We quickly understood each other and became friendly, because I am not capable of true friendship. — Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time (1841)
Sir Ethelred opened a wide mouth, like a cavern, into which the hooked nose seemed anxious to peer. — Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent (1907)
. . . it seems to them the friendly memories of that year and of their whole long life winged visibly through the transparent blue. Herman Hesse, Beneath the Wheel (1906)
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. — G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)
He grabbed the nickel and legged it away as fast as he could kelter, Molly’s shrill laughing pursuing him as though it ran on feet. — Jack Conroy, A World To Win (1935)
When a man’s overcoat is whiter than flour, why should his shadow be blacker than soot? — Vladimir Korolenko, The Day of Atonement
Not I, old man; nothing that crawls the earth is for my sport. — James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie
“Stop that, Jim, d’yeh hear? Leave yer sister alone on the street. It’s like I can never beat any sense into yer damned wooden head.” — Stephen Crane, Maggie, a Girl of the Streets
It was a torrid morning, hazy, the sky veiled as if with medicinal gauze. — The Church of Solitude by Grazia Deledda
On another small table stood Zuleika’s library. Both books were in covers of dull gold. — Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson (1911)
You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind-legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men. — Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson (1911)
It is not love that is blind, but jealousy. — Lawrence Durrell, Justine (1958)
. . .the shining city of the disinherited—a city now trying softly to spread the sticky prismatic wings of a new-born dragon-fly on the night. — Lawrence Durrell, Clea (1960)
He was a fairly humane man toward slaves and other animals; he was an exceedingly humane man toward the erring of his own race. — Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson
We must make a stand, not for the penny, but for justice. What is dear to us is not our penny, because it’s no rounder than any other penny; it’s only heavier; there’s more human blood in it than in the manager’s ruble. That’s the truth! — Maxim Gorky, Mother (1907)
They’ve turned men into weapons, into sticks and stones, and called it civilization, government! — Maxim Gorky, Mother (1907)
Luka: If you believe—he does. If you don’t—he doesn’t. Whatever you believe in, exists. — Maxim Gorky, Lower Depths (1902)
Our emotional life is shared with the animals; we flatter ourselves that human emotions are so much more complicated than theirs. . .We have to wonder. — Doris Lessing, The Memoirs of a Survivor (1975)
Wow! You are certainly an eclectic reader. I loved some of those. I’ll have to go back and read them again.What is the Doris Lessing book about?
Thanks, Pat. Josh loaned me the Doris Lessing book. It’s a future society where civilization is gradually crumbling. It’s really powerful. You might like it.
These are fantastic! I especially loved the one that talked about Molly’s laugh as though it had feet.
Thanks, Aubrey. (Sorry, I’ve been away for a week and without internet access.)
Some excerpts from the things we read are just too wonderful to let go of. I’ll post some more one of these days.
No worries–sounds good! 🙂