Quotes

Even in the dark, I could sense that she felt the usual estrangement from me when I don't automatically love what she loves.

Seymour Salinger, letter

I'll champion indiscrimination till doomsday, on the ground that it leads to health and a kind of very real, enviable happiness. Followed purely it's the way of the Tao, and undoubtedly the highest way. But for a discriminating man to achieve this, it would mean that he would have to dispossess himself of poetry, go beyond poetry. That is, he couldn't possibly learn or drive himself to like bad poetry in the abstract, let alone equate it with good poetry. He would have to drop poetry altogether.

Seymour Salinger, letter

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet / A pawn and a king

Frank Sinatra, "That's Life"

I'll make a million mistakes

Lin-Manuel Miranda, as Alexander Hamilton

The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid. Mine started to seep through its container as early as the next morning, when M. Yoshoto dropped by at my desk with the envelopes of two new students.

J.D. Salinger, Nine Stories

TYLER: Let’s just say I were to live forever. How bored would I end up, and how do you think about this question?

CALLARD: [laughs] I think it depends on how good of a person you are.

COWEN: And the good people are more or less bored?

CALLARD: Oh, they’re less bored. One thing is that you’re kind of having to live with yourself for a very long time if you’re immortal, or even just live for a couple thousand years, and a bad self, I think, is hard to live with. By bad, I don’t just mean sort of, let’s say, cruel to people or unjust. I also mean not attuned to things of eternal significance.

Agnes Callard, Conversations with Tyler

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

Paul Coelho

For first; is there any principle in all nature more mysterious than the union of soul with body; by which a supposed spiritual substance acquires such an influence over a material one, that the most refined thought is able to actuate the grossest matter?

[...] Here the mind wills a certain event: Immediately another event, unknown to ourselves, and totally different from the one intended, is produced: This event produces another, equally unknown: Till at last, through a long succession, the desired event is produced.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

Again she felt, as a fact without hostility, the sterility of men, for if she did not do it nobody would do it.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Looking at the far sand hills, William Bankes thought of Ramsay: thought of a road in Westmorland, thought of Ramsay striding along a road by himself hung round with that solitude which seemed to be his natural air. But this was suddenly interrupted, William Bankes remembered (and this must refer to some actual incident), by a hen, straddling her wings out in protection of a covey of little chicks, upon which Ramsay, stopping, pointed his stick and said "Pretty—pretty," an odd illumination in to his heart, Bankes had thought it, which showed his simplicity, his sympathy with humble things; but it seemed to him as if their friendship had ceased, there, on that stretch of road. After that, Ramsay had married. After that, what with one thing and another, the pulp had gone out of their friendship. Whose fault it was he could not say, only, after a time, repetition had taken the place of newness. It was to repeat that they met. But in this dumb colloquy with the sand dunes he maintained that his affection for Ramsay had in no way diminished; but there, like the body of a young man laid up in peat for a century, with the red fresh on his lips, was his friendship, in its acuteness and reality, laid up across the bay among the sandhills.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse