Welcome to a table piled with a holiday potluck of literature.
If you think about it, all writers and readers are connected by our own ancient internet of literature. As the light shifts toward more not less, let’s all come to this heavily laden table to celebrate our connection and stuff ourselves with resonant phrases. When we take in these words, we truly connect, not only to them but to each other. Come to this table today for favorite lines from our favorite writers. – The Writer in the World
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” – Toni Morrison
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin
In order to be as free as I possibly can, in my own imagination, I can’t take positions that are closed. Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it, to open doors, sometimes, not even closing the book — leaving the endings open for reinterpretation, revisitation, a little ambiguity. – Toni Morrison
“What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” – Truman Capote
“Ever since Happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafiz
If a poet has any obligation towards society, it is to write well. – Joseph Brodsky
Seboulisa, mother of power
keeper of birds
fat and beautiful…
my heart to some shore
that my feet will not shatter
do not let me pass away
before I have a name
for this tree
under which I am lying.
Do not let me die
needing to be stranger.
– Audre Lorde, “October”
“[He] hated his own imagination, wished it would just shrivel up and turn brown and fall out of him.” – Jeff Vandermeer, Authority
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The cavalry never comes. You are the cavalry. – Manny Igrejas