The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories Quotes

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The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers
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The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories Quotes Showing 1-30 of 32
“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.”
carson mccullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes. The heart of a hurt child can shrink so that forever afterward it is hard and pitted as the seed of a peach. Or again, the heart of such a child may fester and swell until it is a misery to carry within the body, easily chafed and hurt by the most ordinary things.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being loved is intolerable to many.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“There is no stillness like the quiet of the first cold nights in the fall.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Once you have lived with another, it is a great torture to have to live alone.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Love is a joint experience between two persons -- but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lillies of the swamp.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is it worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all. Often after you have sweated and tried and things are not better for you, there comes a feeling deep down in the soul that you are not worth much.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“It is music that causes the heart to broaden and the listener to grow cold with ecstasy and fright.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“The value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“His own life seemed so solitary, a fragile column supporting nothing amidst the wreckage of the years.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is it worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Day and night she had drudged and struggled and thrown her soul into her work, and there was not much of her left over for anything else. Being human, she suffered from this lack and did what she could to make up for it. If she passed the evening bent over a table in the library and later declared that she had spent that time playing cards, it was as though she had managed to do both those things. Through the lies, she lived vicariously. The lies doubled the little of her existence that was left over from work and augmented the little rag end of her personal life.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“He had a few eccentricities himself and was tolerant of the peculiarities of others; indeed, he rather relished the ridiculous.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“All useful things have a price, and are bought only with money, as that is the way the world is run. You know without having to reason about it the price of a bale of cotton, or a quart of molasses. But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is it worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all. Often after you have sweated and tried and things are not better for you, there comes a feeling deep down in the soul that you are not worth much.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“For the liquor of Miss Amelia has a special quality of its own. It is clean and sharp on the tongue, but once down a man it glows inside him for a long time afterward. And that is not all. It is known that if a message is written with lemon juice on a clean sheet of paper there will be no sign of it. But if the paper is held for a moment to the fire then the letters turn brown and the meaning becomes clear. Imagine that the whisky is the fire and that the message is that which is known only in the soul of a man – then the worth of Miss Amelia's liquor can be understood. Things that have gone unnoticed, thoughts that have been harbored far back in the dark mind, are suddenly recognized and comprehended. A spinner who has thought only of the loom, the dinner pail, the bed, and then the loom again – this spinner might drink some on a Sunday and come across a marsh lily. And in his palm he might hold this flower, examining the golden dainty cup, and in him suddenly might come a sweetness keen as pain. A weaver might look up suddenly and see for the first time the cold, weird radiance of midnight January sky, and a deep fright at his own smallness stop his heart. Such things as these, then, happen when a man has drunk Miss Amelia's liquor. He may suffer, or he may be spent with joy – but the experience has shown the truth; he has warmed his soul and seen the message hidden there.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons—but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world—a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring—this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“love is a joint experience between two persons—but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“By the moonlight he watched his wife for the last time. His hand sought the adjacent flesh and sorrow paralleled desire in the immense complexity of love.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“And every day there is music. One dark voice will start a phrase, half-sung, and like a question. And after a moment another voice will join in, soon the whole gang will be singing. The voices are dark in the golden glare, the music intricately blended, both somber and joyful. The music will swell until at last it seems that the sound does not come from the twelve men on the gang, but from the earth itself, or the wide sky. It is music that causes the heart to broaden and the listener to grow cold with ecstasy and fright. Then slowly the music will sink down until at last there remains one lonely voice, then a great hoarse breath, the sun, the sound of the picks in the silence.

And what kind of gang is this that can make such music? Just twelve mortal men, seven of them black and five of them white boys from this country. Just twelve mortal men who are together.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being be loved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“There is a deeper reason why the café was so precious to this town. And this deeper reason has to do with a certain pride that had not hitherto been known in these parts. To understand this new pride the cheapness of human life must be kept in mind. There were always plenty of people clustered around a mill – but it was seldom that every family had enough meal, garments, and fat back to go the rounds. Life could become one long dim scramble just to get the things needed to keep alive. And the confusing point is this: All useful things have a price, and are bought only with money, as that is the way the world is run. You know without having to reason about it the price of a bale of cotton, or a quart of molasses. But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is it worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all. Often after you have sweated and tried and things are not better for you, there comes a feeling deep down in the soul that you are not worth much.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“İnsan yaşamının 'doğaçlamasını', hiçbir şey bitmemiş bir ezgi kadar iyi anlatamaz. Ya da eski bir adres defteri kadar.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Bir seven vardır, bir de sevilen. Ama bunlar başka başka diyarların insanlarıdır. Sevilen çoğu zaman sevenin içinde uzun zamandır saklı duran sevgi için yalnızca bir uyarıcıdır. Her nasılsa, seven de bilir bunu. Ruhunda sevgisini eşsiz bir duygu olarak algılar. Tuhaf, yeni bir yalnızlık duymaya başlar. Ona acı veren de bu duygudur işte. Bu yüzden, sevgisini elinden geldiğince içinde barındırmalı, kendisine yepyeni bir iç dünya yaratmalıdır. Kendisiyle bütünleşen, yoğun, tuhaf bir dünya...”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“During these weeks there was a quality about Miss Amelia that many people noticed. She laughed often, with a deep ringing laugh, and her whistling had a sassy, tunefull trickery. She was forever trying out her strength, lifting up heavy objects or poking her tough biceps with her finger.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Solange ich glücklich war, war ich ein ganz guter Mensch.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“Dar amintirea nu-l atacă pe om din față - ea îi dă târcoale.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“el ambiente de un verdadero café tiene que reunir estas cualidades: compañerismo, satisfacción del estómago, y cierta alegría y gracia de modales.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
“me parece que este es un Morris Finestein de primera.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories

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