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Marilynne Robinson

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I think most people feel a difference between their real lives and the lives they have in the world. But they ignore their souls, or hide them, so they can keep things together, keep an ordinary life together. You don’t do that. In your own way, you’re kind of—pure.”

“...feeling that old thrill of dread and compulsion, he knew circumstances had once again put him too close to a fragile thing. He said, "Look at the life we live, Della. I have to sneak over here in the dark just to steal a few words with you. Is that language, or is it noise?" She said, "It's noise that you have to do it, and language that you do it, anyway." She said softly, "Maybe poetry.”

“We do. We know this, but just because it’s a habit to believe it, not because it is really visible to us most of the time. But once in a lifetime, maybe, you look at a stranger and you see a soul, a glorious presence out of place in the world. And if you love God, every choice is made for you. There is no turning away. You’ve seen the mystery—you’ve seen what life is about. What it’s for. And a soul has no earthly qualities, no history among the things of this world, no guilt or injury or failure. No more than a flame would have. There is nothing to be said about it except that it is a holy human soul. And it is a miracle when you recognize it.”

“Those who can't hope can still wish.”

“Forever after, the thought of her would be painful, because it had been pleasant. Strange how that is.”

“So many of earth's grievances could be soothed by a little consideration.”

“He was waiting to see what she would make of him, as they say. And then he would be what she made of him.”

“Embarrassment, relentless, punitive scorn, can wear away at a soul until it recedes into wordless loneliness.”

“Cleverness has a special piquancy when it blooms out of the fraying sleeve of failure.”

“After a while she said, "If you make a sound it's just a sound, unless it belongs to a language, and then it's a word. It means something. It can't not mean something.”

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Book Keywords:

consideration, loneliness-or-solitude, language, wish, meaning, hope, grievance, despair

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