"The unseen is the obscurity of infinitude, and nothing is more alluring. In that sombre vastness fires flash, and furrow and color the abyss with fancies like those of Martin."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"The strong man forgives, but the poet whines."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Most men confound happiness with the means that lead to it; money in their eyes is the chief element of happiness."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"And swift, and swift beyond conceiving,"

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, translated by Bayard Taylor (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"…no one asks the soldier in battle whether or not he has already found the symbol of his death or some knowledge of it; if the arrow strikes, he must die; regardless of knowing or not knowing he has to fulfill his duty"

— Hermann Broch, Death of Virgil (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"They belong to only one class,—the class of those that cannot be classified."

— Ivan Panin, Lectures on Russian Literature Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenef, Tolstoy  (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Intellectual activity is incompatible with any large amount of bodily exercise. The yeoman and the scholar—the yeoman and the man of finest moral culture, though not the man of sturdiest sense and integrity—are two distinct individuals, and can never be melted or welded into one substance."

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"There have been more wicked thoughts in my head within the last hour than for the whole two years that I have been an honest man."

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanshawe (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"You’ve got so many days to live and you sell them one after another. Hey? Who can pay me enough for my life? Ay! But they throw at you your week’s money and expect you to say ‘thank you’ before you pick it up."

— Joseph Conrad, Victory (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

""That’s a curious fact," said Davidson. His head being full of Heyst, it occurred to him that she might be aware of other facts. This was a very amazing discovery to anyone who looked at Mrs. Schomberg. Nobody had ever suspected her of having a mind. I mean even a little of it, I mean any at all. One was inclined to think of her as an It—an automaton, a very plain dummy, with an arrangement for bowing the head at times and smiling stupidly now and then."

— Joseph Conrad, Victory (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing."

— Charlotte Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Nobody should pretend to be always one hundred per cent honest. I wish I knew how to be seventy, sixty per cent."

— Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Laughter! counseled Rabelais. For all your ills laughter! Jesus but it’s hard to take his sane, gay wisdom after all the quack medicines we’ve poured down our throats. How can one laugh when the lining is worn off his stomach? How can one laugh after all the misery they’ve poisoned us with, the whey-faced, lantern-jawed, sad, suffering, solemn, serious, seraphic spirits? I understand the treachery that inspired them. I forgive them their genius. But it’s hard to free oneself from all the sorrow they’ve created."

— Henry Miller, Black Spring (via talesofpassingtime)

"And don’t go taking that gospel stuff seriously, It’s nice to clean you out now and then, but it ain’t for real. It’s like bad whiskey. Run through you fast and leave you with a pain’ll lay you down."

— Dorothy Allison, Gospel Song, Trash (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"With her fork she would tantalize the heart of an adoring artichoke, while her escort served himself up in the thick, dripping sentences of an enraptured man."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)