Literary Quotations
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Grendel (1971)

So childhood too feels good at first, before one happens to notice the terrible sameness, age after age.

--Chapter 1

Talking, talking, spinning a spell, pale skin of words that closes me in like a coffin.

--Chapter 2

I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears.

--Chapter 2

Pick an apocalypse, any apocalypse. A sea of black oil and dead things. No wind. No light. Nothing stirring, not even an ant, a spider. A silent universe. Such is the end of the flicker of time, the brief, hot fuse of events and ideas set off, accidentally, and snuffed out, accidentally, by man. Not a real ending of course, nor even a beginning. Mere ripple in Time's stream.

--Chapter 5

The hero sees values beyond what's possible. That's the nature of a hero. It kills him, of course, ultimately. But it makes the whole struggle of humanity worthwhile.

--Chapter 6

Revolution, my dear prince, is not the substitution of immoral for moral, or of illegitimate for legitimate violence; it is simply the pitting of power against power, where the issue is freedom for the winners and enslavement of the rest.

--Chapter 8

Beauty requires contrast.

--Chapter 9

All order, I've come to understand, is theoretical, unreal -- a harmless, sensible, smiling mask men slide between the two great, dark realities, the self and the world -- two snake-pits.

--Chapter 11

Fate often enough will spare a man if his courage holds.

--Chapter 11