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 Ways of a Woman. 

“One of the men of the manor leans forward now. “What was it like to kiss such a lass?” There is a longing in his voice. This is more than lechery – those gathered here yearn for the touch of a woman tender and soft. I see in their faces an aching hunger for a woman’s grace, all her winsome ways.” 

 – Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes. 

Their Sins Were His Own.

“There are times when it appeared to Dorian Gray that the whole of history was merely the record of his own life, not as he has lived it in act and circumstance, but as his imagination had created it for him, as it had been in his brain and in his passions. He felt that he had known them all, those strange, terrible figures that had across the stage of the world made sin so marvelous and evil so full of subtlety. It seemed to him that in some mysterious way their lives had been his own.”

– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

When We Are Terrified.

“A furry bee came and buzzed round it for a moment. Then it began to scramble all over the oval stellated globe of the tiny blossoms. He watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that we try to develop when things of high import make us afraid, or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which we cannot find expression, or when some thought that terrifies us lays sudden siege to the brain and calls on us to yield.”

– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Those who are rewarded are rarely found waiting in the corners.

“Juan, so fresh and smooth that there is almost a girl’s prettiness to his face. But at nearly seventeen, there is nothing feminine in his behavior. Such boundless energy, such outrageous confidence. Where others see vanity, Alexander only sees promise. A young man roaring and chafing at the bit, ready to take on the world. And why not? When did life ever reward those who cowered in its corners?”

– Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant.