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Neil Gaiman

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In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the face and lips and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smiled and kept moving.
--
From Bitter Grounds

 
Neil Gaiman

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When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn't normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.

 
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What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

 
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Do you think that you're beautiful?
Inside or outside? Mmmmm... outside I don't think about that too much because I realise that's all very superficial. I'm more concerned about inside, and inside I think I'm alright... I'm OK inside. I don't think I'm perfect and I don't call myself beautiful but I'm definitely not ugly inside. I've got friends who aren't that so called pleasant to look at but inside I think they're beautiful.

 
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When I remember George Orwell, I see again the long, lined face that so often reminded me not of a living person, but of a character out of fiction. It was the nearest I had seen in real life to the imagined features of Don Quixote, and the rest of the figure went with the face. For Orwell was a thin, angular man, with worn gothic features accentuated by deep vertical furrows that ran down the cheeks and across the corners of the mouth. The thinness of his lips was emphasized by a very narrow line of dark moustache: it seemed a hard, almost cruel mouth, until he smiled, and then an expression of unexpected kindliness would irradiate his whole face. The general gauntness of his looks was accentuated by the deep sockets from which his eyes looked out, always rather sadly. … The resemblance to Don Quixote was appropriate, for in many was Orwell can only be understood as an essentially quixotic man. … He defended, passionately and as a matter of principle, unpopular causes. Often without regard to reason he would strike out against anything which offended his conceptions of right, justice and decency, yet, as many who crossed lances with him had reason to know, he could be a very chivalrous opponent, impelled by a sense of fair play that would lead to public recantation of accusations he had eventually decided were unfair. In his own way he was a man of the left, but he attacked its holy images as fervently as he did those of the right. And however much he might on occasion find himself in uneasy and temporary alliance with others, he was — in the end — as much a man in isolation as Don Quixote. His was the isolation of every man who seeks the truth diligently, no matter how unpleasant its implications may be to others or even to himself.

 
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Everything you wanted to know about a person was written in the face, she believed. It’s not that she believed that the shape of the head was what counted– even if there were many who still clung to that belief; it was more a question of taking care to scrutinise the lines and the general look. And the eyes, of course; they were very important. The eyes allowed you to see right into a person, to penetrate their very essence, and that was why people with something to hide wore sunglasses indoors. They were the ones you had to watch very carefully.

 
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