"‘Look here, old man, I, whom you envy, perhaps — yes, I, who am beginning to get on in the world, as middle-class people say — I, who publish books and earn a little money — well, I am being killed by it all. I have often already told you this, but you don’t believe me, because, as you only turn out work with a deal of trouble and cannot bring yourself to public notice, happiness in your eyes could naturally consist in producing a great deal, in being seen, and praised or slated. Well, get admitted to the next Salon, get into the thick of the battle, paint other pictures, and then tell me whether that suffices, and whether you are happy at last."

— Emile Zola, The Masterpiece (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"He was quite a singer. He knew his Bach oratorios , his Schütz, his Palestrina , his Handel. He had a deep liking for Gregorian chants, with their solemnity that seemed to fit his moods . The music was dark and hopeless, claustrophobic in its range."

— Oscar Hijuelos, Our House in the Last World (via talesofpassingtime)

"I’ve always looked upon a work-girl’s life as the most horrible drudgery; I’d far rather scrub floors. I suppose I’ve a rebellious disposition, and just because sewing is looked upon as a woman’s natural slavery, I rebelled against it."

— George Gissing, The Unclassed (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Dr. Urbino did not agree: in his opinion a Liberal president was exactly the same as a Conservative president, but not as well dressed."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"He was very glad that the instrument used by Divine Providence for that overwhelming revelation had been Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, whom he had always considered a saint unaware of his own state of grace. But when the letter revealed his true identity, his sinister past, his inconceivable powers of deception, he felt that something definitive and irrevocable had occurred in his life."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"He would say: “The toilet must have been invented by someone who knew nothing about men.”"

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"Then, despite all her self-control, she lost her temper with a historic cry: “To hell with the Archbishop!”"

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"The incident, of course, gave them the opportunity to evoke many other trivial quarrels from many other dim and turbulent dawns. Resentments stirred up other resentments, reopened old scars, turned them into fresh wounds, and both were dismayed at the desolating proof that in so many years of conjugal battling they had done little more than nurture their rancor."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"There was no sleeper more elegant than she, with her curved body posed for a dance and her hand across her forehead, but there was also no one more ferocious when anyone disturbed the sensuality of her thinking she was still asleep when she no longer was."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"Life would have been quite another matter for them both if they had learned in time that it was easier to avoid great matrimonial catastrophes than trivial everyday miseries."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"For several years an Amazonian monkey, chained by his waist to the mango tree in the patio, elicited a certain compassion because he had the sorrowful face of Archbishop Obdulio y Rey, the same candid eyes, the same eloquent hands; that, however, was not the reason Fermina got rid of him, but because he had the bad habit of pleasuring himself in honor of the ladies."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

"There is the same world for all of us, and good and evil, sin and innocence, go through it hand in hand.  To shut one’s eyes to half of life that one may live securely is as though one blinded oneself that one might walk with more safety in a land of pit and precipice."

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

"I regret my bad actions.  You regret your good ones - that is the difference between us."

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

"No - what consoles one nowadays is not repentance, but pleasure.  Repentance is quite out of date.  And besides, if a woman really repents, she has to go to a bad dressmaker, otherwise no one believes in her.  And nothing in the world would induce me to do that. "

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

lefleursdemalinov:

Literature is a dialogue between story-tellers that has gone on for about six thousand years. Unless an author knows the conversation thus far, it is nearly impossible for that poorly read author to contribute anything meaningful to the dialogue. Serious writing requires serious reading. All great authors have been great readers.

Tags: literature