"No, to a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself."
"Some forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate the things we hold good."
"When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substitued the idea collective for the idea God."
"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual."
"I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost."
"It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them."
"Well, a man's mind can't stay in time the way his body does."
"It was well known that Liza Hamilton and the Lord God held similar convictions on nearly every subject."
"Oh, maybe because we think of strangers as stronger and better than we are."
"Maybe the foolishness is necessary, the dragon fighting, the boasting, the pitiful courage to be constantly knocking a chip off God's shoulder, and the childish cowardice that makes a ghost of a dead tree beside a darkening road. Maybe that's good and necessary, but--"
"They were not pure, but they had a potential of purity, like a soiled white shirt."
"You might get the idea that they howled truth and beauty the way a seal bites out the National Anthem on a row of circus horns."
". . . once he had accepted the end as desireable, he should forget it completely and concentrate solely on the means."
"And all the names but one in here have two dates."
"It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion."
"When you know a friend is there you do not go to see him. Then he's gone and you blast your conscience to shreds that you did not see him."
"Maybe you're playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience."
"It was not laziness if he was a rich man. Only the poor were lazy. Just as only the poor were ignorant. A rich man who didn't know anything was spoiled or independent."
"Yes, memory. Without that, time would be unarmed against us."
"Perhaps she wasn't even pretty, but she had the glow that makes men follow a woman in the hope of reflecting a little of it."
"In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love."
"We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is."
"It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world."
"There's nothing sadder to me than associations held together by nothing but the glue of postage stamps. If you can't see or hear or touch a man, it's best to let him go."
"I am imcomparably, incredibly, overwhelmingly glad to be home. I've never been so goddam lonesome in my life."