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James Joyce

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I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.
Said in conversation with Frank Budgen, Zurich, 1918, as told by Budgen in his book James Joyce and the Making of "Ulysses" (1934), ch. IV

James Joyce

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It's queer about this book--it suddenly made me wonder whether any other book about the War has been written in this country. It's a book of extra-ordinary courage--not the courage of hope but the quiet courage of despair. It will make patriots and romanticists angry--yet it is the kind of patriotism that is hardest and toughest. It ranks at once with the few great cries of protest. It is a selected, partial, bitter picture, but a picture we need. It will live. None of the acts of bravery for which the author was decorated during the War was as brave as this anthology of dismay.

William March

Something doesn't start
at its usual time.
Something doesn't happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Wislawa Szymborska

You will want a book which contains not man's thoughts, but God's not a book that may amuse you, but a book that can save you not even a book that can instruct you, but a book on which you can venture an eternity not only a book which can give relief to your spirit, but redemption to your soul a book which contains salvation, and conveys it to you, one which shall at once be the Saviour's book and the sinner's.

John Selden

O thou who art able to write a Book, which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner! Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim.

Thomas Carlyle

I strive to discover how to signal my companions before I die, how to give them a hand, how to spell out for them in time one complete word at least, to tell them what I think this procession is, and toward what we go. And how necessary it is for all of us together to put our steps and hearts in harmony.
To say in time a simple word to my companions, a password, like conspirators.
Yes, the purpose of Earth is not life, it is not man. Earth has existed without these, and it will live on without them. They are but the ephemeral sparks of its violent whirling.
Let us unite, let us hold each other tightly, let us merge our hearts, let us create so long as the warmth of this earth endures, so long as no earthquakes, cataclysms, icebergs or comets come to destroy us let us create for Earth a brain and a heart, let us give a human meaning to the superhuman struggle.
This anguish is our second duty.

Nikos Kazantzakis
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