--Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
His decision had been made in the valley, and it lay as an iron warp in his mind. He could have turned back no more easily than he could have killed himself.
--Norman Mailer, The Naked And The Dead
You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
--Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Have you noticed that only in time of illness or disaster or death are people real? I remember at the time of the wreck-- people were so kind and helpful and solid. Everyone pretended that our lives until that moment had been every bit as real as the moment itself and that the future must be real too, when the truth was that our reality had been purchased only by Lyell's death. In another hour or so we had all faded out again and gone our dim ways.
--Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
They talked on into the early morning, the high, pale cast of light in the windows, and they did not think of leaving.
--Raymond Carver, Cathedral
Who says that all must vanish?
Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.
It isn't the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor —from breast to knees--
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you.
--Rainer Maria Rilke