"A poet is not somebody who has great thoughts. That is the menial duty of the philosopher. A poet is somebody who expresses his thoughts, however commonplace they may be, exquisitely. That is the one and only difference between the poet and everybody else."
"Much more likely you’ll hurt me. Still what does it matter? If I’ve got to suffer, it may as well be at your hands, your pretty hands."
"But the moment you start thinking of yourself alone, absolutely alone, and related to nothing and to no one, you realize it’s silly to worry and fuss over what you are. You are simply what you are. And you feel as if you had closed a door forever on everything that’s unpleasant."
"And wanting nothing, regretting nothing, Peters smiled gratefully at life—running past, indifferent, ungrateful, treacherous, mocking, meaningless, alien—marvelous, marvelous, marvelous."
Tatyana Tolstaya, from “Peters” in White Walls: Collected Stories, translated by Antonina W. Bouis
"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am."
"Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer."
"How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words."
— David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
"Building a library is the sanest form of hoarding."
— Quote from my mother, after I expressed concerns that I was purchasing too many books and would shortly be buried under them and die (via booksandhotchocolate
"She wondered whether the books she loved consoled her precisely because they were the manifestations of her own isolation."
"At fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon."