Quotables

other people's words are useful

“How little we make of what we know of anyone, how little we employ it.”

—   -Edna O’Brien, Night

“So Corde slept a great deal, but not well. The restless ecstasy was what he had.”

—   -Saul Bellow, The Dean’s December

“…she had not the faintest notion of the mysteries of harmony…”

—   -Vladimir Nabokov, Despair

“There is no reentry from the orbit of transcendence.”

—   -Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman

“That ‘writers write’ is meant to be self-evident. People like to say it. I find it is hardly ever true. Writers drink. Writers rant. Writers phone. Writers sleep. I have met very few writers who write at all.”

—   -Renata Adler, Speedboat

(Source: slaughterhouse90210, via nyrbclassics)

“Forbidden are words about flowers. Forbidden is spring. In general, all the good words are faint with exhaustion.”

—   -Viktor Shklovsky, ZOO, or Letters Not About Love

“In these prayers the child Charlotte routinely asked that “it” turn out all right, “it” being unspecified and all-inclusive, and she had been an adult for some years before the possibility occurred to her that “it” might not.”

—   -Joan Didion, A Book of Common Prayer

“I drank soda water and smoked and fretted, until light began to break and the rustle of a rising breeze turned me back to my bed.”

—   -Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited