Quotes I’ve Loved, Last Half of 2013

“Within me are the dark immemorial forces of the Evil One, human and pre-human; within me too are the luminous forces, human and pre-human, of God–and my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“Man is a frontier, the place where earth stops and heaven begins. But this frontier never ceases to transport itself and advance toward heaven.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“When you find yourselves in front of a beloved tomb, do not begin to weep. Keep ever in your minds this great consolation: Death is the door to immortality; there is no other door. Your beloved did not die–he became immortal.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“When the soul is willing, the body doesn’t mean a thing. All becomes soul, even the club in your hand, the coat on your back, the stones you walk over–all, all!”
– Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“I don’t want to die. I don’t want to become immortal. Let me continue to live on the earth, and afterward, turn me into ashes.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“He could control her destiny now that she was dead, offer her the experiences she would have wanted, and provide drama for a life which had been so cruelly shortened. He wondered if this had happened to other writers who came before him, if Hawthorne or George Eliot had written to make the dead come back to life, had worked all day and all night, like a magician or an alchemist, defying fate and time and all the implacable elements to re-create a sacred life.”
– Colm Toibin, The Master

“He allowed himself to love these streets, as though they were a poem he had once memorized, and the years when he had first seen these colors and stones and studied these faces seemed a rich and valuable part of what he was now.”
– Colm Toibin, The Master

“‘The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.’
‘I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.’
He turned. ‘You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.'”
– John Fowles, The Magus

“Nothing is stranger or more ticklish than a relationship between people who know each other only by sight.”
– Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

“Things somehow seem more real and vivid when one can apply somebody else’s ready-made phrase about them.”
Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

“Only love one person utterly and all the others will seem lovable too.”
– J.W. von Goethe, Elective Affinities

“When we see the many gravestones sinking down or being worn away by the feet of churchgoers and even churches themselves fallen in on their memorial stones, still life after death may seem a second life into which we enter as a picture with its caption and dwell there longer than in our real and living lives. But then that picture too, that second existence, fades sooner or later. As over people, so over monuments, Time maintains its rights.”
– J.W. von Goethe, Elective Affinities

“Few people are capable of concerning themselves with the most recent past. Either the present holds us violently captive, or we lose ourselves in the distant past and strive with might and main to recall and restore what is irrevocably lost.”
– J.W. von Goethe, Elective Affinities


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