrant--whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.”
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer

Natalie Nascenzi
“Trapped in passing minutes, numbers that confine. The tightest grip, they seem to have, these ticking hands of time”
Natalie Nascenzi, The Aftermath of Unrest

Raymond Queneau
“   "I still can't manage to watch the big hand for more than four minutes," said Valentin, indicating Poucier's clock with a look.
   The other, following the movement of Valentin's eyes, remained open-mouthed; but he turned smartly back to Valentin when the latter continued:
   "After that time, either it's as if I was falling asleep, I don't know what I'm thinking any more and time passes and escapes my control, or else I'm invaded by images, my attention wanders, and it comes to the same thing; time has run out without my feeling it melt away through my fingers."
   Jean-Lockwit nodded understandingly.
   "Pra, pra, pra, pra," said he, "pra, pra, pra, pra, pra, pra, pra, pra, pra."
   Dreaming, he repeated this phrase once again.
   "I watch time," said Valentin, "but sometimes I kill it. That isn't what I want."
   The other raised his arms into the air, and let them fall again with lassitude and compassion.”
Raymond Queneau, The Sunday of Life

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