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 am not as private as you think
I am not as elusive as they say
But it is true that I guard myself
Too much for someone to handle
“How’d you keep it all in?”
You might ask
And the answer is I don’t
For I am not one to wear a mask

I converse with the sky
I listen to the seashells’ tale
I wail with the rain
I laugh with the sun rays
I whisper my secrets to the wind

That’s how I keep myself safe
That’s how I keep myself sane

Ask me “why?”
And I’d tell you with a sigh
That I only worry for your heart
Mine’s too big it might swallow yours up

I am not as discreet as you think
I am not shy, inferior nor meek
Now refrain from figuring me out
For you might discover yourself instead
And just despise me in the end
I care too much for that to happen

Now you’ve seen a snippet of me
It might be time to alter some of these
Because you don’t have to know me that well
It would be an abomination, it would be like hell

For there’s a difference between understanding and knowing
People always think they understand but they just don’t
They only know, that’s why they always say no
No to this
No to that
No to dreamers
and all their crap

And I’ll say yes
Yes to their no’s
Because I understand
Unlike them, whose limited minds only know how to know
Though I hope you don’t get me wrong
I just hate it when you think I am not strong
Just because I choose to feel things deeply
And weep at things you find sappy
Does not mean I can’t stand for myself and for things that I believe in

Now, excuse me while I go
To a place where only ‘I’ belongs
I see you asking again
To myself.

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.
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)
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was–but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me–upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain–upon the bleak walls–upon the vacant eye-like windows–upon a few rank sedges–and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees–with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium–the bitter lapse into everyday life–the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart–an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
—  Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher (1839)
And in the end, we were all just humans…drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.
—  F. Scott Fitzgerald