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Who is Achilles without his tendon? Who is Samson without Delilah? Who is Oedipus without his clubfoot? … The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles - preferably of his own making - in order to triumph.

Garth Stein, The Art Of Racing In The Rain

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

And as the elevator descends, passing the second floor, and the first floor, going even farther down, I realize that the money doesn’t matter. That all that does is that I want to see the worst.

Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs - the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limbs, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate - the little deadly demon among the wholesome children; she stands unrecognized by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (via oceanofmind)

(via commovente)