--Jose Saramago, Blindness
A knowledge of how to live was a knowledge of how to die.
--Richard Wright, Native Son
I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.
--Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
'You're nice,' Cushie told him, squeezing his hand. 'And you're my oldest friend.' But they both must have known that you can know someone all your life and never quite be friends.
--John Irving, The World According To Garp
There is time, and there is beyond time. History belongs to time, but truth belongs to what is beyond time. In writing of things as they should have been, you are letting truth into history. You are the word of God.
--Philip Pullman, The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ
Even now, as I write this, I can still feel that tightness. And I want you to feel it--the wind coming off the river, the waves, the silence, the wooded frontier. You're at the bow of a boat on the Rainy River. You're twenty-one years old, you're scared, and there's a hard squeezing pressure in your chest.
What would you do?
Would you jump? Would you feel pity for yourself? Would you think about your family and your childhood and your dreams and all you're leaving behind? Would it hurt? Would it feel like dying? Would you cry, as I did?
--Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried