Quotes of Note

“It may well be that no educated English-speaking person goes more than (at most) a few hours without using one or more words coined by Shakespeare, almost certainly without knowing it.” – Brenda James, The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare

“Last year I almost resolved to become less sentimental about books.  Then I was saved at the 11th hour by a friend who confessed to me in a drunken state at a New Year’s Eve party that her book collection is organized according to which ones she thinks would get on with each other in ‘real life.’  You know, if they were human.  So Portnoy’s Complaint is at the opposite end of the room from Pride and Prejudice, because ‘he’ would bully ‘her.’  Forever Amber is next to Anya Seaton’s Katherine ‘obviously,’ and The Pilgrims Progress is within hailing distance of His Dark Materials because, although they would be in disagreement over many things, she thinks they would find their conversations mutually rewarding.  Not the authors: the books.” – Lucy Mangan, “2008 – The Year I’m Gonna Get Cultured” (2007)

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit.  Genius hits a target no one else can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul.  If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more.  If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again.  If I knew this is the last time I would see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.” – Gabriel Garcia Márquez

“The only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings is, that those who read them should be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and the joys of those who differ from themselves in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring, human creatures.” – George Eliot

“There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham

“Still, it pulls us up short to come on writing we once thought splendid – crucial – and find it dull, badly dated, silly even.  A measure of our growth maybe, but unsettling, too.  Who were we when we raved about this?” – David Long

“There is nothing like books – of all things sold incomparably the cheapest, of all pleasures the least palling, they take up little room, keep quiet when they are not wanted, and when taken up, bring us face to face with the choicest men who have ever lived, at their choicest moments.” – Samuel Palmer

“To know Dante and the Comedia [The Divine Comedy] only through Inferno [The Inferno – the first of The Divine Comedy’s three parts] is like knowing the city of Paris only through its sewer system.” – Dorothy L. Sayers (author and translator of Dante’s The Divine Comedy) [Note: She’s not saying that we should not read The Inferno, she’s saying that we should not stop there.]

“Sometimes I think that the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – Bill Watterson

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