“What is important now is to recover our senses… We must stop seeing and feeling and think it all out again.”

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

“I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.”

“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here forever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.”

“There is no denying the wild horse in us.”

“The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.”

“I am happy being alone. In fact, in this wordy life, I seek to be evermore alone. There’s something healthy about writing, I think… Away from the world, yet in it.”

“Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning.”

“The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”

“Everything had come to a stop: horse, wagons, voices. The boats that appeared silently as rapidly in the morning, and moved so slowly in the afternoon, stood still. And now a faint moaning, with the wind muffling the fog in the distance, brought shivers to Kate’s skin, she thought she had never been so cold.”

“The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.”

“What is the meaning of life?… Life, friends, is boring.”

“I feel certain of nothing. I am a bundle of contradictions.”

“If I could find words or even colors for it, I would describe myself as a toucan in a forest of sparrows.”

“Here I am where I ought to be. I can’t associate myself with anything but long… lack of order and direction.”

“If Shakespeare had never existed, he is unmemorable. That is to say, he is immemorial.”

“It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the Chinese are a civilized nation that has not yet been discovered.”

“There is a saying that if you throw a stone into a pond, the ripples continue indefinitely. But the ripples are all one with the water.”

“This is the sort of poetry I find myself writing: simple moon and simple sun.”

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”

“I thought of a woman who had been safety in her house, beneath familiar lamps and with friends around her. And at once I wished to go there. But the fact of the matter was that there was plenty of time ahead to go there.”

“A self that goes on changing cannot remain the same self.”

“The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river.”

“Do not dream of influences; dream of silence.”

“And nights alone, when people who have been intimate are embarrassed and hateful to each other.”

“I feel it now, small and persistent, the love I have for her, and how much it has grown in this place. How close we are in time, in space.”