"About three weeks later I received an invitation from him for an intimate gathering. I went. Virgília greeted me with these gracious words: “You’re going to waltz with me tonight.” The truth was that I had the reputation of being an eminent waltzer. Don’t be surprised over the fact that she preferred me. We waltzed once and once again. If a book brought on Francesca’s downfall, here it was the waltz that brought on ours. I think I grasped her hand that night with great strength and she left it there, as if forgetful, and I embraced her, and with all eyes on us and on the others who were also embracing and twirling … Delirium."

— Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas

"… At that moment his eyes are fixed on the tip of his nose. The conclusion, therefore, is that there are two capital forces: love, which multiplies the species, and the nose, which subordinates it to the individual. Procreation, equilibrium."

— Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas

"She partly arose, and spoke, in an earnest low whisper, of sounds which she then heard, but which I could not hear—of motions which she then saw, but which I could not perceive."

— Edgar Allen Poe, Ligeia (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"‘And Berlioz, madame, the festival air in “Romeo.” Oh! the solo of the clarionets, the beloved women, with the harp accompaniment! Something enrapturing, something white as snow which ascends! The festival bursts upon you, like a picture by Paul Veronese, with the tumultuous magnificence of the “Marriage of Cana”; and then the love-song begins again, oh, how softly! Oh! always higher! higher still—’"

— Emile Zola, The Masterpiece (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

Literature

talesofpassingtime:

Literature is not a genre. Literature arises when an author tells a story, any story, in a new and interesting way. Writers often study literature because we are trying to discover new story-telling techniques. Literature is not measured by characters or plots, but by structure, poetics and narration.

Sometimes we read fiction that is not literature, to learn other things.

Literature is not better than other fiction. It is not even necessarily the best of a genre of fiction. Literature is simply fiction that is interesting to those who study stories.

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Tags: literature

"Oh, then you have got some friends? So had I when I was your age."

— George Gissing, The Unclassed (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Fair Exteriors oft will hide
Hearts, that swell with lust and pride!"

— Matthew Lewis, The Monk (via talesofpassingtime)

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"Everyone of us dabs his brush into the romantic sauce now and then. We had too much of it in our youth, we floundered in it up to our very chins. We need a jolly good wash to get clear of it.’"

— Emile Zola, The Masterpiece (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Feare is more paine, then is the paine it feares,"

— Sir Philip Sidney, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (via talesofpassingtime)

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"—Of course it’s going to be autobiographical. All books are."

— William Gaddis, The Recognitions (via talesofpassingtime)

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"Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre; remorse is the poison of life."

— Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (via talesofpassingtime)

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"From that moment on I was lost. Virgília compared the eagle to the peacock and chose the eagle, leaving the peacock with his surprise, his spite, and the three or four kisses she’d given him. Maybe five kisses. But even if there’d been ten, they wouldn’t have meant anything. A man’s lip isn’t like the hoof of Atilla’s horse, which sterilized the ground it trod. Quite the opposite."

— Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas

"—What’s tragedy to you is an anecdote to everybody else. We’re comic. We’re all comics. We live in a comic time. And the worse it gets the more comic we are."

— William Gaddis, The Recognitions (via talesofpassingtime)

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"Terrible things can happen when you’re overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed."

— William Goldman, The Princess Bride (via talesofpassingtime)

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"(This was after stew, but so is everything. When the first man first clambered from the slime and made his first home on land, what he had for supper that first night was stew.)"

— William Goldman, The Princess Bride (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)