QUOTEoftheDay

Thursday
May022019

Penelope Lively

Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.

It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd.

When you are able to be with a person and there is no need to talk, something has happened.

Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It's the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.

The power of language. Preserving the ephemeral; giving form to dreams, permanence to sparks of sunlight.

I have no idea where I am going, she thought, but I have begun.

If we had not met, that day, I think I would have imagined you somehow.

Forever, reading has been central, the necessary fix, the support system. Her life has been informed by reading. She has read not just for distraction, sustenance, to pass the time, but she has read in a state of primal innocence, reading for enlightenment, for instruction, even. ... She is as much a product of what she has read as of the way in which she has lived; she is like millions of others built by books, for whom books are an essential foodstuff, who could starve without.


Wednesday
May012019

A. S. Byatt

I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.

They took to silence. They touched each other without comment and without progression. A hand on a hand, a clothed arm, resting on an arm. An ankle overlapping an ankle, as they sat on a beach, and not removed. One night they fell asleep, side by side... He slept curled against her back, a dark comma against her pale elegant phrase.

No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.

My Solitude is my Treasure, the best thing I have. I hesitate to go out. If you opened the little gate, I would not hop away—but oh how I sing in my gold cage.

Only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink.

There are things that happen and leave no discernible trace, are not spoken or written of, though it would be very wrong to say that subsequent events go on indifferently, all the same, as though such things had never been.

I am a creature of my pen. My pen is the best of me.


Tuesday
Apr302019

Barry Unsworth

Nothing a man suffers will prevent him from inflicting suffering on others. Indeed, it will teach him the way.

Money is sacred as everyone knows... So then must be the hunger for it and the means we use to obtain it. Once a man is in debt he becomes a flesh and blood form of money, a walking investment. You can do what you like with him, you can work him to death or you can sell him. This cannot be called cruelty or greed because we are seeking only to recover our investment and that is a sacred duty.

Love does not stand still, as everyone knows; it is always adding to its own shape whether by advance or retreat. Wounds can be absorbed, but only like elements embodied in a story; they are always there, part of the meaning.

A man may go through life and remain ignorant of himself he may think himself as other than he truly is and he may die with this illusion still intact because no circumstance of his life has obliged him to revise it.

But what a man sees still must depend on what he looks for. While I have eyes of my own, I shall not need to borrow yours.

Only way to live here is day by day, same as anywhere.

I knew little of the world, as the Justice had seen, but I knew that we can lose ourselves in the parts we play and if this continues too long we will not find our way back again.


Monday
Apr292019

Roddy Doyle

One day at a time, sweet Jesus. Whoever wrote that one hadn’t a clue. A day is a fuckin’ eternity.

It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no more difference to you than the day.

If there is a heaven, Jane Austen is sitting in a small room with Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, listening to Duran Duran, forever. If there's a hell, she's standing.

To claim that music is more important than oxygen would be trite and sentimental. It would also be true.

Dreaming was only nice while it lasted.

It’s the only thing sexier than a sexy woman. A sexy woman cooking fuckin’ sausages.

She'd tried her hand at most things, but drew the line at honesty.

Fuck was the best word. The most dangerous word. You couldn't whisper it. Fuck was always too loud, too late to stop it, it burst in the air above you and fell slowly right over your head. There was total silence, nothing but Fuck floating down. For a few seconds you were dead, waiting for Henno to look up and see Fuck landing on top of you. They were thrilling seconds-when he didn't look up. It was a word you couldn't say anywhere. It wouldn't come out unless you pushed it. It made you feel caught and grabbed you the minute you said it. When it escaped it was like an electric laugh, a soundless gasp followed by the kind of laughing only forbidden things could make, an inside tickle that became a brilliant pain, bashing at your mouth to be let out. It was agony. We didn't waste it.


Sunday
Apr282019

James Kelman

Ninety-nine per cent of traditional English literature concerns people who never have to worry about money at all. We always seem to be watching or reading about emotional crises among folk who live in a world of great fortune both in matters of luck and money; stories and fantasies about rock stars and film stars, sporting millionaires and models; jet-setting members of the aristocracy and international financiers.

But lassies are trained for it, in a manner of speaking; it's part of the growing-up process for them, young females. It doesn't happen with boys, just if you're a lassie, you've got to learn how not to talk; plus how not to look, you get trained how not to look. How not to look and how not to talk. You get trained how not to do things.

Waiting rooms. Ye go into this room where ye wait. Hoping’s the same. One of these days the cunts’ll build entire fucking buildings just for that. Official hoping rooms, where ye just go in and hope for whatever the fuck ye feel like hoping for.


Saturday
Apr272019

Pat Barker

It's the hardest thing in the world to go on being aware of someone else's pain.

Another person's life, observed from the outside, always has a shape and definition that one's own life lacks.

A society that devours its own young deserves no automatic or unquestioning allegiance.

Murder is only killing in the wrong place.

Half the world's work's done by hopeless neurotics.

Sometimes, in the trenches, you get the sense of something, ancient. One trench we held, it had skulls in the side, embedded, like mushrooms. It was actually easier to believe they were men from Marlborough's army, than to think they'd been alive a year ago. It was as if all the other wars had distilled themselves into this war, and that made it something you almost can't challenge. It's like a very deep voice, saying; 'Run along, little man, be glad you've survived.

You know you're walking around with a mask on, and you desperately want to take it off and you can't because everybody else thinks it's your face.


Friday
Apr262019

Graham Swift

How quick and rushing life can sometimes seem, when at the same time it's so slow and sweet and everlasting.

What we wish upon the future is very often the image of some lost, imagined past.

That's the way it is: life includes a lot of empty space. We are one-tenth living tissue, nine-tenths water; life is one-tenth Here and Now, nine-tenths a history lesson. For most of the time the Here and Now is neither now nor here.

Why is it that every so often history demands a bloodbath, a holocaust, an Armageddon? And why is it that every time the time before has taught us nothing?

There has always been, for me, this other world, this second world to fall back on--a more reliable world in so far as it does not hide that its premise is illusion.

And I didn't know I loved her till I'd dreamt of her. I didn't know it was the real thing until an illusion had signalled it.

When people aren't expecting to be seen, they look their truest.

Realism; fatalism; phlegm. To live in the Fens is to receive strong doses of reality. The great flat monotony of reality; the wide empty space of reality. Melancholia and self-murder are not unknown in the Fens. Heavy drinking, madness and sudden acts of violence are not uncommon. How do you surmount reality, children? How do you acquire, in a flat country, the tonic of elevated feelings?


Thursday
Apr252019

Ian McEwan

When it's gone, you'll know what a gift love was. You'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.

A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.

It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.

It was always the view of my parents...that hot weather encouraged loose morals among young people

The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. 

This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.

Find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.

And though you think the world is at your feet, it can rise up and tread on you.

A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it.

Wednesday
Apr242019

Peter Carey

To know you will be lonely is not the same as being lonely.

You could not tell a story like this. A story like this you could only feel.

People do not love those whose eyes show that they are somewhere else.

If you ever read one of my books I hope you'll think it looks so easy. In fact, I wrote those chapters 20 times over, and over, and over, and that if you want to write at a good level, you'll have to do that too.

I have traveled widely. I have seen this country in its infancy. I tell you what it will become. The public squares will be occupied by an uneducated class who will not be able to quote a line of Shakespeare.

Oh, we were a degree or two hotter than improper.

I had known loneliness before, and emptiness upon the moor, but I had never been a NOTHING, a nothing floating on a nothing, known by nothing, lonelier and colder than the space between the stars. It was more frightening than being dead.

She understood as women often do more easily than men, that the declared meaning of a spoken sentence is only its overcoat, and the real meaning lies underneath its scarves and buttons.

Swimming always cleans your soul.


Tuesday
Apr232019

D. B. C. Pierre

The problem with learning the truth about things is that you lose the confidence that comes from being dumb.

I sense a learning: that much dumber people than you end up in charge.

God knows I tried my best to learn the ways of this world, even had inklings we could be glorious; but after all that's happened, the inkles ain't easy anymore. I mean - what kind of fucken life is this?

She said Mom closed up the house one day, turned the oven on full, and sat by its open door. Apparently it's still a Cry For Help, even though our oven's electric.

History's best thinkers eventually concluded that our flaws were too powerful to trust with freedom. Thus we've been groomed as hamsters in a wheel that benefits a laughing few. No more great works will be accomplished under the regime, because beauty is not democratic or profitable.

Don’t be lookin up at no sky for help. Look down here, at us twisted dreamers.

For all the sirens, game-show buzzers, and drum-rolls of life, it is the nature of men to die quietly.

What I'am learning is the world laughs through its ass every day, then just lies double-time when shit goes down. It's like we're on a Pritikin diet of fucken lies. I mean - what kind of fucken life is this?