Matter occupies space, and I know—I guess I always have—that I can only have space for the things that matter.
— Marla Miniano, from From This Day Forward
I thought of Ashley, on the other side of that ocean, and wondered what she was doing right now, and hoped that she was well, and happy, and maybe thinking of me, and then I just stood there, grinning like a fool, and took a deep, deep breath of that sharp, smoke-scented air and raised my arms to the open sky, and said, ‘Ha!’
— Iain Banks, from The Crow Road
Perhaps there really are occasions in life when it’s best not to say anything.
Miljenko Jergovic, from “The Condor” in Sarajevo Marlboro, translated by Stela Tomaševic
[In the desert, you see, there is everything and nothing.’
“‘Yes, but explain——’]
“‘Well,’ he said, with an impatient gesture, ‘God is there, man is not.’
— Honoré de Balzac, from “A Passion in the Desert”
Although boiled and shedding his legs on the way, with his remaining strength he had dragged himself somewhere to begin a homeless wandering, and we never saw him again.
— Bruno Schulz, from Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
[So of the song of the Shadow there remain only a few scraps of legend, carried like driftwood from isle to isle over the long years.] But in the Deed of Ged nothing is told of that voyage nor of Ged’s meeting with the shadow, before ever he sailed the Dragons’ Run unscathed, or brought back the Ring of Erreth-Akbe from the Tombs of Atuan to Havnor, or came at last to Roke once more, as Archmage of all the islands of the world.
— Ursula K. Le Guin,
from A Wizard of Earthsea