Yearning for the kind of love you read about.

“If I told you that I have loved other women I would be a despicable liar. I thought I did, however; I forced myself to bind my heart to other passions, but it slid over them as if over ice. When you are a child, you have read so many books about love, you find the very word so melodious, you dream of it so much, you have such strong yearning to experience that feeling which makes you quiver when you read novels and dramas, that at every woman you see you say to yourself: isn’t this love? You endeavour to love so as to make a man of yourself. I have been no more immune than any other man from that childish weakness; I have sighed like an elegiac poet, and after many efforts I was quite astonished to find myself sometimes managing for a fortnight without having gone over to the woman I had chosen as the object of my dreams.”

Memoirs of a Madman by Gustave Flaubert. 

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A Madman’s Insecurities.

“But I am going to put down on paper everything that springs to my mind, my ideas with my memories, my impressions my dreams my whims, everything which passes through my thoughts and my soul – laughter and tears, white and black, sobs that well up in the heart and are then rolled out like pastry in sonorous periods; – and tears diluted in romantic metaphors. And yet it oppresses me to think I’ll be flattening the tips of a whole packet of pens, that I’ll be using up a whole bottle of ink, that I’ll be boring the reader and boring myself.”

 Memoirs of a Madman by Gustave Flaubert. 

When the truth comes out

“I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.”

– Demian by Herman Hesse.

 

The Most Important Story

“All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult? (…) When authors write novels, they usually act as if they were God and could completely survey and comprehend some person’s history and present it as if God were telling it to Himself, totally unveiled, in its essence at all points. I can’t, any more than those authors can. But my story is more important to me than any author’s is to him, because it’s my own; it’s the story of a human being—not an invented, potential, ideal, or otherwise nonexistent person, but a real, unique, living one.”

– Demian by Herman Hesse.

The Days Pile Up.

“Down in her soul, the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a shipwrecked sailor, she perused her solitary world with hopeless eyes, searching for some white sail far away where the horizon turns to mist. She didn’t know what her luck might bring, what wind would blow it her way, what shore it would take her to, whether it was a sloop or a three-mastered schooner, laden with anguish or crammed to the portholes with happiness. But, every morning, when she awoke, she hoped it would happen that day, and she listened to every sound, jumping to her feet, surprised when nothing came; then, as the day came to its end, with an ever greater sadness, she was longing for the morrow.”

 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Love in real life.

“Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of books.”

 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.