Monday, 31 March 2008

5 favourites - quotes

What constitutes a quote? Something short, snappy and meaningful? Or can it be long and eloquent -- such as the soliloquy from Hamlet I recited at every ampitheatre I came across when travelling in Greece, France and Italy? Or maybe a quote from a favourite book -- or a quote that inspired a favourite book?

So many to choose from, and I keep thinking of more as I write!

I collect quotes, write them down frequently, which only makes this harder. Here are a few that have meaning for me:

1. From Hamlet Act2, Sceneii
I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

(This is the quote mentioned above, and resonates with me mainly because of the scene at the end of the movie, Withnail & I . . . An explanation of this quote can be found here.)

2. From A man rides through, by Stephen Donaldson (chapter 32: The benefit of sons)
The metal of Geraden's character had been tempered by bitterness, polished by dismay.

(From one of my all-time favourite fantasy novels, this quote appeals because of the imagery and its appropriateness to my chosen field of study . . . OMG I want to read it again now!)

3. From the Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce
Congratulation: The civility of envy.

(I had to have one from the Devil's Dictionary here, but they're all brilliant!)

4. Chinese proverb
A bit of perfume always clings to the hand that gives the rose.

5. Carl Jung (1875-1961)
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

(This one appeals to me for many reasons as a writer.)

So there you have it. Five very different quotes.


  1. Great quotes. Ah, Geraden... If not for my husband's vast dislike of the name, my first son would've been Geraden. Love the Shakespeare!

  2. Oh yes, Geraden. One of my favourite heroes. Now Brashen is up there too . . . must find a quote from him that appeals!