25 Moving Literary Quotes
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25 Moving Literary Quotes

Books: our window into the world

25 Moving Literary Quotes

Between the covers of every great novel lie quotes meant to embalm history, to relay experiences, to capture the senses and inspire introspection, motivation, and determination. Literature, carrying so much with it, provides us a lens into the thoughts of other people and allows us to recognize that we're not alone, that we can do what we put our minds to, and that, in the midst of its darkest moments, life has the potential to restore us to its light. Books give us meaning. And so, here are 25 awe-inspiring literary quotes for you to cling to:

1) So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

2) I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

3) What I think is, you're supposed to leave somebody alone if he's at least being interesting and he's getting all excited about something. I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice. -J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

4) You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. -Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

5) Like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker. -Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

6) Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. -Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

7) Aureliano not only understood by then, he also lived his brother's experiences as something of his own, for on one occasion when the latter was explaining in great detail the mechanism of love, he interrupted him to ask: "What does it feel like?" José Arcadio gave an immediate reply: "It's like an earthquake." -Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

8. I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside of me. I cannot even explain it to myself. -Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

9. It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight. But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake. -Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

10. But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin. -Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

11. What are men to rocks and mountains? -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

12. Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy. -William Golding, Lord of the Flies

13. We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep. -Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

14. In each of us, two natures are at war — the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose — what we want most to be, we are. -Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

15. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. -Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

16. There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons. -Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

17. Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are. -Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger

18. If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

19. All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time. -Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

20. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. -Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

21. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain't got no business doing wrong when he ain't ignorant and knows better. -Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

22. A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended. -Ian McEwan, Atonement

23. Time's passage through the memory is like molten glass that can be opaque or crystallize at any given moment at will: a thousand days are melted into one conversation, one glance, one hurt, and one hurt can be shattered and sprinkled over a thousand days. It is silent and elusive, refusing to be damned and dripped out day by day; it swirls through the mind while an entirely lifetime can ride like foam on the deceptive, transparent waves and get sprayed onto the consciousness at ragged, unexpected intervals. -Gloria Naylor, The Women of Brewster Place

24. Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another. -Toni Morrison, Beloved

25. Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. The painting of Gustave Moreau is the painting of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom, Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys. -James Joyce, Ulysses

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