1. “‘What do you suppose God’s planning for me?’ I said. ‘Besides poverty, chastity, obedience, brain damage and death?’”

    — 

    Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding
    Quote via this review.

    (If you’re an ebook reader, consider purchasing Cassandra at the Wedding from Emily Books)

  2. “What can I say about people? They amaze me as much by their good qualities as by their bad qualities. They are all so different, even though they must undergo the same fate. But then if there’s a downpour and most people try to hide, that doesn’t mean that they’re all the same. People even have their own particular ways of sheltering from rain.”

    — Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate (via dushenkaa)

  3. “Oh, whoever has been himself alone can never find another’s loneliness strange.”

    — 

    Robert Walser, “Frau Wilke” (via a-quiet-green-agreement)

    Collected in Walser’s Berlin Stories; story translated by Christopher Middleton

  4. “One of the most disconcerting, unpleasant, and sordid aspects of life is the awareness that nearly all of us find an evil deed more exciting than a good one.”

    — Josep Pla, The Gray Notebook (via goodcoffeebookblog)

  5. “…I longed to enter upon an existence of virtue; not that I had any great regard for virtue itself, but because I valued my own happiness.”

    — Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird (via straymessages)

  6. Joan Chase’s During the Reign of the Queen of Persia (with an introduction by Megan O’Rourke) goes on sale April 15, 2014

  7. —Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show
via elanormcinerney

    —Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show

    via elanormcinerney

  8. “There are a number of difficulties with dirty words, the first of which is that there aren’t nearly enough of them; the second is that the people who use them are normally numskulls and prudes; the third is that in general they’re not at all sexy, and the main reason for this is that no one loves them enough.”

    — 

    William Gass, On Being Blue
    on sale March 11, 2014


    You can read Michael Gorra’s introduction to this new edition at the NYRBlog.

  9. “There was a feeling almost of knowing, or being on the edge of knowing, what had been hidden from you, a deceptive simplification, and later, when I thought about it, I realized it was just a feeling, and that whatever it was that was on the verge of being understood disappeared as soon as you turned away..”

    — Alfred Hayes In Love,  (via inwonderment)

  10. "Canadians, do not vomit on me!"

    image

    Our favorite copyeditor just mentioned that this was her favorite line from her favorite NYRB classic, Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights—and we knew we had to share it with you.

  11. “Courage, Love, Illusion (or dream, if you will) — he who possesses all three, or two, or at least one of these things wins whatever there is to win; those who lack all three are the failures.”

    — Edward Lewis Wallant, The Tenants of Moonbloom (via monamade)

  12. “The tragedy and evil of buying a ready-made suit”

    image

    From the BBC adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky

    Now the tragedy and evil of buying a ready-made suit is this—that it ends, just like that, in “Yes. . . .” You think it would be a good idea if you bought a suit; you delightedly resolve to buy a suit; you work yourself up into a heavenly climax about a suit—and then suddenly it is all over and you are merely saying “Yes. . . .” You stare at it. You pat the pockets; you turn round and look at yourself sideways; you see what it would look like if it wasn’t buttoned. But whatever you do, there is nothing else to be said. “Yes. . . .” You look at the cuffs—but they’re no help to you—they’re excellent. You examine the lining—it couldn’t be better. Perhaps it is too tight under the arms. But it is not. It is no good. You are faced by the depressing fact that you are going to buy it.

    —Patrick Hamilton, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky

  13. “Hey wait.
    Well love after all is a habit like any other.
    A habit, maybe. Like any other, no.”

    — Renata Adler, Pitch Dark (via susanazialcita)

  14. “And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river. You can make meander after meander, twist, turn, seep into the earth — your meanders are your own affair. But life is there, patient, without beginning or end, waiting for you, like the ocean. We were a little apart from the world, little streams damned up by school and protected from violent suns and torrential rains… But however much care it took of us, and our frizzy little pigtailed heads, school could not stop our waters from gathering, and the time came when it opened its sluices and left us to the current.”

    — The Bridge of Beyond, Simone Schwarz-Bart (via edtechpentameter)

  15. “The approach of love is something as stealthy and imperceptible as the catching of a cold. A man of spirit never knows he has it until the last moment. He experiences a little dryness in the throat or a slight thickness in the head, but these symptoms are nothing. They have frequently visited him before without leading to anything more serious. Moreover, they seem to be passing off during the day. Dozens of his friends about him have colds, but he, owing to some special dispensation, is going to escape. The symptoms return. His throat seems sore. He swallows nothing continually to see how sore it is. He sincerely believes that it is very mildly sore. Also he knows that you can easily have a sore throat without having a cold. Nevertheless, as all these colds are about he had better take something. He knows that prevention is better than cure, and he is a great believer in taking these things at the very first sign—however morbid and fantastic doing so may seem. He takes something. His throat is no better, but decidedly worse, and he is a little thicker in the head. But he has no cold. Those around him who have colds (poor devils) are in one class; he is in another. Then, one night in bed, he realizes that his breathing is causing him pain and that he is in something like a fever. He is no worse than he was before, but suddenly he changes his whole attitude. A minute ago he had no cold: this minute he succumbs. He has an appalling cold, and he is one of the poor devils.”

    — 

    —Patrick Hamilton, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky