364. “He had liked her enormously, and he loved Krug with the same passion that a big sleek long-flewed hound feels for the high-booted hunter who reeks of the marsh as he leans towards the red fire. Krug could take aim at a flock of the most popular and sublime human thoughts and bring down a wild goose any time. But he could not kill death.”
367. “She was an extravagantly slender girl. Her ribs showed. The conspicuous knobs of her hipbones framed a hollowed abdomen, so flat as to belie the notion of “belly.” Her exquisite bone structure immediately slipped into a novel – became in fact the secret structure of that novel, besides supporting a number of poems.”
375. “Where is the happiness, the sunshine, where are those thick skittles of wood which crashed and bounced so nicely, where is my bicycle with the low handlebars and the big gear? It seems there’s a law which says that nothing ever vanishes, that matter is indestructible; therefore the chips from my skittles and the spokes of my bicycle still exist somewhere to this day. The pity of it is that I’ll never find them again – never.”
376. “She had imagination – the muscle of the soul – and her imagination was of a particularly strong, almost masculine quality. She possessed, too, that real sense of beauty which has far less to do with art than with the constant readiness to discern the halo round a frying-pan or the likeness between a weeping-willow and a Skye terrier. And finally she was blest with a keen sense of humour. No wonder she fitted into his life so well.”
378. “All one could do was to glimpse, amid the haze and the chimeras, something real ahead, just as persons endowed with an unusual persistence of diurnal cerebration are able to perceive in their deepest sleep, somewhere beyond the throes of an entangled and inept nightmare, the ordered reality of the waking hour.”
381. “Literature, real literature, must not be gulped down like some potion which may be good for the heart or good for the brain – the brain, that stomach of the soul. Literature must be taken and broken to bits, pulled apart, squashed – then its lovely reek will be smelt in the hollow of the palm, it will be munched and rolled upon the tongue with relish; then, and only then, its rare flavor will be appreciated at its true worth and the broken and crushed parts will again come together in your mind and disclose the beauty of a unity to which you have contributed something of your own blood.”
384. “Genius is non-conformity.”
398. “No matter how many times we read “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...”
399. “Only a Chinaman or a retarded child can imagine being met, in that Next-Installment World, to the accompaniment of all sorts of tail-wagging and groveling of welcome, by the mosquito executed eighty years ago upon one’s bare leg, which has been amputated since then and now, in the wake of the gesticulating mosquito, comes back, stomp, stomp, stomp, here I am, stick me on.”
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