This is the second part of my Noteworthy Quotes “series”. My noteworthy Young Adult quotes are here. At the end of this post you’ll find my all-time favorite one!
Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.
–Vicious, V. E. SCHWAB
When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.
–Vicious, v. e. schwab
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxipad commercial, Windex commercial. You’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
–Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
After a certain age men often treat their mothers as if they were small children and they are wrong. Mothers, literate and illiterate, can take everything.
– From A to X, John Berger
The other day Andrea asked me how we first met – you and I. And I told her. Now I want to tell you. We can change it, if you like. The past is the one thing we are not prisoners of. We can do with the past exactly what we wish. What we can’t do is to change its consequences. Let’s make the past together.
–From A to X, John Berger
We cannot shrink in disgust from our neighbour’s touch because his hands, that are clean now, were once dirty.
–Foe, J. M. Coetzee
In that second she saw that she could bear anything, but only if no one knew that she had anything to bear.
–Passing, Nella Larsen
“(…) A little grease is what makes this world go round. One hand washes the other. Know what I mean? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Yossarian knew what he meant.
“That’s not what I meant,” Doc Daneeka said, as Yossarian began scratching his back.
–Catch-22, Joseph Heller
^ I didn’t like Catch-22 and I actually DNF’d it, but the above quote is hysterical.
“Come on, girl. Don’t cry,” whispered Frank.
“Why not? I can be miserable if I want to. You don’t need to try and make it go away. It shouldn’t go away. It’s just as sad as it ought to be and I’m not going to hide from what’s true just because it hurts.”
–Home, Toni Morrison
In the year she knew him, before they were married, she discovered a little magic in herself, and for a while felt like a blithe genie released from her lamp. She was perhaps too young to realize that what she assumed was her love for Chacko was actually a tentative, timorous acceptance of herself.
–The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
You said I killed you – haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe – I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
–Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
^ This one is melodramatic and quoted too much some would say, but I shamelessly adore it.
Let him have all the perfections in the world, I think it ought not to be set down as certain, that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.
–Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
^ PREACH GIRL. This was written in the 1800s, I’m sure Jane Austen is rolling in her grave because too many people still think like this.
The faults of women, of children, of the feeble, the indigent, and the ignorant, are the fault of the husbands, the fathers, the masters, the strong, the rich, and the wise.
–Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
The drunk in the cells tried to yodel, but his voice cracked and that discouraged him. He began to cry.
–Farewell, My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
^ I didn’t like the story but this killed me. I just imagine it and laugh.
His expression, his manner, his very soul seemed to vary with every fresh part that he assumed. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.
-“A Scandal in Bohemia” (Sherlock Holmes), Arthur Conan Doyle
“Listen, my darling, if you’re going to be religious, you must be either a Hindu, a Christian or a Muslim. You heard what they said on the esplanade.”
“I don’t see why I can’t be all three, Mamaji has two passports. He’s Indian and French. Why can’t I be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim?”
“That’s different. France and India are nations on earth.”
“How many nations are there in the sky?”
–Life of Pi, Yann Martel
I couldn’t bear to have yet another French speaker guffawing at my name, so when the man on the phone asked, “Can I ‘ave your name?” I said, “I am who I am.” Half an hour later two pizzas arrived for “Ian Hoolihan.”
–Life of Pi, Yann Martel
^ This makes me laugh too.
Still, it must be hell, to be a man, like that.
It must be just fine.
It must be hell.
It must be very silent.
–The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Though it’s commonly assumed his last word was “care” or the start of “careful.” I would argue differently. I believe his utterance is really just the first syllable of the very name on which his mind and heart had finally come to a rest. His only hope, his only meaning: “Karen.”
–House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
And now for what I think is my all-time favorite quote. I know it by heart, it’s so beautiful:
I took my morning walk, I took my evening walk, I ate something, I thought about something, I wrote something, I napped and dreamt something too, and with all that something, I still have nothing because so much of sum’things has always been and always will be you.
I miss you.
– House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
What did you think of these? Want to share some of your favorites? 🙂