Literary Quotations
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UNDERWORLD

by: Don DeLillo


Longing on a large scale is what makes history.

--Prologue

You shout because it makes you brave or you want to announce your recklessness.

--Prologue

When you see a thing like that, a thing that becomes a newsreel, you begin to feel you are a carrier of some solemn scrap of history.

--Prologue

Fame and secrecy are the high and low ends of the same fascination.

--Prologue

Everything is changing shape, becoming something else.

--Prologue

It's not enough to hate your enemy. You have to understand how the two of you bring each other to deep completion.

--Prologue

I think if you maintain a force in the world that comes into people's sleep, you are exercising a meaningful power.

--Part 1

Famous people don't want to be told that you have a quality in common with them. It makes them think there's something crawling in their clothes.

--Part 1

He looked too old, too spare, his face a boxy outline, an underdrawing of the original likeness, the fleshed-out and tinted-in Bronzini. A couple of days of gray stubble surrounded his untrimmed moustache and Matt thought the man had seized upon old age, embraced it with a kind of reckless assent.

--Part 2

It's a curious rite of passage, isn't it? Visit the old places. First you wonder how you lived so uncomplainingly in such cramped circumstances. The streets are narrower, the buildings smaller than you ever remembered. It's like coming back to Lilliput.

--Part 2

There is a balance, a kind of standoff between the time continuum and the human entity, our frail bundle of soma and psyche. We eventually succumb to time, it's true, but time depends on us. We carry it in our muscles and genes, pass it on to the next set of time-factoring creatures, our brown-eyed daughters and jug-eared sons, or how would the world keep going. Never mind the time theorists, the cesium devices that measure the life and death of the smallest silvery trillionth of a second.... We were the only crucial clocks, our minds and bodies, way stations for the distribution of time.

--Part 2

Prayer is a practical strategy, the gaining of temporal advantage in the capital markets of Sin and Remission.

--Part 2

The shock, the power of an ordinary life. It is a thing you could not invent with banks of computers in a dust-free room.

--Part 3

The biggest secrets are staring us right in the face and we don't see a thing.

--Part 3

Pain is just another form of information.

--Part 3

I think silence is the condition you accept as the judgment on your crimes.

--Part 3

The best part of a trip is coming home.

--Part 4

Some people fake their death, I'm faking my life.

--Part 4

What is death?... Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

--Part 5

The family was an art ... and the dinner table was the place it found expression.

--Part 6

It is interesting ... how weapons reflect the soul of the maker.

--Epilogue