A writer is first of all a reader. It is from reading that I derive the standards by which I measure my own work and according to which I fall lamentably short.
Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches
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It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right—especially when one is right.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Superficiality is the result of doing away with the vital distinction between concealment and manifestation. It is the manifestation of emptiness, but where mere scope is concerned it wins, because it has the advantage of dazzling people with its brilliant shams. Real manifestation is homogeneous, because it is really profound, whereas superficiality has a varied and ‘omnium gatherum’ appearance. Its love of showing off is the self-admiration of conceit in reflection. The concealment and reserve of inwardness is not given time in which to conceive an essential mystery, which can then be made manifest, but is disturbed long before that time comes and so, as a reward, reflection attracts the gaze of egotism upon its varied shams whenever possible.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Present Age
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“I cannot make speeches, Emma,” he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
Jane Austen, Emma
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But it just happens, every so often, that something very ordinary seems beautiful to me and I’d like it to be eternal. I’d like this bistro, and that dusty light bulb, and that dog dreaming on the marble, and even this night—to be eternal. And their essential quality is precisely that they aren’t.
Raymond Queneau, Witch Grass
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I know why families were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.
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The true and durable path into and through experience involves being true... to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge.
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In youth we’re twofold. Our innate intelligence, which may be considerable, coexists with the stupidity of our inexperience, which forms a second, lesser intelligence. Only later on do the two unite. That’s why youth always blunders – not because of its inexperience, but because of its non-unity.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
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Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can.
Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #2)
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What's meant to be will always find a way.
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
We do not place special value on the possession of a virtue until we notice its total absence in our opponent.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
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None has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety, and no spy knows how to attack more artfully the man he suspects, choosing the instant when he is weakest, nor knows how to lay traps where he will be caught and ensnared, as anxiety knows how, and no sharp-witted judge knows how to interrogate, to examine the accused as anxiety does, which never lets him escape, neither by diversion nor by noise, neither at work nor at play, neither by day nor at night.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety
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🍂 "É importante que você cumpra as promessas que me faz." • (It is important that you keep your promises to me.)
🍂 "Lamento cada passo que dou e não me leva para mais perto de você." • (I'm sorry for every step I take and it doesn't take me any closer to you.)
🍂 "Ame-me por quem eu sou como eu a amo por quem você é… e o nosso laço durará até as estrelas perderem o brilho." • (Love me for who I am as I love you for who you are… and our bond will last until the stars lose their shine.)
🍂 Uma Noiva para Winterborne • (Marrying Winterborne)
What would happen if you did just shut a door and stop speaking? Hour after hour after hour of no words. Would you speak to yourself? Would words just stop being useful? Would you lose language altogether? Or would words mean more, would they start to mean in every direction, all somersault and assault, like a thuggery of fireworks? Would they proliferate, like untended plantlife? Would the inside of your head overgrow with every word that has ever come into it, every word that has ever silently taken seed or fallen dormant? Would your own silence make other things noisier? Would all the things you’d ever forgotten, all layered there inside you, come bouldering up and avalanche you?
Ali Smith, There but for the
She was of such wondrous beauty that they placed her behind the screens like a princess, and allowed no one to see her, waiting upon her themselves. It seemed as if she were made of light, for the house was filled with a soft shining, so that even in the dark of night it was like daytime. Her presence seemed to have a benign influence on those there. Whenever the old man felt sad, he had only to look upon his foster-daughter and his sorrow vanished, and he became as happy as when he was a youth.
The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon-Child
Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.
Anaïs Nin in a diary entry Oct. 18, 1936
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