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William Faulkner

He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack. — William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (Harrison Smith, 1930)

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Nikos Kazantzakis

This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a… Continue reading Nikos Kazantzakis

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Clarice Lispector

But after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing more difficult in this world than to surrender completely. This is one of man’s greatest sorrows. ― Clarice Lispector, Selected Cronicas. (New Directions November 17, 1996)

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James Joyce

And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird’s life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird’s heart? ― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young… Continue reading James Joyce

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James Joyce

Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid pleasure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor. — James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics,… Continue reading James Joyce

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Jeffrey Eugenides

It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused. Sitting on the porch, you could feel it: the air wishing it was water. —  Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex. (Picador September 16, 2002)

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John Steinbeck

Time interval is a strange and contradictory matter in the mind. It would be reasonable to suppose that a routine time or an eventless time would seem interminable. It should be so, but it is not. It is the dull eventless times that have no duration whatever. A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy,… Continue reading John Steinbeck

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Milan Kundera

That is the secret of poetry. We burn in the woman we adore, we burn in the thought we espouse, we burn in the landscape that moves us. — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. (Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (April 7, 1999)

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