Favorite Authors, Quoted

13 Nov

A melee of things I’ve read which seem to resonate with me this week…

On Reading & Words:

Yet who reads to bring about an end, however desirable? Are there not some pursuits that we practice because they are good in themselves, and some pleasures that are final? And is not this among them? I have sometimes dreamt, at least that when the Day of judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards—their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble—the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.”

–Virginia Woolf in “How Should One Read a Book?”

Writing appears modest and immodest, verbal but mute, speaking and not speaking its contradictory position in the house of language. The physical fact of language–uttered, inscribed, marked, or frozen in front of our faces in the cold light of bitter days–reminds us that there is no communication without the phatic exchange of substances.

–“The Material Word,” Johanna Drucker

On Life in General:

What does the brain matter compared with the heart?

–Lady Rosseter (Sally Seton), in Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

–Woolf again

Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby

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