Looking over my list just now, I figured it might be fun to toss a few of my favorites out your way in the hope that you'll toss a few more back my way. So, what are your favorite quotes from novels you've read? Here is a smattering of mine:
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
We come unbidden into this life, and if we are lucky we find a purpose beyond starvation, misery and early death, lest we forget, is the common lot.
— Abraham Verghese, Cutting For Stone
A writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as our personal memories.
— John Irving, The World According To Garp
In a head-on collision with Fanatics, the real problem is always the same: how can we possibly behave decently toward people so arrogantly ignorant that they believe, first, that they possess Christ’s power to bestow salvation, second, that forcing us to memorize and regurgitate a few of their favorite Bible phrases and attend their church is that salvation, and third, that any discomfort, frustration, anger or disagreement we express in the face of their moronic barrages is due not to their astounding effrontery but to our sinfulness.
— David James Duncan, The Brothers K
Anyone who goes into writing has to find out somewhere along the line, he’s either naïve or insane.
— Leon Uris, Mitla Pass
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.
— Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
— Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
The world belongs to those who can describe it.
— Serge Bramly, Leonardo: The Artist and the Man
Nothing exists that so fills and binds the heart as love does.
— Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
In our hearts there is a ruthless dictator, ready to contemplate the misery of a thousand strangers if it will ensure the happiness of the few we love.
—Graham Green, The Heart of the Matter
Until you become yourself, what benefit can you be to others?
— Harold Bloom, How To Read and Why
Knowledge of the past gives men courage to face the future.
— James A. Michener, Caribbean
We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
— Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
Her kiss was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
— Nicole Krauss, The History of Love