I shut my eyes, say the word, and I’m back in Italy, so many years ago, walking down the tree-lined driveway, watching him step out of the car, billowy blue shirt, wide-open collar, sunglasses, straw hat, skin everywhere. Suddenly he’s shaking my hand, handing me his backpack, removing his suitcase from the trunk of the cab, asking if my father is home.
– André Aciman, Call My By Your Name
Isn’t life strange? There are people who have so many leftover clothes, they can’t stuff them all in their wardrobe. And then there are people like me, whose socks never match.
– Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It And Other Stories
Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.
– Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
If I have left a wound inside you, it is not just your wound but mine as well. So please try not to hate me. I am a flawed human being – a far more flawed human being than you realize. Which is precisely why I do not want you to hate me. Because if you were to do that, I would really go to pieces. I can’t do what you can do: I can’t slip inside my shell and wait for things to pass. I don’t know for a fact that you are really like that, but sometimes you give me that impression.
– Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
And here comes the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is much safer to be feared than loved because love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.
– Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
The books I read in rapid succession had set up some sort of murmur among themselves, transforming my head into an orchestra pit, where different musical instruments sounded out, and I would realize that I could endure this life because of these musicales going on in my head.
– Orhan Pamuk, The New Life
Featured Image by Ksenia Makagonova
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