Best 4069 quotes in «fiction quotes» category

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    In the Ottoman times, there were itinerant storytellers called "meddah. " They would go to coffee houses, where they would tell a story in front of an audience, often improvising. With each new person in the story, the meddah would change his voice, impersonating that character. Everybody could go and listen, you know ordinary people, even the sultan, Muslims and non-Muslims. Stories cut across all boundaries. Like "The Tales of Nasreddin Hodja," which were very popular throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Asia. Today, stories continue to transcend borders

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    In the schoolhouse of the disco, I'd learned courage in a gay bar with gay men, but courage away is not courage at home.

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    In this strife-torn valley, I have always been tormented by feelings of indefinite and eternal uncertainty. "The Half Mother" is an outcome of those feelings.

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    In this book time thus flows in a tempo opposite that of real life: the tempo slows down as the years go by.

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    In this crowded field of publishing, originality is king.

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    In this world there are two types of people: the ones who hurt, and the ones who are hurt. But if we all claim to be the victims, then aren't we all the criminals too?

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    In Woolrich's crime fiction there is a gradual development from pulp to noir. The earlier a story, the more likely it stresses pulp elements: one-dimensional macho protagonists, preposterous methods of murder, hordes of cardboard gangsters, dialogue full of whiny insults, blistering fast action. But even in some of his earliest crime stories one finds aspects of noir, and over time the stream works itself pure. In mature Woolrich the world is an incomprehensible place where beams happen to fall, and are predestined to fall, and are toppled over by malevolent powers; a world ruled by chance, fate and God the malign thug. But the everyday life he portrays is just as terrifying and treacherous. The dominant economic reality is the Depression, which for Woolrich usually means a frightened little guy in a rundown apartment with a hungry wife and children, no money, no job, and desperation eating him like a cancer. The dominant political reality is a police force made up of a few decent cops and a horde of sociopaths licensed to torture and kill, whose outrages are casually accepted by all concerned, not least by the victims. The prevailing emotional states are loneliness and fear. Events take place in darkness, menace breathes out of every corner of the night, the bleak cityscape comes alive on the page and in our hearts. ("Introduction")

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    Invisibility is Just Visibility Inside Out

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    In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.

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    I often tell my students that fiction is about desire in one way or another. The older I get, the more I understand that life is generally the pursuit of desires. We want and want and oh how we want. We hunger.

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    I opened my eyes and watched the water stream past me. I let out some of my air and gazed at the cascade of silver bubbles dancing up to the surface.

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    I prefer, where truth is important, to write fiction.

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    I promise to tell you everything you want, but first I want something from you in return. What do you want? Olivia asked. I want a kiss, William said. You and I, we're making a deal of sorts...a bargain that we will keep each other's secrets...

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    I read not for entertainment but to feel what the writer has felt while writing even though if it was fiction.

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    I rarely remember the names or faces of nonfictional people.

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    I read nonfiction." She reared back as if offended.

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    I read fantasy to escape the real world, but other times I read fantasy to see the world from a different angle.

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    I realized that my life of late had consisted of far too much dialogue and not enough exposition. I imagined an angry, bespectacled English teacher slashing his pen through the transcript of my life, wondering how someone could possibly say so much and think so little.

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    I read nonfiction for information, fiction for truth.

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    I recalled something I’d read a long time ago about Satan. When he appeared, it wouldn’t be as a demon but as an ordinary-looking guy with a convincing message of peace.

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    I really don't know how he does it. How he can take any situation and seduce its pants off. It's a talent really.

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    I recall my life every day. I recall my sins and my acts of purity. I remind myself I was never a religious man. I remind myself that I have been dead for half of forever. I remind myself of nothing. I move along to the next minute. Next day. Next year. The earth doesn’t change so much anymore. It doesn’t change so quickly. With humans, the earth had to keep changing. But you can only replace a dying thing so many times before someone notices. There haven’t been humans for years. Maybe a decade. Maybe more. I find myself loving their absence. The absence of humanity is the absence of violence. I love this peace. But then I remember my bones. My mind and my memories. I remember I’m human. I am the thing I detest. The creature that haunts my steps. It’s my shadow I see watching me. It’s my reflection in the water. I keep remembering. I live in fear. But still, I walk on.

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    I refuse to live in a constant fighting match, Landon. It will not do!' 'And I’ve tried living without you, and it just won’t do!

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    I remember always being baffled by other children. I would be at a birthday party and watch the other kids giggling and making faces, and I would try to do that, too, but I wouldn't understand why. I would site there with the tight elastic thread of the birthday hat parting the pudge of my underchin, with the grainy frosting of the cake bluing my teeth, and I would try to figure out why it was fun.

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    I remember it taking place. They were dangerous back then. We were shut up, stopped in every way, detained by their power. They could just say one word and we had to leave! It was a horrible time for our kind." "What happened?" I ask, my strength slowly returning. "Well, when their leader left, years went by and a new normal set in, it became easier to get a hold on people. We came out of hiding. This, this right here is a great time for us. There are so many avenues and outlets for us to use!

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    ...I retreat into my fictional world where everything makes sense - but even there I can't even control what people do...

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    I rubbed my eyes. They felt like they were coming loose. Soon they'd slip out of their sockets and I'd be left to wander blind and staggering this land of longing and ache. The things I would have done for a hit. If that asshole who'd kicked me out onto the side of the road had offered me some dope I would have sucked anything he wanted, would have pleaded on my knees topless, would have let him plunge a hand through my ribs and tear out my heart, anything.

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    Ironically, [living in] communities of the like - minded is one of the greatest dangers of today ́s globalized world. And it ́s happening everywhere, among liberals and conservatives, agnostics and believers, the rich and the poor, East and West alike. We tend to form clusters based on similarity, and then we produce stereotypes about other clusters of people. In my opinion, one way of transcending these cultural ghettos is through the art of storytelling

    • fiction quotes
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    I sat down in a booth, and the waitress shoved a menu in front of me. There wasn’t anything on it that sounded good, and anyway, one look at her and my stomach turned flipflops… Every goddamned restaurant I go to, it’s always the same way… They’ll have some old bag on the payroll — I figure they keep her locked up in the mop closet until they see me coming. And they’ll doll her up in the dirtiest goddamned apron they can find and smear that crappy red polish all over her fingernails, and everything about her is smeary and sloppy and smelly. And she’s the dame that always waits on me.

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    I shall be up before you are awake; I shall be afield before you are up; and I shall have breakfasted before you are afield. In short, I shall astonish you all.

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    I see what I did not see. I experience that which is outside my own experience. This is the magic of reading novels. This is the working out of the problem of illusion. I take a book off the shelf. I open it up and begin to read, and what I discover in its pages is real.

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    I shut up. I don't fight, I don't scream. Shame rides alongside my terror. But somewhere deep, deep inside, I hear Mom tell me to trust my gut. My gut tells me I am blind and I am lost, and if I fought for freedom now, it would end in my death. I listen to my gut. Because I want to live.

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    I shook Alan’s hand and the feeling just grew stronger. It was a bit frustrating. Like when you’re looking for what to say and it’s on the tip of your tongue, but no matter how hard you try, it just keeps eluding you.

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    “She doesn’t seem to like me very much. Why is she here?” I wondered about the testing Uncle Sean spoke of, but I was more concerned with the lethal blonde who seemed to have taken an instant dislike to me.

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    I shouldn't have even been obsessing about it anyway, he probably had a girlfriend. Like a supermodel or playboy bunny or something, someone equivalent to his level of sexiness. Not someone normal like me.

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    Is it murder to kill a man if the man never existed? To the man it is.

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    I, SINUHE, the son of Senmut and of his wife Kipa, write this. I do not write it to the glory of the gods in the land of Kem, for I am weary of gods, nor to the glory of the Pharaohs, for I am weary of their deeds. I write neither from fear nor from any hope of the future but for myself alone. During my life I have seen, known, and lost too much to be the prey of vain dread; and, as for the hope of immortality, I am as weary of that as I am of gods and kings. For my own sake only I write this; and herein I differ from all other writers, past and to come.

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    Isn’t antimatter what fuels the U.S.S. Enterprise?

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    I sit on the bed. I remember a golden bracelet, thin gold, an apple with a bite taken out of it for the clasp, and the words "I Love You," and I take it out from the box of treasures under the bed. I remember Mama said, "I mean it. Though we never say it in this family," as she put the bracelet around my wrist last Christmas. And I still believe her, what she said about love. We just never say it in this family.

    • fiction quotes
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    I started to drink heavily, comfortably caught in the tentacle-like clutches of alcohol.

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    Is the writer cruel that makes his characters suffer only to bring them to triumph or tragedy in the end?

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    I steal a glance when no one is looking. Especially at his neck, when he turns to say something to my mother. That slender neck, with its air of determination, brisk and bold…

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    Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time's malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing--until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.

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    Is this how humanity waves good-bye? Hell no.

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    Is this not the very thing that drives an adventurous man to navigate uncharted oceans, to traverse continents and mountains, to pilot virgin estuaries and hidden coves—this promise of inscribing a name steadfast upon what he finds? There are few parcels of earth left to be claimed; yet even as the known world shrinks, the heavens grow ever more infinite. An explorer of the skies need never leave his home or fret over the swiftness of other expeditions; he might give whatever name he chooses to any new thing that wanders into his view.

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    I stole you, among others, from the streets of God’s birthplace. I forced you to work as a slave. Imprisoned, mistreated and starved you and your companion. To top it off, I am in the process of selling your life to the highest bidder. Why would you trust me?

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    I stood at the grassy edge and tentatively dipped my toe into the water. I watched the ripple spread and break the perfect reflection before composing itself. The ripple then rushed towards a mass of rocks to one side.

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    I suggest you leave now, or you’ll be tied down and gagged until the end of this meeting.” “Tie us down?” “And gag you,” Joseph cheerfully reminded them.

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    Is your life story the truth? Yes, the chronological events are true. Is it the whole truth? No, you see and judge it through your conditioned eyes and mind - not of all involved - nor do you see the entire overview. Is it nothing but the truth? No, you select, share, delete, distort, subtract, assume and add what you want, need and choose to.

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    It all started when she walked into my office that night unannounced. She told me she was in trouble. So I asked what kind. She said it was of the killing kind. Wanted to know if I could be trusted. I said up to a point, depending on who got killed.