“an Empress of a world … a world of ideas”

‘‘I would fain be as you are, an Empress of a world, and I shall never be at quiet until I be one … for every human creature can create an immaterial world fully inhabited by immaterial creatures … he may make a world of ideas, a world of atoms, a world of lights …’’…

“The best moments in reading…”

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it…

‘the moon and woman’

‘What special affinities appeared to him to exist between the moon and woman? Her antiquity in preceding and surviving successive tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence…’

‘It’s a miracle, it’s an ecstacy’

‘to be on a level with ordinary experience, to feel simply that’s a chair, that’s a table, and yet at the same time, It’s a miracle, it’s an ecstasy’

‘Men may congratulate themselves…’

‘Men may congratulate themselves for writing truly and passionately about movements of nations; they may consider war and the search for God to be great literature’s only subjects; but if men’s standing in the world could be toppled by an ill-advised choice of hat, English literature would be dramatically changed.’

‘not beautiful, not supremely brilliant …’

‘Away she hurried, not beautiful, not supremely brilliant, but filled with something that took the place of both qualities – something best described as a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encountered in her path through life.’

‘A book must be…’

“But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.” From Franz Kafka’s personal correspondence  

‘With you she will sit silent…’

‘With you she will sit silent as long as it suits you to talk alone; you can hold her under a potent spell: intelligent as she is, eloquent as she can be, you can seal her lips, and veil her bright countenance with diffidence.’ From The Professor by Charlotte Brontë   This is the first in a…