--James Joyce, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man
What a lousy earth! He wondered how many people were destitute that same night even in his own prosperous country, how many homes were shanties, how many husbands were drunk and wives socked, and how many children were bullied, abused, or abandoned. How many families hungered for food they could not afford to buy? How many hearts were broken? How many suicides would take place that same night, how many people would go insane? How many cockroaches and landlords would triumph? How many winners were losers, successes failures, and rich men poor men? How many wise guys were stupid? How many happy endings were unhappy endings? How many honest men were liars, brave men cowards, loyal men traitors, how many sainted men were corrupt, how many people in positions of trust had sold their souls to bodyguards, how many had never had souls? How many straight-and-narrow paths were crooked paths? How many best families were worst families and how many good people were bad people? When you added them all up and then subtracted, you might be left with only the children, and perhaps with Albert Einstein and an old violinist or sculptor somewhere.
--Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Let all the poison that lurks in the mud, hatch out.
--Robert Graves, I, Claudius
She turned; she bruised under her heel the scaly head of this dark suspicion-as terrifying to her as his guilt was to him. 'O Absalom, my Absalom! Come, come, we will not entertain such a thought. God himself would not urge it upon a mother.'
--Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy
They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate.
--William Golding, Lord Of The Flies
The old man smiled. 'I shall not die of a cold, my son. I shall die of having lived.'
--Willa Cather, Death Comes For The Archbishop