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Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words - the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that. But when you find a book that has both good story and good words, treasure that book.
Sometimes when you're young, you have moments of such happiness, you think you're living on someplace magical, like Atlantis must have been. Then we grow up and our hearts break into two.
Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn’t a waste of time. I think something like that is very close to immortality.
At the end, all that's left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that's why I've never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that's why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.
But before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
In his forty-third year William Stoner learned what others, much younger, had learned before him: that the person one loves at first is not the person one loves at last, and that love is not an end but a process through which one person attempts to know another.
A war doesn't merely kill off a few thousand or a few hundred thousand young men. It kills off something in a people that can never be brought back.
Politilegen erklærte hjertesvikt som dødsårsak, men William Stoner tenkte alltid at Sloane, i et anfall av raseri og fortvilelse, hadde tvunget hjertet til å slutte og slå som et siste taust tegn på kjærlighet til, og forakt for, en verden som hadde sviktet han så grunnleggende at det ikke var til å holde ut.
People ask, how did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up there as well. I can't answer the realt question. All I can tell them, it's easy.
It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.
I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.
Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.
"But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated."
Russland hadde sterk appell for personer med svakt utviklet ansvarsfølelse og trang til selvdestruksjon. Og hvis du var slik anlagt, var det ingen som kunne hindre deg i å utnytte det. Det var en absurd, ugudelig tid der moralverdier gikk i permanent kunstig dvale og du var skremmende fri til å utforske de ekleste avkrokene i ditt eget mørke hjerte.