"If a drunkard in a sober fit is the dullest of mortals, an enthusiast in a reason-fit is not the most lively."

— Herman Melville, The Confidence Man (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"And while she turned it round her lips set themselves firmly together, and it seemed to her that she could satisfy William as these women had satisfied their husbands; she could pretend to like emeralds when she preferred diamonds."

— Virginia Woolf, Night and Day (via talesofpassingtime)

(via talesofpassingtime)

"Poetry is indeed one of the pleasures of life, but it is not life itself."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"There is many a father and many a child — perhaps more fathers than children — who will understand the delights of such an arrival, and that happy fact shows that literature has no need to depict it. Perhaps all gentle and tender emotions are beyond the range of literature."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Every noble sentiment in man is a poem so exclusively individual that his nearest friend, his other self, cares nothing for it."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Good heavens! if we endured the joys or the woes we sing we should be as worn out in three months as a pair of old boots,” said the poet, smiling."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"At this moment the greatest mandarin in China may be yielding up the ghost and putting half the universe in mourning, and what is that to you? The English are killing thousands of people in India more worthy than we are; why, at this very moment while I am speaking to you some ravishing woman is being burned alive, — did that make you care less for your cup of coffee this morning at breakfast?"

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Vanity acts like a woman, — they both think they are defrauded when love or praise is bestowed on others."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Roseman tried to play footsie with her under the table. She was wearing boots, and couldn’t feel much of anything. So, insulated, she decided not to make any fuss."

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

"Nothing is more charming than the peculiar unexpectedness of persons of talent."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"They often went to the same group therapy sessions, in a car pool with a photographer from Palo Alto who thought he was a volleyball."

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

"Men play as many parts to get married as mothers make their daughters play to get rid of them,” said Latournelle."

— Honore de Balzac, Modeste Mignon

"Metzger flashed her a big wry couple rows of teeth. “Looks don’t mean a thing any more,” he said. “I live inside my looks, and I’m never sure. The possibility haunts me.”"

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

"Back in Squamuglia Angelo is trying to muster an army, without success. Desperate, he assembles those flunkies and pretty girls who are left, ritually locks all his exits, has wine brought in, and begins an orgy."

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

"I have a smooth young body," said Miles, "I thought you older chicks went for that."

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49