The Swan Thieves Quotes

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The Swan Thieves The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
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The Swan Thieves Quotes Showing 1-30 of 33
“And how could anyone consent to give up the smell of open books, old or new?”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: books
“It's funny; in this era of e-mail and voice mail and all those things that even I did not grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“The problem is simply finding the right person. Ask Plato. Just make sure she finishes your thoughts and you finish hers. That's all you need.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“...what will we someday do, I always wonder, without the pleasures of turning through books and stumbling on things we never meant to find?”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“In the end, I always act from the heart, even if I also value reason and tradition. I wish I could explain why, but I don't know.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: self
“He can't really love anyone, you know, and in the end such people are always alone, no matter how much other people once loved them.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: love
“The heart does not go backward. Only the mind.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“..then you must say to her, ‘Madame, I observe that your heart is broken. Allow me to repair it for you...”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“I believe in walking out of a museum before the paintings you've seen begin to run together. How else can you carry anything away with you in your mind's eye?”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Faith is simply whatever is real to us.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: faith
“In those days, I still thoroughly enjoyed the romance I called "by myself"; I didn't know yet how it gets lonely, picks up a sharp edge later on that ruins a day now and then-- ruins more than that, if you're not careful.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“It's a shame for women's history to be all about men--first boys, then other boys, then men men men. It reminds me of the way our school history textbooks were all about wars and elections, one war after another, with the dull periods of peace skimmed over whenever they occurred. (Our teachers deplored this and added extra units about social history and protest movements, but that was still the message of the books.)”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“My guess is that he remembers some of me, some of us together, and the rest rolled off him like topsoil in a flash flood.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“And why should I do such a thing- tell you something that can only dismay you? Well, that is the nature of love: it is brutal in its demands.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: love
“I was filled with angst in college, that I struggled with the question of my future, the meaning of my life - spoiled sheltered rich girl collides with great books and is devastated by her own banality.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Marriages are like certain books, a story where you turn the last page and you think it's over and then there's an epilogue, and after that you're inclined to go on wondering about the characters or imagining that their lives continue without you, dear reader. Until you forget most of that book, you're stuck puzzling over what happened to them after you closed it.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“He was my husband, my apartment mate, my soul mate, the father of the little plant in my confused soil, the lover who had made me adore his body without inhibition after my years of relative solitude, the person for whom I'd given up my old self.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Doesn't every love express itself this way, with the seeds of both its flowering and its ruin in the very first words, the first breath, the first though?”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
tags: love
“-Do you think artists are supposed to be happy?
-Everyone is supposed to be. -I said staunchly,and I knew that I was indeed an idiot and that was my destiny and I didn't mind it”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“A shame that these images had become iconic, a tune we were all tired of humming.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“It's a shame for a woman's history to be all about men-first boys, then other boys, then men, men, men. It reminds me of the way our school history textbooks were all about wars and elections, one war after another, with the dull periods of peace skimmed over when they happened.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Then draw everything. Do a hundred drawings a day,' he said fiercely. 'And remember that it's a hellish life.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“I don't think painters have the answers about a painting except the painting itself. Anyway, a painting has to have some kind of mystery to it to make it work.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“I lay awake for hours in my twin bed next to the other, empty bed, feeling and hearing the spruces, the hemlocks, the rhododendron scraping at the partly open window, the verdant mountain out there in the night, the burgeoning of nature that did not seem to include me. And when, my restless body asked my teeming brain, had I agreed to be excluded?”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Ich verstehe mit achtzig was ich mit siebzig noch nicht verstehen konnte, naemlich dass man am Ende so gut wie allen vergibt, nur sich selbst nicht.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“She ate like a polite wolf.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Strangers are strange to each other.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“I remembered some of what I'd read in the past: the small group of the original Impressionists, including one woman-Berthe Morisot- who'd first banded together in 1874 to exhibit works in a style that the Paris Salon found too experimental for inclusion. We postmoderns take them for granted, or disdain them, or love them too easily.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Manchmal gibt es kaum etwas Schwierigeres, als zu jemandem zu sprechen, der ueber die Macht des Schweigens verfuegt.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves
“Then he said a strange thing, but to himself. `They lived, didn't they?' And I said yes, that when one reads old letters one understands that people in the past really did live, and it is very touching.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Swan Thieves

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