--William Faulkner, Light In August
However hard he tried, he could never manage to make himself visible to human eyes and not because he can't, since for him nothing is impossible, it's simply that he wouldn't know what face to wear when introducing himself to the beings he supposedly created and who probably wouldn't recognize him anyway. There are those who say we're very fortunate that god chooses not to appear before us, because compared with the shock we would get were such a thing to happen, our fear of death would be mere child's play. Besides, all the many things that have been said about god and about death are nothing but stories, and this is just another one.
--Jose Saramago, Death With Interruptions
There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I don't believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God--who knows all that can be known--seems powerless to change.
--Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses
There is a shabby nobility in failing all by yourself.
--Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City
Before Summer Rain
Suddenly, from all the green around you,
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence. From the nearby wood
you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour
will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide
away from us, cautiously, as though
they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.
And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
childhood hours when you were so afraid.
--Rainer Maria Rilke