literary quotations

“What’s your name,” Coraline asked the cat. “Look, I’m Coraline. Okay?”

   "Cats don’t have names,“ it said.

   "No?” said Coraline.

   "No,“ said the cat. "Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”

—  “Coraline” (2002) by Neil Gaiman. Today is Gaiman’s birthday.
I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly - I’ll beat you unfairly first.
—  Ender Wiggin (“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card)
Why do you paint?
For exactly the same reason I breathe.
That’s not an answer.
There isn’t any answer.
How long hasn’t there been any answer?
As long as I can remember.
And how long have you written?
As long as I can remember.
I mean poetry.
So do I.
—  “Forward to an Exhibit: II” (1945) by E. E. Cummings. E. E. Cummings was born on October 14th, 1894.
For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.
—  Alex Garland: The Beach
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.
—  Charles Dickens (John Rokesmith (alias Harmon) to Bella Wilfer in “Our Mutual Friend.”)
…have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.
—  The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker, born February 9th, 1944.