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Thread: Quotes from books that have lit you up

  1. #16
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    the tomorrow + tomorrow/sound + fury soliloquy from Macbeth, of course

    also Marlowe's "But that was in another country/and besides, the wench is dead"

    the "deserts of vast eternity line" from To His Coy Mistress has for whatever reason always stuck with me

  2. #17
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    This quote from a biography of Alexander the Great I read awhile back, describing prominent Greeks traveling to the Macedonian court for the wedding of Alexander's father Phillip (where Phillip would very famously be publicly murdered, likely at the behest of Alexander's mother for a complicated mix of personal/political reasons)

    "they would have seen no further into this land which they knew for its silver-fir forests, free-ranging horses, and kings who broke their word and never died a peaceful death"

    idk I think the combination of silver-fir forests and perfidious, precariously violent kings
    Last edited by padraig (u.s.); 14-10-2018 at 05:02 AM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    “It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice”
    recently read James Ellroy's L.A. Quartet and this is the epigraph of one of the books. The Big Nowhere I think, tho I'd have to check to be sure.

  4. #19
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    there is an astounding passage in The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, describing 1st-hand the conquistadors first sight of Tenochtitlan rising out of the mist

    it reads better in Spanish but this still gets it across

    "And when we saw all those cities and villages built in the water, and other great towns on dry land, and that straight and level causeway leading to Mexico (i.e. Tenochtitlán), we were astounded. These great towns and temples and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision from the tale of Amadis. Indeed, some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream. It is not surprising therefore that I should write in this vein. It was all so wonderful that I do not know how to describe this first glimpse of things never heard of, seen or dreamed of before..."

    you have to imagine these basically yokels - conquistadors were largely sons of minor gentry from dusty backwaters like Extremadura, the kind of people who'd travel into the unknown seeking fortune, and their retinues - coming on possibly the greatest city on Earth at that point, at (to them) the very edge of the world.

  5. #20
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    there are also some very gnarly passages later on about them entering into a conquered, devastated Tenochtitlan after they'd defeated the Aztecs in an apocalyptic war

    I'm talking rubble, piles of dead bodies, pack of feral dogs, survivors of plague and siege shuffling out hollow-eyed past the death of their civilization

    granted the Aztecs were pretty unpleasant themselves in many ways, but still, like touring Sodom after God smote it with brimstone etc

  6. #21
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    As the circumstances around you change and develop, if you don’t change and develop, you get stuck. You get left behind with yourself. You find that you’re in the company of somebody who’s not any longer very interesting. You maintain a kind of dummy interest by simply performing similar antics.
    prynne again.
    very important this particularly as you enter middle age. the world has a tendency to move on without you unless you are very vigilant and strict with yourself.

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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    prynne again.
    very important this particularly as you enter middle age. the world has a tendency to move on without you unless you are very vigilant and strict with yourself.
    I feel like this is happening to me already, and I'm 33.

    Your personality is formed as a sort of protection against anxiety, it becomes as thick as a cocoon.

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  10. #23
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    I've felt like this a long time really. I suppose some ppl come up against their limitations earlier.

    It's why Wild Strawberries is my favourite film that hasn't got superheroes or talking animals in it.

  11. #24
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    theyre actually not limitations. it just means none of this stuff comes easily. you have to engage fail, try again, keep looking for the entry points. it's a case of getting inside not standing outside looking at it and wondering what the fuss is about. environments are for living in.

  12. #25
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    everything opens up if you direct your energy into it. but it's up to you.

  13. #26
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    Yeah I mean more like the defensive walls you've erected around your vulnerability, the force-field you've put up to keep emotion out, which becomes a prison.

    It all makes sense, when you're a child and growing up particulary life is like an emotional minefield.

    I'm talking about myself. Many people seek out adventure, danger, risk, on a daily basis. Which comes with its own costs ofc.

    This all translates into the intellectual sphere too. There are ideas I instinctively shy away from as threatening to my sense of stability.

  14. #27
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    all of us who have been in toxic environments round toxic people have had that problem. we make a fortress for self-preservation, and it's absolutely essential. we wouldnt have survived without it but then nothing can get in. like you say, we're walled up in there. we've kept some part of ourselves inviolate and unreachable but when the situation changes and we are safe we have to learn to open up again. it's not easy.

  15. #28
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    Joyce and Pynchon. There seems to be something on every page with those two.

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