Satantango (1994)

“We don’t always do what we should. There is such a thing as negative egotism, the desire for what will destroy us. Perhaps that’s the best thing about us, that uncertainty, that fragility. Humans are strange creatures, we think with a logic that is quite different from what we feel, and all too often what we feel goes against what we need–love, passion, and, yes, hatred, those are the feelings that can bring about our downfall, and we go toward that downfall knowingly, we seem to need to keep doing that, and no one can explain why.”

from On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes

la notti bianche

La Notti Bianche (1957)

“My usual sense of impermanence was made worse by the fact that Tamas and I were mixing with people not our own, people we had nothing in common with, and by the same old feeling that nothing mattered. But then I wasn’t the only one with this sense of impermanence. The whole city had it, it was in the air. People had a lot of money and they knew that it made no difference: it might vanish from one day to the next. The sense of impending disaster hung over the garden like a chandelier.”
–from Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb

cleo from 5 to 7

Cleo from 5 to 7

“The trees in their spring beauty sent through her restive mind a sharp thrill of pleasure. Seductive, charming, and beckoning as cities were, they had not this easy unhuman loveliness. The trees, she thought, on city avenues and boulevards, in city parks and gardens, were tamed, held prisoners in a surrounding maze of human beings. Here they were free. It was human beings who were prisoners. It was too bad. In the midst of all this radiant life. They weren’t, she knew, even conscious of its presence. Perhaps there was too much of it, and therefore it was less than nothing.”
–from Quicksand by Nella Larsen

The Fugitive Kind (1960)

The Fugitive Kind (1960)

“I see the fabric of my country’s rights and justices fraying and I see climate change advancing. There are terrible things about this moment and it’s clear that the consequences of climate change will get worse (though how much worse still depends on us). I also see that we never actually know how things will play out in the end, that the most unlikely events often occur, that we are a very innovative and resilient species, and that far more of us are idealists than is good for business and the status quo to acknowledge.”

Rebecca Solnit

Nothing But a Man (1964)

Nothing But a Man (1964)

“He had come to that moment in his age when there occurred to him, with increasing intensity, a question of such overwhelming simplicity that he had no means to face it. He found himself wondering if his life were worth the living; if it had ever been. It was a question, he suspected, that came to all men at one time or another; he wondered if it came to them with such impersonal force as it came to him. The question brought with it a sadness, but it was a general sadness which (he thought) had little to do with himself or with his particular fate; he was not even sure that the question sprang from the most immediate and obvious causes, from what his own life had become. It came, he believed, from the accretion of his years, from the density of accident and circumstance, and from what he had managed to acquire had led him to this knowledge: that in the long run all things, even the learning that let him know this, were futile and empty, and at last diminished into a nothingness they did not alter.”

–from Stoner by John Williams (p. 179)