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A literary creation can appeal to us in all sorts of ways-by its theme, subject, situations, characters. But above all it appeals to us by the presence in it of art. It is the presence of art in Crime and Punishment that moves us deeply rather than the story of Raskolnikov's crime.

Doctor Zhivago
Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.
The great writers can take us anywhere; but half the time they�re taking us where we don�t want to go.
This remains the great deficiency of literature: its imitation of nature cannot prepare you for the main events. For the main events, only experience will answer.

Experience: A Memoir
Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.

A Room of One's Own
Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

The Book of Disquiet
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity
Literature is a defense against the attacks of life. It says to life: �You can't deceive me. I know your habits, foresee and enjoy watching all your reactions, and steal your secret by involving you in cunning obstructions that halt your normal flow�
If literature isn�t everything, it�s not worth a single hour of someone�s trouble
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."