Holding this book in your hand, sinking back into your armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me. And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy. But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true. – Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot
Most people, left to their own devices, think not in clichés but with originality and brilliance; that most individual voices, once heard, turn out to be voices of beauty and wisdom.
I think we all agree that a novel is nothing if it is not the expression of an individual voice, of a single view of experience — and how many of the good or even interesting novels, of the thousands published appear each year? – Joan Didion (I Can’t Get That Monster Out of My Mind – 1964)
I never read a book I must review; it prejudices you so. – Oscar Wilde
Perhaps he was onto something…
As she read, she became fully human again. A line of poetry was a perfect moment, a spray of words daring and loud enough to take her somewhere unexpected.
Just one line, the right line, could immerse her in something larger, crucial. – The Camel Bookmobile