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  • Do those clowns really believe what they teach?
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Pale Fire")
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  • For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay...
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "The Razor's Edge")
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  • THERE was a curious social situation in Black Hawk. All the young men felt the attraction of the fine, well-set-up country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and, in nearly every case, to help the father struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school.
    (Willa Cather, "My Antonia")
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  • It's one of my biggest memories of my father reading. I had pneumonia, remember, but I was a little better now, and madly caught up in the book, and one thing you know when you're ten is that, no matter what, there's gonna be a happy ending. They can sweat all they want to scare you, the authors, but back of it all you know, you just have no doubt, that in the long run justice is going to win out.
    (William Goldman, "The Princess Bride")
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  • O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school; And though she be but little, she is fierce.
    (William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream")
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  • A human being is like a novel: until the last page you don't know how it will end. Or it wouldn't be worth reading...
    (Yevgeny Zamyatin, "We")
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  • What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaninglessness in rational terms.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")
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  • The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")
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  • He lay on his chair with his hands clasped above his paunch not reading, or sleeping, but basking like a creature gorged with existence.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")
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  • Teachers who offer you the ultimate answers do not possess the ultimate answers, for if they did, they would know that the ultimate answers cannot be given, they can only be received.
    (Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume")
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  • We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.
    (Tom Stoppard, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead")
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  • Reading dreams. That's what started her walking down the road. Every day she'd walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.
    (Truman Capote, "Breakfast at Tiffany's")
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  • From that time forth he believed that the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not, and in later years he strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea")
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  • A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skilful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia")
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  • Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it's not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.
    (Veronica Roth, "Divergent")
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