--Stephen King, The Body
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that's not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It's hard and painful for you to talk about these things ... and then people just look at you strangely. They haven't understood what you've said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it.
--Stephen King, The Body
I am grateful for all those dark years, even though in retrospect they seem like a long, bitter prayer that was answered finally.
--Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
But see that you get on. That's your job in this hard world, to keep your love alive and see that you get on, no matter what. Pull your act together and just go on.
--Stephen King, The Shining
Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.
--F.Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is The NIght
Did you ever have a sister? did you?
--William Faulkner, The Sound And The Fury
What could a child know of the darkness of God's plan? Or how flesh is so frail it is hardly more than a dream?
--Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
Actually, orcas aren't quite as complex as scientists imagine. Most killer whales are just four tons of doofus dressed up like a police car.
--Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings
I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.
--John Steinbeck, East Of Eden
I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?
--Stephen King, The Body
Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into the nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.
--Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel
'The thing is to be happy,' he said. 'No matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It's nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn't believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, you're just there, going along easy in the world.'
--Alice Munro, Dear Life: Stories
Life is such unutterable hell, solely because it is sometimes beautiful. If we could only be miserable all the time, if there could be no such things as love or beauty or faith or hope, if I could be absolutely certain that my love would never be returned: how much more simple life would be. One could plod through the Siberian salt mines of existence without being bothered about happiness. Unfortunately the happiness is there. There is always the chance (about eight hundred and fifty to one) that another heart will come to mine. I can't help hoping, and keeping faith, and loving beauty. Quite frequently I am not so miserable as it would be wise to be.
--T.H. White, Grim and Gruesome
It wasn't that he believed in religion, or a God, or an afterlife. He just knew it was impossible to feel this much love and for it to end.
--Kate Atkinson, Case Histories
He woke with a start. It was cold, but not so cold. He had never slept before on these vigils, but he was old, not quite finished, but nearly finished. He thought of all those that were suffering, of Gertrude the weak and foolish one, of the people of Shanty Town and Alexandra, of his wife now at this moment. But above all of his son, Absalom. Would he be awake, would he be able to sleep, this night before the morning? He cried out, My son, my son, my son.
With his crying he was now fully awake, and he looked at his watch and saw that it was one o'clock. The sun would rise soon after five, and it was then it was done, they said. If the boy was asleep, then let him sleep, it was better. But if he was awake, then oh Christ of the abundant mercy, be with him. Over this he prayed long and earnestly.
Would his wife be awake, and thinking of it? She would have come with him, were it not for the girl. And the girl, why, he had forgotten her. But she was no doubt asleep; she was loving enough, but this husband had given her so little, no more than her others had done.
And there was Jarvis, bereaved of his wife and his son, and his daughter-in-law bereaved of her husband, and her children bereaved of their father, especially the small boy, the bright laughing boy. The small boy stood there before his eyes, and he said to Kumalo, When I go, something bright will go out of Ndotsheni. Yes, I see, he said. Yes, I see. He was not shy or ashamed, but he said, Yes, I see, and laughed with his pleasure.
And now for all the people of Africa, the beloved country. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, God save Africa. But he would not see that salvation. It lay afar off, because men were afraid of it. Because, to tell the truth, they were afraid of him, and his wife, and Msimangu, and the young demonstrator. And what was there evil in their desires, in their hunger? That men should walk upright in the land where they were born, and be free to use the fruits of the earth, what was there evil in it? Yet men were afraid, with a fear that was deep, deep in the heart, a fear so deep that they hid their kindness, or brought it out with fierceness and anger, and hid it behind fierce and frowning eyes. They were afraid because they were so few. And such fear could not be cast out, but by love.
It was Msimangu who had said, Msimangu who had no hate for any man, I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating.
Oh, the grave and the somber words.
--Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
Mind is the Maker, for no reason at all, for all this creation, created to fall.
--Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
The good thing about being old, is you don’t have to worry about dying young.
--Stephen King, Doctor Sleep
But he said, in substance, to himself that if the earth and moon were about to clash, many persons would doubtless plan to get upon the roofs to witness the collision.
--Stephen Crane, The Red Badge Of Courage
She conceived of life as a road down which one traveled, an easy enough road through a broad country, and that one's destination was there from the very beginning, a measured distance away, standing in the ordinary light like some plain house where one went in and was greeted by respectable people and was shown to a room where everything one had ever lost or put aside was gathered together, waiting.
--Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.
--Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.
--Stephen King, Different Seasons
Child, it's a very bad thing for a woman to face the worst that can happen to her, because after she's faced the worst she can't ever really fear anything again.
--Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind
Have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.
--Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?
--James Joyce, The Dead
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
--Ken Kesey, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
You are a pearl of great price to me, but there are times when you are an almighty trial to those who love you.
--Charles Portis, True Grit
Nothing commonplace about The Common Place.