LitStack Pick: The Lines We Wish We’d Written

Variousthe girl who

Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream.  If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep.  And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body.  The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.”
― Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Haunting, poetic, and cutthroat, Danielewski’s prose in House of Leaves is just what it needs to be, and I frequently find myself re-reading a passage or page not to understand, but to wallow in his inventiveness.

Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

One of the most recent books I’ve read, and it seemed like every other page had a brilliant quote about childhood or books or life — and everything in between.  The fantasy setting allowed Valente some truly powerful comments about the real world.

The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

It’s hard to pick just one Adams’ quote, but he’s my favorite for short, witty platitudes about life, the universe, and everything.

This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

Card has a way with characters, and his intelligent, verbose heroes and heroines end up speaking some of my favorite bits of dialogue of all time.

-Kira Apple

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2 thoughts on “LitStack Pick: The Lines We Wish We’d Written

  1. This is, so far, one of my favorite LitStack Picks of all time. I’m definitely favoriting it so I can turn back to these lines and recommendations when trying to figure out which book I need to read next.

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