"For all is like an ocean, all flows and connects; touch it in one place and it echoes at the other end of the world."
"Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time."
"The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for."
"Do you know I’ve been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn’t believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man’s disillusionment — still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I’ve not emptied it, and turn away — where I don’t know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything — every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I’ve asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t, that is until I am thirty."
"The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison."
"We move through a course on Dostoevsky or Poe as we move through a mildly good cocktail party, picking up the good bits of food or conversation, bearing with the rest, going home when it comes to seem the reasonable thing to do. Art, at those moments when it feels most like art—when we feel most alive, most alert, most triumphant—is less like a cocktail party than a tank full of sharks. Everythingʻs for keeps."
John Gardner, “Basic Skills, Genre, and Fiction as Dream,” The Art of Fiction
"People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days. And if one has only one good memory left in one’s heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving him."
Alyosha, Brothers Karamazov
by Dostoevsky (via samzhangg
"I wanted “peace,” to be left alone in my underground world. Real life oppressed me with its novelty so much that I could hardly breathe."