--Sara Gruen, Water For Elephants
There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of behind except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And . . . in whatever . . . place by whatever . . . name or by no name at all . . . all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.
--Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
There are a great many opinions in this world, and a good half of them are professed by people who have never been in trouble.
--Anton Chekhov, The Mill
Give me a story that just makes me unreasonably vigilant. Keep me up till five only because all your stars are out, and for no other reason.
--J.D. Salinger, Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction
It pains me even now, even a million years later, to write about such human misbehavior. A million years later, I feel like apologizing for the human race. That’s all I can say.
--Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
--Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones