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The Pillow Book
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Donna Tartt
“What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?”
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Tana French
“I love beautiful; always have. I never saw why I should hate what I wish I had. Love it harder. Work your way closer. Clasp your hands around it tighter. Till you find a way to make it yours.”
Tana French, The Secret Place

Angela Carter
“His wedding gift, clasped round my throat. A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat. After the terror, in the early days of the Directory, the aristos who’d escaped the guillotine had an ironic fad of tying a red ribbon round their necks at just the point where the blade would have sliced it through, a red ribbon like the memory of a wound. And his grandmother, taken with the notion, had her ribbon made up in rubies; such a gesture of luxurious defiance! That night at the opera comes back to me even now… the white dress; the frail child within it; and the flashing crimson jewels round her throat, bright as arterial blood.
I saw him watching me in the gilded mirrors with the assessing eye of a connoisseur inspecting horseflesh, or even of a housewife in the market, inspecting cuts on the slab. I’d never seen, or else had never acknowledged, that regard of his before, the sheer carnal avarice of it; and it was strangely magnified by the monocle lodged in his left eye. When I saw him look at me with lust, I dropped my eyes but, in glancing away from him, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. And I saw myself, suddenly, as he saw me, my pale face, the way the muscles in my neck stuck out like thin wire. I saw how much that cruel necklace became me. And, for the first time in my innocent and confined life, I sensed in myself a potentiality for corruption that took my breath away.”
Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

Milorad Pavić
“Nekoliko stotina godina posle tog događaja uhvaćene su na obalama Kaspijskog mora dve kornjače na kojima su bile ispisane poruke. Poruka jedne žene i jednog čoveka koji su se voleli. Kornjače su još uvek išle zajedno i na njima su se mogle pročitati poruke zaljubljenih.
Muška poruka je glasila:

Ti si kao ona devojka koja nikad nije ustajala rano, pa kad se udala u susedno selo i prvi put morala rano ustati, ugledala slanu na poljima i rekla svekrvi: ovo u našem selu nema! Tako kao ona, i ti misliš da na svetu nema ljubavi, jer nikada nisi bila budna dovoljno rano da je sretneš, mada je ona svakog jutra tu na vreme...

Ženska poruka bila je kraća, od samo nekoliko reči:

Moj zavičaj je tišina, moja hrana ćutanje. Sedim u svome imenu kao veslač u čamcu. Ne mogu da zaspim koliko te mrzim.”
Milorad Pavić

Edith Wharton
“It seems cruel," she said, "that after a while nothing matters... any more than these little things that used to be necessary and important to forgotten people, and now have to be guessed at under a magnifying glass and labelled: 'Use unknown.'"
"Yes, but meanwhile -"
"Ah, meanwhile -”
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

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