In the smart and admirable way of emotional defence, he dressed his objections in rhetoric and principles, but the reality was much sadder, and much more alarming for him. He didn’t know who to be. His remarks, as always, were ostentatiously conceived and recklessly stated. He didn’t know what to believe.

Andrew O'Hagan, "Ghosting"
Nostalgia traps the things you love in glass jars.

Soleil Ho, "Craving the Other"
As such, its promise of knowledge is ambiguous.

James Delbourgo, "Triumph of the strange"
It is time compressed to a kind of bad infinity, the thing on which we are snagged.

Nicholas Dames, "Story Time"
poetry, that country beyond all countries.

Helene Cixous, "We Who Are Free, Are We Free?"
One might think that ideally individuals should want to serve one another.

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
To be is too obvious. 

Saul Bellow, "The Search for Symbols..."
Where do you go
in between the not and the knowing, what
becomes of you?

Rhea Tregebov, "Elegy for Knowing"
It made me think, seeing myself like that. I can tell you, it makes a man think.

Raymond Carver, "Viewfinder"
A restrained, then released selfishness is the only path for love.

John Updike, Rabbit, Run
Above the common sweetness of two mouths
And all the dear etceteras of a kiss.

Anne Wilkinson, "A Folk Tale"
but I want to go on from here with you
fighting the temptation to make a career of pain.

Adrienne Rich, "VIII"
It was sad the way we meet people by chance, spend time talking to them, acknowledge the fact that they have had some effect on us, then we lose them and never see them again, something genuinely sad, whatever anyone says, she repeated, laughing, really very sad.

László Krasznahorkai, War and War
But people didn't forgive you for doing what felt right - that was the last thing they forgave you for.

Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding
My dreams are the heavy kind, the kind that are hard to wake up from, to rise out of. They are strong enough to pull me back down, dense enough to leave me with a heavy head, a drugged and bloated feeling.

Don Delillo, "Human Moments in World War III"
...love is a violent passion to introduce a difference, a gap in the order of being, to privilege and elevate some object above others. Love is violence ... as it tears an object out of its context and elevates it to the Thing.

Slavoj Žižek, "Revenge of Global Finance"
We are still waiting.

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night
But how strange it seems to set against the whirling abysses of infinite space a little figure with a golden teapot on his head. Soon one recovers belief in figures: but not at once in what they put on their heads. Our English past - one inch of light. Then people put teapots on their heads and say, "I am a King!" No, I try to recover, as we walk, the sense of time, but with that streaming darkness in my eyes I have lost my grip. This palace seems light as a cloud set for a moment on the sky. It is a trick of the mind - to put kings on their thrones, one following another, with crowns on their heads. And we ourselves, walking six abreast, what do we oppose, with this random flicker of light in us that we call brain and feeling, how can we do battle against this flood; what has permanence? Our lives too stream away, down the unlighted avenues, past the strip of time, unidentified.

Virginia Woolf, The Waves
We have been here for centuries. Deciding how to live.

Claudia Dey, Stunt
The path of greatest desires often lies through the undesirable.

René Daumal, Mount Analogue
I'm living on my memories like a cheap has-been.

Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
In the eyes of him who takes his stand in love, and gazes out of it, men are cut free from their entanglement in bustling activity. Good people and evil, wise and foolish, beautiful and ugly, become successively real to him; that is, set free they step forth in their singleness and confront him...

Martin Buber, I and Thou
I do not insist upon knowing.

André Breton, Nadja
There is no future in a sacred myth.

Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Simple remorse is barely worth the trouble of expressing it.

Jeffery Frank, "Apologia"
How many tentative designs, how many rough sketches for the face of love before the final portrait!

Jean Cocteau, The Holy Terrors
"Part of being lost is that even when you are willing to submit ... you can't..."

Ed Soja
I’ve never been able to tell
what’s worth more — what I want or what I have.

Stephen Dunn, "Please Understand"
In books, people make declarations of love and hate, they express their innermost feelings in fine phrases; but in life there are no significant speeches.

Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
A dreadful muse is still a muse.

Joel Brouwer
Doubt.
Doubt thyself.
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
Doubt all.
Doubt even if thou doubtest all.
It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty. O kill it! Slay the snake!

Aleister Crowley, Book of Lies
"Future equals past plus desire."

Olga Ast
A dragnet for lost feelings.

Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
...a woman was born during my sleep from a cramped position of my thigh. ... If, as sometimes happened, she had the features of a woman I had known in life, I would devote myself entirely to this end: to finding her again, like those who go off on a journey to see a longed-for city with their own eyes and imagine that one can enjoy in reality the charm of a dream. Little by little the memory of her would fade, I had forgotten the girl of my dream.

Marcel Proust, Swann's Way