R. Musil – The Man Without Qualities

I just wanted to sum up the most mundane facts for you.
The moral argumentation is just one more means to an end, a
weapon used in much the same way as lies. This is the world that
men have made, and it would make me want to be a woman-if only
women did not love men!

 

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M. Kundera – Slowness

our period is obsessed by the desire to forget, and
it is to fulfill that desire that it gives over to the
demon of speed; it picks up the pace to show us
that it no longer wishes to be remembered; that it
is tired of itself; sick of itself; that it wants to blow
out the tiny trembling flame of memory.

 

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A. Gide – The Counterfeiters

Inconsistency. Characters in a novel or a play who act all the way through exactly as one expects them to …. This consistency of theirs, which is held up to our admiration, is on the contrary the very thing which makes us recognize that they are artificially composed.

 

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A. Gide – Les caves du Vatican

Il m’apprit à dépenser sans tenir de comptes et sans m’inquiéter par avance si j’aurais de quoi suffire à ma fantaisie, à mon désir ou à ma fain. Il émettait en principe qu’il faut toujours satisfaire celle-ci la dernière, car (je me souviens de ses paroles) désir ou fantaisie, disait-il, sont de sollicitation fugitive, tandis que la faim toujours se retrouve et n’est que plus impérieuse pour avoir attendu plus longtemps. Il m’apprit enfin à ne pas jouir d’une chose davantage, selon qu’elle coûtait plus cher, ni moins si, par chance, elle n’avait coûté rien du tout.

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H. Miller – Tropic of Cancer

How the hell can a man write when he doesn’t know where he’s going to sit the next half-hour? If this rich bastard takes the place I won’t even have a place to sleep. It’s hard to know, when you’re in such a jam, which is worse – not having a place to sleep or not having a place to work. One can sleep almost anywhere, but one must have a place to work. Even if it’s not a masterpiece you’re doing. Even a bad novel requires a chair to sit on and a bit of privacy.

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D. F. Wallace – Westward the course of empire takes its way

You think an ad’s just a piece of art? (…) You think it’s not about what life’s really about? That your fears and desires grow on trees? Come out of nowhere? That you just naturally want what we, your fathers, work night and day to make sure you want?

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