10 Lines from Literature That Will Consume You and Break Your Heart

“I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped—or have been expelled—from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for this last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.

-Scott Spencer, Endless Love

The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day.”

-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn’t heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.

-Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse.”

-J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

I’ve tried to believe, but I don’t, I can’t, and there’s no use pretending.

– Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

-George Orwell, 1984

“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“I looked and looked at her, and I knew, as clearly as I know that I will die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth. She was only the dead-leaf echo of the nymphet from long ago – but I loved her, this Lolita, pale and polluted and big with another man’s child. She could fade and wither – I didn’t care. I would still go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of her face.”

-Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. It was that day that I knew I wanted to tell the story of my family. Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained.”

-Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones


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