"He is thinking about asymmetry. This is a world, he is thinking, where you can lie in bed, listening to a song as you dream about someone you love, and your feelings and the music will resonate so powerfully and completely that it seems impossible that the beloved, whoever and wherever he or she might be, should not know, should not pick up this signal as it pulsates from your heart, as if you and the music and the love and the whole universe have merged into one force that can be chanelled out into the darkness to bring them this message. But, in actuality, not only will he or she not know, there is nothing to stop that other person from lying on his or her bed at the exact moment listening to the exact same song and thinking about someone else entirely-from aiming those identical feelings in some completely opposite direction, at some totally other person, who may in turn be lying in the dark thinking of another person still, a fourth, who is thinking of a fifth, and so on, and so on, so that rather than a universe of neatly reciprocating pairs, love and love-returned fluttering through space nicely and symmetrically like so many pairs of butterfly wings, instead we get chains of yearning, which sprawl and meander and culminate in an infinite number of dead ends."
"We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
#Dead Poets Society
"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
"There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges."
"…when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel."
Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude
#Too Loud a Solitude
"Stories were different, though. They came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by torchlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in this world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to Earth, or notes of a song, laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring them into being. They lay dormant, hoping for a chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life."
#The Book of Lost Things
"Suddenly, all at once, she knows, knows that he doesn’t understand her, that he never will, that he lacks the power to understand such perverseness. And that he can never move fast enough to catch her."
"To be mad is to feel with excruciating intensity the sadness and joy of a time which has not arrived or has already been. And to protect their delicate vision of that other time, madmen will justify their condition with touching loyalty, and surround it with a thousand distractive schemes. These schemes, in turn, drive them deeper and deeper into the darkness and light (which is their mortification and their reward), and confront them with a choice. They may either slacken and fall back, accepting the relief of a rational view and the approval of others, or they may push on, and, by falling, arise. When and if by their unforgivable stubbornness they finally burst through to worlds upon worlds of motionless light, they are no longer called afflicted or insane. They are called saints."