“The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all around him. She had become a physical necessity.”—George Orwell, 1984 (via frenchtouchx)
“Literature is invention. Fiction is fiction. To call a story a true story is an insult to both art and truth. Every great writer is a great deceiver, but so is that arch-cheat Nature. Nature always deceives. From the simple deception of propagation to the prodigiously sophisticated illusion of protective colors in butterflies or birds, there is in Nature a marvellous system of spells and wiles. The writer of fiction only follows Nature’s lead.”—Vladimir Nabokov, Good Readers and Good Writers (via starspray)
“Notice, that your eyes were given to you to acknowledge others, that your voice was given to you to tell others how you feel, and that your hands were given to you to hold those dear to you.”—The Everlasting Guilty Crown - EGOIST (Supercell)
“Yet how splendidly, how radiantly the world’s monotony is interrupted now and then by the book of a genius, a comet, a crime, or even simply a single sleepless night.”—Vladimir Nabokov, La Venesiana (via starspray)
februan. also Februatio, was the Roman festival of ritual purification, later incorporated into Lupercalia. The festival is basically one of Spring washing or cleaning and the derivation is from an earlier Etruscan word referring to purging.
"You’ve been quite filthy lately, Anna, I think we need to indulge in the rite of februa and see in Machiavellian March."
“I was not able, alas, to hold my breakfast, but dismissed that physicality as a trivial contretemps, wiped my mouth with a gossamer handkerchief produced from my sleeve, and, with a blue block of ice for heart, a pill on my tongue and solid death in my hip pocket, I stepped neatly into a telephone booth in Coalmont”—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (via litdub)
“I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader’s mind. No matter how many times we reopen “King Lear,” never shall we find the good king banging his tankard in high revelry, all woes forgotten, at a jolly reunion with all three daughters and their lapdogs. Never will Emma rally, revived by the sympathetic salts in Flaubert’s father’s timely tear. Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We would prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.”—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (via litdub)
And every so often … some actor, or politician or footballer is caught in a hotel room, you know? Surrounded by hookers and cocaine and mixed currency, and everybody else goes: “Oh the shame of it! How could he? How absolutely dreadful! I’d never do that, NEVER! I’ve never had the chance, but I would never, EVER do that. Ohh, the disgust that courses through me right now; you could bottle it.”
But … what else are you supposed to give hookers in a hotel room?
“Yoghurt, anybody? I made some yoghurt this morning. Would you like some? It’s got granola and everything, you sure? Go on, have a bit!”
“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. It has no job security of any kind, and depends mostly on whether or not you can, like Scheherazade, tell the stories each night that’ll keep you alive until tomorrow. There are undoubtedly hundreds of easier, less stressful, more straightforward jobs in the world. Personally, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do, but that’s me.
If you want to be a writer, write. You may have to get a day job to keep body and soul together (I cheated, and got a writing job, or lots of them, to feed me and pay the rent). If you aren’t going to be a writer, then go and be something else. It’s not a god-given calling. There’s nothing holy or magic about it. It’s a craft that mostly involves a lot of work, most of it spent sitting making stuff up and writing it down, and trying to make what you have made up and written down somehow better. …
It does help, to be a writer, to have the sort of crazed ego that doesn’t allow for failure. The best reaction to a rejection slip is a sort of wild-eyed madness, an evil grin, and sitting yourself in front of the keyboard muttering “Okay, you bastards. Try rejecting this!” and then writing something so unbelievably brilliant that all other writers will disembowel themselves with their pens upon reading it, because there’s nothing left to write. Because the rejection slips will arrive. And, if the books are published, then you can pretty much guarantee that bad reviews will be as well. And you’ll need to learn how to shrug and keep going. Or you stop, and get a real job.”—
“An awful calm kept my heart afloat as I followed the boy up to the hotel. This, to use an American term, in which discovery, retribution, torture, death, eternity appear in the shape of a singularly repulsive nutshell, was it. I had left her in mediocre hands, but it hardly mattered now. I would fight, of course. Oh, I would fight. Better destroy everything than surrender her. Yes, quite a climb.”—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (via litdub)
Someone… someone to pull you close when you can’t sleep. Someone who’ll listen to you, who won’t listen to you. Someone who’ll think you’re fucking beautiful when you feel you’re anything but. Someone who’ll back you up, tell you off, set you straight, slow the pace. Someone who won’t give up when you do. Someone who’ll yell back at you because they feel it, too. Someone who’ll run with you, fall with you, hold your hand when you have no strength. Someone who’ll be everyone you need… a lover, a father, a sister, a brother, a teacher, a counselor, a best friend. Someone who’ll get you when no one else does, who’ll stay when you can’t stand it anymore. Someone who’ll hold your hair while you purge, twirl it while your drive, tuck it behind your ear when you sleep because it fucking matters. Someone who’ll tell you you’re wrong, you’re right, your fucking delusional, but everything will be alright. Someone who’ll be there when you get home, when the party’s over, when every ones’ left. Someone… just someone who’ll save you from yourself.
It’s all I ever wish for you. And me. And everyone.
“The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.”—Lemony Snicket (via 6promises)
“There was a little girl … lost many, many miles from home … walking through the woods … late, late at night with the creatures all hooting and howling in the bushes around her, stepping over the roots of trees, and she came to the old sty, and began to climb it. But it broke, you see? It broke, and she fell down … and then, when she got herself up, she was all right. And she could see the lights at home. And she began to walk towards home.
“I remember when singers were singers. Ugly people. Aretha Franklin needed a lot of room to eat her chicken wings. Janis Joplin used to come out in clothes woven from her own vomit. Nina Simone, amazing singer, could look at a railway track and buckle it. It didn’t matter; they were beautiful people because of what they could do.”—
Today, in England, the sun is gleaming and warm and not the slightest exhalation of air disturbs the expectant stillness. I feel Spring breathing lightly beneath the settling dusts of winter. Bouncy and optimistic birdsong heralds the incoming season.
And even with this tangible beauty resting all around me, the day glimmers more because you hold my heart in your pale and gentle hands. Oh, it would still beat its chomping rhythm all on its own, of course it would. But your caring and responsible touch coaxes the cadence to a vibrant throb and teases harmonious chords from its long-silent sinews.
It’s difficult to thank you enough for that, isn’t it.
Maybe this lets you know how much I treasure your tender conducting of this new symphony.