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#1062783 - Tue Sep 02 2014 12:17 PM Passages that stay with you
trident Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Feb 20 2005
Posts: 2998
Loc: Wisconsin USA
I generally detest inspirational quotes, but I love reading a book and finding a passage that really makes you think. I thought it would be nice to post some passages from books that you have found thought-provoking, interesting, or maybe even just written beautifully.

Here are a few that I found in one of my favorite books "White Noise" by Don DeLillo:

Quote:
He'd once told me that the art of getting ahead in New York was based on learning how to express dissatisfaction in an interesting way. The air was full of rage and complaint. People had no tolerance for your particular hardship unless you knew how to entertain them with it.


Quote:
When I read obituaries I always note the age of the deceased. Automatically I relate this figure to my own age. Four years to go, I think. Nine more years. Two years and I'm dead. The power of numbers is never more evident than when we use them to speculate on the time of our dying.


Quote:
Snow blew out of the woods in eddies and sweeping gusts. I raised my collar, put my gloves back on. When the air was still again, I walked among the stones, trying to read the names and dates, adjusting the flags to make them swing free. Then I stood and listened.

The power of the dead is that we think they see us all the time. The dead have a presence. Is there a level of energy composed solely of the dead? They are also in the ground, of course, asleep and crumbling. Perhaps we are what they dream.


Edited by trident (Tue Sep 02 2014 12:18 PM)
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#1062834 - Tue Sep 02 2014 05:02 PM Re: Passages that stay with you
Chavs Offline
Prolific

Registered: Fri Jul 15 2011
Posts: 1144
Loc: Ireland
A well-known passage, I am sure, from "The Velveteen Rabbit". Two toys talking together...

Quote:
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

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#1062838 - Tue Sep 02 2014 05:17 PM Re: Passages that stay with you
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12426
Loc: Kowloon Tong  Hong Kong      
Aww Chavs! That's the bit I always cry at!
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Wandering aimlessly through FT since 1999.

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#1063889 - Tue Sep 09 2014 01:18 PM Re: Passages that stay with you
Jakeroo Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2064
Loc: Alberta Canada
(looks for a kleenex for the wabbit quotation).

From "Charlotte's Web"

"'Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.'

'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.'"


Edited by Jakeroo (Tue Sep 09 2014 01:18 PM)
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#1064542 - Sat Sep 13 2014 10:30 AM Re: Passages that stay with you
trident Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Feb 20 2005
Posts: 2998
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Wish there were a like button for that one, Jakeroo.


Edited by trident (Sat Sep 13 2014 10:38 AM)
_________________________
Perception is everything.

Editor: World and General

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#1088085 - Sun Mar 22 2015 10:01 AM Re: Passages that stay with you
tjoebigham Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Dec 25 1999
Posts: 2824
Loc: Fairhaven Massachusetts USA   
Here's a really memorable passage, from Chapter 12 of John D. MacDonald's 1954 opus, All These Condemned:

"And then the night got bigger and blacker. The hills got older. The sky got farther away. The lake got deeper and darker. I shivered. You live in a place full of light bulbs and chrome and rare fillets and box-top contests. But when you die, you die in a place of mountains and sky, earth and fire, stars and the sea. I felt tiny as hell. I didn't like the feeling. I felt like a pasteboard man on a dock somebody built with a toy kit, looking at the real world for the first time."

It puts you in mind of that famous passage from Chandler's first novel, where Marlowe says it doesn't matter where you die, "...you were sleeping the big sleep...".

(I bought a copy of the MacDonald book for my past birthday)


tjoeb};>

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#1088128 - Sun Mar 22 2015 03:17 PM Re: Passages that stay with you
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14969
Loc: Western Canada
I love those old John D paperback originals - really gritty, and some of them just excellent.

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#1088159 - Mon Mar 23 2015 12:30 AM Re: Passages that stay with you
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Here's a passage in the book my son is reading for school. It's called "Millions" by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The kid is having a tough life having lost his Mum and having trouble with school work and when your heart breaks for the boy it makes you laugh out loud.

"It was my turn to wash up and Anthony's to put away. Dad was supposed to be doing the floor, but when I came back into the dining room to make sure we hadn't missed any dishes, he was reading the letter again. He put it away as I came in, but I saw that one of the pages was yellow and it said 'Special Assessment'. I thought, 'Special', that's pretty good."

smile

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