--Jack Kerouac, On The Road
I remember one morning getting up at dawn. There was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling. And I... I remember thinking to myself: So this is the beginning of happiness, this is where it starts. And of course there will always be more...never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment, right then
--Michael Cunningham, The Hours
In Madeleine's face was a stupidity Mitchell had never seen before. It was the stupidity of all normal people. It was the stupidity of the fortunate and the beautiful, of everybody who got what they wanted in life and so remained unremarkable.
--Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.
--Betty Smith, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Against my better judgment I feel certain that somewhere very near here—the first house down the road, maybe—there's a good poet dying, but also somewhere very near here somebody's having a hilarious pint of pus taken from her lovely young body, and I can't be running back and forth forever between grief and high delight.
--J.D. Salinger, Franny And Zooey