i. “If we keep an open mind, too much is likely to fall into it.” (Natalie Clifford Barney)
ii. “The advantage of love at first sight is that it delays a second sight.” (-ll-)
iii. “They used to call it the ‘Great War’. But I’ll be damned if I could tell you what was so ‘great’ about it. They also called it ‘the war to end all wars’…’cause they figured it was so big and awful that the world’d just have to come to its senses and make damn sure we never fought another one ever again.
That woulda been a helluva nice story.
But the truth’s got an ugly way of killin’ nice stories.” (Max Brooks)
iv. “Bromidic though it may sound, some questions don’t have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.” (Katharine Graham)
v. “Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.” (Lillian Hellman)
vi. “Lonely people, in talking to each other can make each other lonelier.” (-ll-)
vii. “When they [Hugh Walpole and Arnold Bennett] had gone, Plum [P. G. Wodehouse] and Guy [Guy Bolton] looked at each other with that glassy expression in their eyes which visiting literary men so often induce. They were feeling a little faint.
‘These authors!’ said Guy […Bolton, the author].
‘One really ought to meet them only in their books’, said Plum.” (quote from the book ‘Bring on the Girls’, written by Wodehouse and Bolton… The humour in this book is delightfully ‘meta’ at times. See also my review of the book here).
viii. “Illness must be considered to be as natural as health.” (William Saroyan)
ix. “An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.” (James Michener)
x. “I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril.” (-ll-)
xi. “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)
xii. “People don’t ever seem to realise that doing what’s right’s no guarantee against misfortune.” (William McFee)
xiii. “If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.” (Thomas De Quincey)
xiv. “In many walks of life, a conscience is a more expensive encumbrance than a wife or a carriage.” (-ll-)
xv. “A promise is binding in the inverse ratio of the numbers to whom it is made.” (-ll-)
xvi. “No safety without risk, and what you risk reveals what you value.” (Jeanette Winterson)
xvii. “When was the last time you looked at anything, solely, and concentratedly, and for its own sake? Ordinary life passes in a near blur. If we go to the theatre or the cinema, the images before us change constantly, and there is the distraction of language. Our loved ones are so well known to us that there is no need to look at them, and one of the gentle jokes of married life is that we do not.” (-ll-)
xviii. “Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.” (Paul Bowles)
xix. “Praise out of season, or tactlessly bestowed, can freeze the heart as much as blame.” (Pearl S. Buck)
xx. “You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.” (-ll-).
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