"When I looked at the painting I felt the same convergence on a single point: a glancing sun-struck instance that existed now and forever. Only occasionally did I notice the chain on the finch’s ankle, or think what a cruel life for a little living creature—fluttering briefly, forced always to land in the same hopeless place."

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

(S.C.Z. - Tarvisio)

"Out of the day and night

A joy has taken flight:

Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar

Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight

No more -Oh, never more!”

from A Lament, Percy Bysshe Shelley

(S.C.Z. - Tarvisio)

"You must excuse me if I say stupid things, but my brain has gone to pieces. Part of it lives three minutes back, when I was sure that you loved me, and the other part — I find it difficult — I am likely to say the wrong thing."

E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

(S.C.Z.)

“She was as one who, in madness, was resolute to throw herself from a precipice, but to whom some remnant of sanity remained which forced her to seek those who would save her from herself.” 

Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?

(S.C.Z.)

"If it is so painful to love and to be charged with this electric current, how much more painful must it be to a woman and to be the current, and to inspire love."

Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

(S.C.Z.)

"Why does almost everything seem to me like its own parody? Why must I think that almost all, no, all the methods and conventions of art today are good for parody only?"

from Doctor Faustus (1947) by Thomas Mann

(S.C.Z.)

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anaïs Nin

(S.C.Z.)

“They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.” 

from Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

(S.C.Z.)

"The power of books, this marvelous invention of astute human intelligence. Various signs associated with sound: different sounds that form the word. Juxtaposition of words from which springs the idea, Thought, History, Science, Life. Sole instrument of interrelationship and of culture, unparalleled means of giving and receiving. Books knit generations together in the same continuing effort that leads to progress. They enabled you to better yourself. What society refused you, they granted…"

So Long a Letter, Mariama Bâ

(S.C.Z.)

"To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the center of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world—such are a few of the slightest pleasures of those independent, passionate, impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define."

The Painter of Modern Lige, Charles Baudelaire

(S.C.Z.)

"I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one… Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil… There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?"

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

(S.C.Z.)

"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization that everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself."

The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

(S.C.Z.)

“ … I felt that I was touching no more than the sealed envelope of a person who inwardly reached to infinity.”

The Captive: Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust

(S.C.Z.)

"…there is music even in the beauty and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument; for there is a music wherever there is harmony, order, or proportion; and thus far we may maintain the music of the spheres…"

Religio Medici, Thomas Browne

(S.C.Z.)

"…there is music even in the beauty and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument; for there is a music wherever there is harmony, order, or proportion; and thus far we may maintain the music of the spheres…"

Religio Medici, Thomas Browne

(S.C.Z. - Tarvisio)