This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books”. Which is a little bit hard, because I don’t really keep track of quotes. But there are some that stick with me — maybe not inspiring, so much, but defining.
- “Only the margin left to write on now. I love you, I love you, I love you.” (I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith.)
- “If you marry a man like that and live his life, then I agree. You may not really want to hurt people, but you will.”
“That is hateful. Hateful! To say it that way. That I haven’t any choice, that I have to hurt people, that it doesn’t even matter what I want.”
“Of course it matters, what you want.”
“It doesn’t. That’s the whole point.”
“It does. And that’s the whole point. You choose. You choose whether or not to make choices.”
(The Eye of the Heron, Ursula Le Guin.)
- Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight
On the empty sky.
(A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin.)
- “For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you.” (Silver on the Tree, Susan Cooper.)
- “The Jewish sages also tell us that God dances when His children defeat Him in argument, when they stand on their feet and use their minds. So questions like Anne’s are worth asking. To ask them is a very fine kind of human behavior. If we keep demanding that God yield up His answers, perhaps some day we will understand them. And then we will be something more than clever apes, and we shall dance with God.” (The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell.)
- “Lord, if I thought you were listening, I’d pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn, but only forgive. That it should be not like a palace with marble walls and polished floors, and guards standing at the door, but like a tree with its roots deep in the soil, that shelters every kind of bird and beast and gives blossom in the spring and shade in the hot sun and fruit in the season, and in time gives up its good sound wood for the carpenter; but that sheds many thousands of seeds so that new trees can grow in its place. Does the tree say to the sparrow, ‘Get out, you don’t belong here?’ Does the tree say to the hungry man, ‘This fruit is not for you?’ Does the tree test the loyalty of the beasts before it allows them into the shade?” (The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, Philip Pullman.)
- “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” (On the Road, Jack Kerouac.)
- “It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” (Among Others, Jo Walton.)
- “Scars are not injuries, Tanner Sack. A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.” (The Scar, China Miéville.)
- “That’s how you get deathless, volchitsa. Walk the same tale over and over, until you wear a groove in the world, until even if you vanished, the tale would keep turning, keep playing, like a phonograph, and you’d have to get up again, even with a bullet through your eye, to play your part and say your lines.” (Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente.)
That was… surprisingly hard to choose. On the Road makes it only because of something else I once read that quoted that line; I’m afraid I don’t like the book itself.