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. 

Advertisements

Wisdom and Ignorance

“That would indeed be shocking, and then I might really with justice be summoned to court for not believing in the gods, and disobeying the oracle, and being afraid of death, and thinking that I am wise when I am not. For let me tell you, gentlemen, that to be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not; it is to think that one knows what one does not know. No one knows with regard to death whether it is not really the greatest blessing that can happen to a man; but people dread it as though they were certain that it is the greatest evil; and this is ignorance, which thinks that it knows what it does not, must surely be ignorance most culpable.”

– The Last Days of Socrates by Plato.

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

The Institution of Money

“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.

Love Allows For Selfishness.

“You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.”

– Carmilla (Unabridged) by J. Sheridan LeFanu.

The Charms of a Female Vampire.

“She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, “Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die— die, sweetly die— into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.” And when she had spoken such a rhapsody, she would press me more closely in her trembling embrace, and her lips in soft kisses gently glow upon my cheek.”

– Carmilla (Unabridged) by J. Sheridan LeFanu.

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.