Quotations

“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.”
~Terry Pratchett, Jingo

“Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.”
~Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“The way to hell was an easy one, seeing that it was in a downward direction and you travelled blindfolded.”
~Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

“Only animals can't help what they are.”
~Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

“Signs and wonders, eh? Pity if there is nothing wonderful in signs, and significant in wonders!”
~Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens [...] a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent.”
~E. M. Forster, A Passage to India

“Character teaches above our wills. Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Self Reliance,’ Essays: First Series

“The people who object to escapism are, mostly, jailers.”
~Terry Pratchett, in The Washington Post, Sunday, June 18, 2000

“The problem with most genre fantasy is that it's not nearly fantastic enough. It’s escapist, but it can’t escape.”
~China Mieville, Fantasy and revolution

“I play the game for the game’s own sake.”
~Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans,’ Sherlock Holmes

“This matter cuts very deep, and though I have not finally made up my mind whether it is a benevolent or a malevolent agency which is in touch with us, I am conscious always of power and design.”
~Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles,’ Sherlock Holmes

“He has long since rejected humanity in favour of idealism.”
~Michael Moorcock, Gloriana

“I know where you live.”
~John, Book of Revelation 2:13

“Only dreams are real.”
~Lord Dunsany, ‘The Journey of the King,’ Time and the Gods

“Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.”
~Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor, Vertigo

“There is a kind of wisdom … that is merely caution disguised by sophistry.”
~Michael Moorcock, Gloriana

“In nature there's no blemish but the mind;
None can be called deformed but the unkind.”
~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, act 3 scene 4.1

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
~Henry James, The Middle Years

“That's why they always put two blank pages at the back of the atlas. They're for new countries. You're meant to fill them in yourself.”
~Roald Dahl, The BFG

“The glare of the torches struggling with the dying twilight, and seeming to say to heaven, we have a sun though yours is set.”
~Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer

“that indefinite and unselfish hope of magnifying herself in the eyes of him she loved, which induces us in our first encounter to display all the eloquence, all the powers, all the attractions we possess, not with the pride of a competitor, but with the humiliation of a victim.”
~Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer

“the stony apathy of one who had traversed life from Dan to Beersheba, and found all barren, or – made it so.”
~Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer

“There is not an error into which a man can fall which he may not press Scripture into his service as proof of the probity of”
~James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

“I really have nothing to say. But I want to say it just the same.”
~Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Federico Fellini, and Brunello Rondi, 8 ½

“A man sometimes devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled. Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life.”
Akutagawa Ryunosuke. ‘Yam Gruel,’ Rashomon

“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,”
~Arthur O'Shaughnessy, ‘Ode’

“That which does not kill us makes us stranger.”
~Peter Chung, ‘Thanatophobia,’ Æon Flux

“I was kissed, with cancerous kisses by crocodiles, and was laid, confounded with all unutterable abortions, amongst reeds and Nilotic mud.”
~Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

“it is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety, and exceedingly disguised; and it is when they are drinking that men display themselves in their true complexion of character”
~Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination.”
~Andrew Lang

“In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
~Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“It was dangerous lunacy, but it was also the kind of thing a real connoisseur of edge-work could make an argument for.”
~Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Every palace stands on cellars where someone is buried alive or where some dead man cannot find peace.”
~Italo Calvino, Under the Jaguar Sun

“I have worked on the principle that the stricter the diet, the less effective it proves, because it will be followed either half-heartedly or not at all. Great efforts of will are rare, and in order to be followed, it is necessary to propose to men only that which comes easily to them, and even, when possible, that which pleases them.”
~Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

“‘All your wishes,’ said the girl, ‘are irresistible because you have never learned to govern them. If you truly loved me, you would have the strength to sacrifice your love to the conviction that it would wreck my happiness.’”
~Julius Vogel, Anno Domini 2000