Thursday, March 12, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Favorite Quotes

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Novel Heartbeat. This feature is designed to let readers and other bloggers get to know us on a more personal level by discussing non-bookish topics. This week's topic is...

Favorite quotes!

I don't have a ton of favorite quotes, but I have a few! There are SOOO many great quotes in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series. Here are a few of my favorites: "They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source the source of the grief is finite."; "One must always be careful of books ... and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us."; and the namesake for this blog, "We live and breathe words".

I also have some favorites from Rachel Hawkin's Hex Hall series. This one, however, is by far the best:"Right now, I'm so happy to see you that I wouldn't care if you're secretly a ninja sent from the future to destroy kittens and rainbows."

Then there are these last two favorites. The first comes from East of Eden by John Steinbeck: "And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen." Lastly, "There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others, and the ones we hide from ourselves." I'm not entirely sure where that one is from but it's been on my Facebook since middle school, so definitely a favorite.

First of all, no. NO. There are too godamn many. But here are a few.

"Menstruation, not hunting, was the great evolutionary leap forward." - Rosalind Miles, Who Cooked the Last Supper? The Women's History of the World. This book is godamn revolutionary, and is one of the most important pieces of literature to exist, especially alongside its other 80s titles, The Satanic Verses and The Handmaid's Tale. While the latter two are works of fiction that serve to undermine our conceptions of language, religion, identity, and history, Who Cooked Last Supper literally tracks the destruction of female autonomy and the creation and rise of the patriarchy through sociopolitical and religious systems. It's also frigging hilarious and so so so true.

Like Kiersten, I also enjoy Steinbeck's East of Eden: “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?” This book is one hell of a trip, man.

“To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?" - Christopher Hitchens, Mortality. Godamn man. Godamn. That's heavy.

"Literally every line from Hitchhikers Guide" - Seriously though.

There's a hell of a lot more but that list is just too endless.

Wow I have so many favorite quotes someone please stop me before I list seven thousand because God knows I live for good quotes. Let's start with some I especially enjoy:

"The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math" - Matt Adrian. This is one of my favorite quotes ever and I feel like it personally resonates with me (even though let's be real most of the things I do are really impulsive and not calculated which is funny considering how much I overthink) and if I ever got a tattoo I'd want it to say this (probably) because of how relevant I feel it is.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” - Rumi. Okay, honestly, what I wanted to insert was every poem and every word Rumi has every uttered but for the interest of concision I decided to just pick one. I really like this one, I feel like it says a lot by saying a little.

"“I liked myths. They weren't adult stories and they weren't children's stories. They were better than that. They just were.” - Neil Gaiman. I also wanted to include all of Neil Gaiman's works because he's my favorite author and I had to settle on just the one quote and it was really stressful but I really enjoy this one and the idea of just being.

"“Leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can't do that until your life has grown roots.” - John Green. We're gonna go with the common theme of "I wanted to do all the quotes and had to pick one." Paper Towns is my favorite John Green book and I love both this quote and every mention of string-breaking, I just find it very hard-hitting and resonant.

"How do we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become?" - Doc Luben. I also wanted to put a lot of poetry, especially spoken word and slam poetry, quotes on here, and also reigned back and just picked one and this line gave me chills when I first heard it, especially in context with the rest of the poem.

I have a lot of other quotes I like and honestly I'm bad at listing favorites when you ask for them so like this probably isn't even a "correct" list if you're judging by whether they're like my top favorites of my all time, much less a comprehensive list, but it's definitely still a valid one because I love all these quotes dearly!

There are literally so many that I could never even wrap my head around listing them all, and I think I live to find good quotes and it is a truth I stand by that in every good piece of writing, there is at least one line that should make your heart stop -- these are a few of them.

"Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another -- physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion." - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. I actually didn't enjoy the story that much because I was horrified by the plot, but Morrison is an amazing writer and this line has stuck with me for so long, and I can't really put my finger on why, other than that it flows in a way that I want everything I ever say to flow.

"Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees." - Victor Hugo. While I'm not religious, this quote grounds me like no other.

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited." - Sylvia Plath. Plath was basically the beginning of my experience of being completely honest with myself. Plath and Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar, through poems and journals and the novel, prove themselves to be the most brutally honest people (to themselves). It was a wake up call I desperately needed at 14 and I'll forever love the quote and everything else Sylvia Plath has ever written.

I love pretty much Joan Didion has ever said but "Do not not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone." and "Self respect is a question of recognizing that everything worth having has a price." Everything this woman says is just so inspiring to me.

What are some of your favorite quotes?
Let us know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. You guys are really deep. My favorite quotes are mostly lines that amused me, but some are very thoughtful. Recent faves:
    1. If bad luck knows who you are, become someone else - Jandy Nelson, I'll Give You the Sun
    2. Georgie, you cannot be jealous of Dawn -- that's like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb - Rainbow Rowell, Landline
    3. I go to seek a great perhaps - John Green, Looking for Alaska
    4. The best people all have some kind of scar - Kiera Cass, The One
    5. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. - Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
    Bonus: You must have voodoo in your boohoo - Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Redemption (that one cracked me up)