“She wondered all the same how much they really had to say to one another, given that they had only this city in common and a similar way of talking, the same intonation, perhaps she’d just wanted to believe after that third whiskey on the roof garden at the Hilton that he would give her back something she’d lost, a missing taste, an intonation gone flat, that ghostly feeling of home, though she was no longer at home anywhere.”
― Ingeborg Bachmann, Simultan: Erzählungen
“You’re beautiful, but you’re empty…One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Painting by John Duncan
Hymn to the Rose (1907)
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
Photo above Eudora Welty in the garden, weeding, in the 1940s. Photograph via Eudora Welty Foundation.
Eudora Alice Welty (1909 – 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.
“The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!”
― Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton (1862-1937)was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930.
Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”
“One of the most widespread superstitions is that every man has his own special, definite qualities; that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid, energetic, apathetic, etc.
Men are not like that . . . Men are like rivers; the water is the same in each, and alike in all; but every river is narrow here, is more rapid there, here slower, there broader, now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is the same with men. Every man carries in himself the germs of every human quality and sometimes one manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man often becomes unlike himself—while still remaining the same man.”
― Leo Tolstoy
Only known color photograph of the writer, taken at his Yasnaya Polyana estate in 1908 by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
“Life is tension or the result of tension; without tension the creative impulse cannot exist. If human life be taken as the result of tension between the two polarities night and day, night, the negative pole, must share equal importance with the positive day. At night, under the influence of cosmic radiations quite different from those of the day, human affairs are apt to come to a crisis. At night most human beings die and are born.”
Anna Kavan (Helen Woods, 1901-1968) was a British novelist, short story writer and painter.