Favorite Lines


“It was strange to think that all the great women of fiction were, until Jane Austen’s day, not only seen by the other sex, but seen only in relation to the other sex. And how small a part of a woman’s life is that; and how little can a man know even of that when he observes it through the black or rose spectacles which sex puts upon his nose.”

- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own


“[...] so it is wrong, you will agree, to sell your mind without love, but right to give it to the art which you love. [...]. Thus we are asking you, Madam, to pledge yourself not to commit adultery of the brain because it is a much more serious offence than the other.”

- Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas


“Why is the measure of love loss?”

- Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body


“About love and how to survive—not to make a living—but how to survive whole in a world where we are, all of us, in some measure, victims of something.”

- Toni Morrison, Conversations with Toni Morrison


“This is a Christian world, you know. We only kill things that are useless or things we don’t like.”

- Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water


“It seems to me that the best art is political and you ought to be able to make it unquestionably political and irrevocably beautiful at the same time.”

- Toni Morrison, “Rootedness: the Ancestor as Foundation”


“Neither in the environment nor in my heritage can I find the secret instrument that has imprinted my life [...] with a unique watermark, which I myself am only able to distinguish by holding it up to the light of art.”

- Vladimir Nabokov


“Not speech, barely a murmur, barely a tremor, less than silence, less than the abyss of the void; the fullness of the void, something one cannot silence, occupying all of space, the uninterrupted, the incessant, a tremor and already a murmur, not a murmur but speech, precise speech, within my reach.”

- Maurice Blanchot, Celui Qui Ne M’accompagnait Pas


“It [the language of fiction] must no longer be a power that tirelessly produces images and makes them shine, but rather a power that undoes them, that lessens their overload, that infuses them with an inner transparency that illuminates them little by little until they burst and scatter in the lightness of the unimaginable.”

- Michel Foucalt, “Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from Outside”


“There is nothing in the world as powerful and powerless as a word.”

- Ivan Sergeyevitch Turgenev


“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

- Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture