“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.
“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.
“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.
“Everyone convinces themselves that life is an enjoyable thing. She, however, was always thinking about what a burden it was. About how much of our freedom was lost by the conviction that we had to stay alive.”
– The Perfect Insider.
“I have dreamed of that song, of the strange words to that simple rhyme-song, and on several occasions I have understood what she was saying, in my dreams. In those dreams I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything. In my dreams I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, “Be whole,” and they would become whole, not be broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.”
– The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
“These guards here have been bribed – I can see that clearly – by such men to do this, for no institution has so harmed humanity as the creation of money. It’s destroyed even cities, it has expelled men from their homes; it teaches the minds of honest men to deviate and take up foul things. It has shown men to be villainous and to know every sort of godlessness.”
– Antigone by Sophocles.
“But the soul? How can the soul be an illusion? How can consciousness be just a mechanical play of atoms and molecules? Because I may be mistaken about what I see or feel or think or wish, but that I see, feel, think, or wish cannot be mistaken. I thought I was in the monastery of my youth, and I was mistaken, as I was having a dream. I may be having a dream now and be mistaken again. The world, myself, all life, all history, and all science may well be images and thoughts happening in a dream. But the dream itself is real. My consciousness, whether I am dreaming or awake, is real. If consciousness is an illusion, then only illusion is real, and the rest is conjecture. There is no explaining consciousness by atoms and the void.”
– Phi by Guilio Tononi.
“You are sure your will is powerful, your choices are guided by your conscience. Instead you are a mere servant of hordes of nerve cells – you follow their instructions to the letter, Frick had said. You are empty, Galileo, and have no spirit: nothing enters your immature body at conception, and nothing leaves your carcass at death. You are but a slave chained to a dying machine. Over it you have no power, and its end will be your end. It will be the end of an illusion.”
– Phi by Guilio Tononi.
“But I know no one who could be honest when it means they’ll lose something. Especially if it is their happiness. It is only natural to want to protect that.”
– Wild Ones by Kiyo Fujiwara
“It’s the way he’s holding himself. Standing straight, neck unbent, shoulders back. When he steps, his whole foot treads the ground. Not just the ball, as if he would run, or the heel, as if he would hesitate. He steps solidly down, claiming the piece of the ground for his own.”
– The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss