The Watch that Ends the Night Quotes

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The Watch that Ends the Night The Watch that Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan
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“There is no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and the human tragedy, or the human irony, consists in the necessity of living with the consequences of actions performed under the pressure of compulsions so obscure we do not and cannot understand them.”
Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night
“Happiness annihilates time.”
Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night
“Love, sought as an escape from the burden of the self, turns rapidly into a captivity.”
Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night
“In the Thirties all of us who were young had been united by anger and the obviousness of our plight; in the war we had been united by fear and the obviousness of the danger. But now, prosperous under the bomb, we all seemed to have become atomized. Wherever I looked I saw people trying to live private lives for themselves and their families. Nobody asked the big questions any more. Why think, when the thing to be thought about is so huge it is impossible to think about it? Why ask where you are going, when you know you can’t stop even if you wish? Why ask why, when it does no good to know why?”
Hugh MacLennan, Watch that Ends the Night
“The clouds crossed the sky, country rains washed the gardens, moons shone on the lake and the hillsides, cicadas sang in the August grass, boys and girls fell in love. In the early October of that year, in the cathedral hush of a Quebec Indian summer with the lake drawing into its mirror the fire of the maples, it came to me that to be able to love the mystery surrounding us is the final and only sanction of human existence. What else is left but that, in the end? All our lives we had wanted to belong to something larger than ourselves. We belonged consciously to nothing now except to the pattern of our lives and fates. To God, possibly. I am chary of using that much-misused word, but I say honestly that at least I was conscious of His power. Whatever the spirit might be I did not know, but I knew it was there. Life was a gift; I knew that now. And so, much more consciously, did she.”
Hugh MacLennan, Watch that Ends the Night
“People talk of calf-love with wistful disdain, but mine was as intense as any emotion I knew until I crossed the frontier, years later, when I discovered that all loving is a loving of life in the midst of death.”
Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night
“that there is no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and that the human tragedy, or the human irony, consists in the necessity of living with the consequences of actions performed under the pressure of compulsions so obscure we do not and cannot understand them.”
Hugh MacLennan, Watch that Ends the Night
“This campus was an island of quiet in the city's roar, and at night it was an island of dark in the city's blaze.”
Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night