Willa Cather
“The test of one’s decency is how much of a fight one can put up after one has stopped caring.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
“But every true god must be both organizer and destroyer.”
Louis C.K. 
“The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“What goes around may come around, but it never ends up exactly the same place, you ever notice? Like a record on a turntable, all it takes is one groove’s difference and the universe can be on into a whole ‘nother song.”
Joseph Conrad
“It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.”
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (excerpt)

I’ve never actually wondered how many faces there are. There are a great many people, but there are even more faces because each person has several.

Admittedly, since they have several faces, the question now arises: what do they do with the others? They save them. They’ll do for the children. There have even been instances when dogs have gone out with them on. And why not? A face is a face.

Other people change their faces one after the other with uncanny speed and wear them out. At first it seems to them that they’ve enough to last them forever, but before they’re even forty they’re down to the last of them.

Of course, there’s a tragic side to it. They’re not used to looking after faces; their last one wore through in a week and has holes in it and in many places it’s as thin as paper; bit by bit the bottom layer, the non-face, shows through and they go about wearing that. 

But that woman, that woman: bent forward with her head in her hands, she’d completely fallen into herself. It was at the corner of rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. I began to tread softly the moment I caught sight of her. Poor people shouldn’t be disturbed when they’re deep in thought. What they’re searching for might still occur to them.

The street was too empty; its emptiness was bored with itself and it pulled away the sounds of my footsteps and clattered around all over the place with them like a wooden clog. Out of fright the woman reared up too quickly, too violently, so that her face was left in her two hands. I could see it lying there, the hollowness of its shape.

It cost me an indescribable effort to keep looking at those hands and not at what they’d torn away from. I dreaded seeing the inside of a face, but I was much more afraid of the exposed rawness of the head without a face. 


Read The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke in its entirety here

Paul Celan
“There was earth inside them, and they dug.”
John Steinbeck
“There’s a responsibility in being a person. It’s more than just taking up space where air would be.”
Paul Celan
“They’ve healed me to pieces.”
W. S. Merwin 
“Tell me what you see vanishing and I will tell you who you are.”
Friedrich Nietzche
“Whoever is the wisest among you is also just a conflict and a cross between plant and ghost.”
Jorge Luis Borges
“There’s no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one.”
Franz Kafka
“The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.”
Septim themes