2008 GMs: literary/movie quotes

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

“Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces—and as it gets older and stronger it will tear deeper—love her, love her, love her!”

“I will tell you … what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter—as I did!”

The End of the Affair by Graham Green

“People don’t demand that a thing be reasonable if their emotions are touched. Lovers aren’t reasonable, are they?”

“She had always called me ‘you.’ ‘Is that you?’ on the telephone, ‘Can you? Will you? Do you?’ so that I imagined, like a fool, for a few minutes at a time, that there was only one ‘you’ in the world, and that was me.”

“Insecurity is the worst sense that lovers feel: sometimes the most humdrum desireless marriage seems better. Insecurity twists meanings and poisons trust.”

“The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness. In misery we seem aware of our own existence, even though it may be in the form of a monstrous egotism: this pain of mine is individual, this nerve that winces belongs to me and to no other. But happiness annihilates us: we lose our identity.”

“How strange too and unfamiliar to think that one had been loved, that one’s presence had once had the power to make a difference between happiness and dullness in another’s day.”

“If I loved God, then I would believe in His love for me. It’s not enough to need it. We have to love first, and I don’t know how. But I need it, how I need it.”

“If I went back, where would we be? Where we were yesterday before the sirens went, and the year before that. Angry with each other for fear of the end, wondering what we should do with life when there was nothing left. I needn’t wonder any more—there’s nothing to fear anymore. This is the end. But, dear God, what shall I do with this desire to love?”

“I want somebody who’ll accept the truth about me and doesn’t need protection. If I’m a bitch and a fake, is there nobody who will love a bitch and a fake?”

“We can love with our minds, but can we love only with our minds? Love extends itself all the time.”

“Do your really think that … or do you only think you think it?”

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
(cue literati screaming for my excommunication and burning at the stake for befouling this illustrious list with Meyer LOL)

“Would you like to hear my story, Bella? It doesn’t have a happy ending—but which of ours does? If we had happy endings, we’d all be under our gravestones now.” – Rosalie


“Of Experience” by Montaigne
“It is no use for us to mount on stilts, for on stilts we must still walk with our own legs. And in the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting on our own behind.”

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

“It takes forty men with their feet on the ground to keep one man with his head in the air.”
Put another way,
“Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it’s because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.”

“Humans are more important than animals,” said Brutha.
“This is a point of view often expressed by humans,” said Om.

“What have I always believed? That on the whole, and by and large,  if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.”

“Life in this world is, as it were, a sojourn in a cave. What can we know of reality? For all we see of the true nature of existence is, shall we say, no more than bewildering and amusing shadows cast upon the inner wall of the cave by the unseen blinding light of absolute truth, from which we may or may not deduce some glimmer of veracity, and we as troglodyte seekers of wisdom can only lift our voices to the unseen and say, ‘Go on, do Deformed Rabbit… it’s my favorite.”

Brutha: Why do people need gods?
Om: Oh, you’ve got to have gods.
Brutha: But it’s gods that need people. To do the believing. You said.
Om: Well, okay. But people have got to believe something. Yes? … People’ve got to believe in something. Might as well be gods. What else is there? … Look, if people stop believing in gods, they’ll believe in anything … Anything at all.”

“Do unto others before they do unto you.”

“There’s no point in believing in things that exist.”
“Sir, surely only things that exist are worth believing in?”
“If they exist, you don’t have to believe in them. They just are. What can I tell you? What do you want to hear? I just wrote down what people know … This will go on happening, whether you believe it is true or not. It is real. I don’t know about truth. Truth is a lot more complicated than that.”

“You can’t inspire people with facts. They need a cause. They need a symbol.”

“We died for lies, for centuries we died for lies. … Now we’ve got a truth to die for!”
“No. Men should die for lies. But the truth is too precious to die for. .. You can die for your country or your people or your family, but for a god you should live fully and busily, every day of a long life.”

My Life Without Me, written and directed by Isabel Coixet

“Now you feel like you wanna take all the drugs in the world, but all the drugs in the world aren’t gonna change the feeling that your whole life’s been a dream and it’s only now that you’re waking up.”

“Dying isn’t as easy as it looks, you know, but there’s no need for you to have to feel terrible all the time.”

“It’s cold in the supermarket and I like it like that. People always read the labels of their favorite brands really really carefully just to see how many chemicals they have. Then they just put them in their cart anyway like they’re saying, sure, it’s bad for me, it’s bad for my family, but we like it. Nobody ever thinks about death in the supermarket.”

“This is you. Eyes closed, out in the rain. You never thought you’d be doing something like this, you never saw yourself as—I don’t know how you’d describe it… It’s like one of those people who like looking up at the moon, who spend hours gazing at the waves or the sunset or… I guess you know the kind of people I’m talking about. Maybe you don’t. Anyway, you kind of like being like this, fighting the cold, feeling the water seep through your shirt and getting through your skin. And the feel of the ground growing soft beneath your feet. And the smell. And the sound of the rain hitting the leaves. All the things they talked about in the books you haven’t read. This is you, who would have guessed it? You.”

“Some of us just can’t live the kind of lives other people want us to live. … It’s hard, like you know you love someone and you can’t make them happy. It’s kinda like you love them, but you can’t love them the way they want to be loved.”

“I’m in love with you, and the world seems less terrible because you exist. I feel like I wanna be with you for the rest of my life. … I’m in love. I’m classically in love. But the classic husband is gonna be here any minute, and the classic depression that sets in every time you go off with him, and the crying and the tears and everything. Now go.”

“It’s very stressful being a hairdresser. People expect a lot from you, and sometimes you can’t stand the pressure. People want you to make them beautiful, but sometimes, it’s just not possible!”

“Life is so much better than you think, my love. I know because you managed to fall in love with me even though you saw, what was it you said, ten percent? Five maybe? Maybe if you’d seen it all, you wouldn’t have liked me. Or you would have liked me in spite of everything. I guess we’ll never know.”

“You pray this will be your life without you. You pray that the girls will love this woman who has the same name as you, and that your husband will end up loving her too. … You don’t know who or what you’re praying to, but you pray. You don’t even regret the life you’re not gonna have. ‘Cause by then you’ll be dead. And the dead don’t feel anything. Not even regret.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may do no more than like her, if she does not help him on.”

Montesquieu (qtd. in Matthew Arnold’s “Culture and Anarchy”)
“The first motive which ought to impel us to study is the desire to augment the excellence of our nature, and to render an intelligent being yet more intelligent.”

J.R.R. Tolkien in his Preface to the Lord of the Rings
“Some who have read the book, or at any rate reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or the kind of writing that they evidently prefer.”

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