the cicada speaks his first piece. He says of the world: heat. At eleven of the same day, still singing, he has not changed his note but has enlarged his theme. He says of the morning: love. In the sultry middle of the afternoon, when the sadness of love and of heat has shaken him, his symphonic soul goes into the great movement and he says: death. But the thing isn’t over. After supper he weaves heat, love, death into a final stanza, subtler and less brassy than the others. He has one last heroic monosyllable at his command. Life, he says, reminiscing. Life.
— E.B. White, “Life,” in E.B. White: Writings from the New Yorker, 1925-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (New York: HarperCollins, 1990), 3.
A closed book is beautiful, because anything can be written in it, and so everything is.
— Catherynne M. Valente, Yume no Hon
resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.
— Italo Calvin, If on a winter’s night a traveler
I found a break in the hedgerow and a place with a big view. I could look way down into the valley and almost hear the fever of the jigs and reels, while the silent sea of heaven rolled overhead.
— James Gurney, “The Hills above Clonmel”
a man of talent is condemned to live is dull and stupid, the artist is, unconsciously to himself, haunted by a sensation of morbid yearning for another century… In some cases, it is a return to past ages, to vanished civilizations, to dead centuries; in others, it is an impulse towards the fantastic, the land of dreams, it is a vision more or less vivid of a time to come whose images reproduce, without his being aware, as a result of atavism, that of by-gone epochs.
(…or, in these days, yearning for a future history that never will be, save in dreaming…)
— J. K. Huysmans, “Against the Grain” (1926)
created the world, and His word, from the lips of His servants, is to re-create it.
— Henry Fish, Power in the Pulpit