“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays”.
-N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society
“People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves”.
-From Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
127. They that love beyond the World, cannot be separated by it.
128. Death cannot kill, what never dies.
129. Nor can Spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their Friendship.
130. If Absence be not Death, neither is theirs.
131. Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas; They live in one another still.
132. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is Omnipresent.
133. In this Divine Glass, they see Face to Face; and their Converse is Free, as well as Pure.
134. This is the Comfort of Friends, that though they may be said to Die, yet their Friendship and Society are, in the best Sense, ever present, because Immortal.
-From More Fruits of Solitude by William Penn
“A man gains a drop of blood per day from eating.Each night, he gets up to slash himselfAcross the face and wrist.He must be bitten by ten thousand mosquitoes.He sucks and he sucks.Where would all that blood go otherwise?Once a month, a woman drops a teacup on the floor,A fine teacup with bones inside it.Vietnamese and Germans now speak the same language.
-from Linh Dinh’s “Conversation Table” which is published in All Around What Empties Out
“To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity”.
-From I Know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
“We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”
-From 1984 by George Orwell
From the film adaptation of 1984
Personal notes: Orwell’s 1984 is probably the single most influential novel that I read during high school. It completely reignited my love for literature and pushed me to read genres that I had not previously looked into. Cliche as is sounds, it taught me lessons about questioning authority, thinking for myself, and inspired me to write in ways that I thought to be ‘vulgar’ or ‘manly’ previously. This is one of those pieces that I credit for changing me in ways that I never really thought that I could be changed. I’m certainly glad that I read it at the time of my life that I did.
“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion or conflict”.
-Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto
Personal notes: The Lemony Snicket books are always something that I can leaf through when I need a smile. I love how the entire series is completely grim and morose, yet peppered with so much humor and wit. Snicket has a rare way of shining light upon the little truths of life in a simplistic and almost childlike way. His writing has always been something that I’ve deemed as special because it’s quirky and completely its own.
“This fall I think you’re riding for—it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. Or they thought their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.”
-From Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Personal notes: J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is the quintessential “lost teenager” book that resonated really well with me during high school. I have to admit, I had the biggest crush on the fictional character Holden Caulfield because I could really relate to how he kind of drifts through life, by just barley skating by. This is a favorite “classic” of mine.