--Dave Eggars, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius
I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.
--Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
Often, the outward and visible material signs and symbols of happiness and success only show themselves when the process of decline has already set in. The outer manifestations take time - like the light of that star up there, which may in reality be already quenched, when it looks to us to be shining its brightest.
--Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline Of A Family
And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn't that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you're less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn't it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you've experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you're seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this.
--Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.
--Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex