No passion had ever touched him, for this was what passion meant; he had survived
and maundered and pined, but where had been his deep ravage?
- Henry James
I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria,
as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout
the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.
- Gustav Mahler

Thro' my childhood and youth and until within the last few years,
the thought of the end as an entrance into spiritual existence,
where aspirations are a fulfillment, was a perpetual and necessary inspiration,
but now, altho' intellectually non-existence is more ungraspable and inconceivable
than ever, all longing for fulfillment, all passion to achieve has died down within me
and whether the great Mystery resolves itself into eternal Death or glorious Life,
I contemplate either with equal serenity.
- Alice James

Contradiction is our wretchedness, and the sense of our wretchedness
is the sense of reality. For we do not invent our wretchedness. It is true.
That is why we have to value it. All the rest is imaginary.
- Simone Weil
The distinguished old writing table is wonderful, handed surely down
from a past age of subtle feeling.
- Robert Walser
The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live--moreover, the only one.
- E. M. Cioran
You may feel yourself a hypocrite and worse, but you must always remember
that it is sometimes necessary for a man to fall, that others might not fall lower still.
- Charmaine Craig
I admire artists for whom art is a ceaseless struggle to reach the other shore.
Firmly rooted in reality and in nature, they stubbornly strain toward something
that is felt but not known. The kind of writing in which a sentence is not just the
vehicle of free and lucid thinking but also of ceaseless moral tension, writing in
which the words are alive with the whole being of the person who utters them as
his long-meditated and suffered truth: that is the kind of writing that has always
captivated me.
- Gustaw Herling
Find the pains you have inflicted. Those you have suffered will keep well enough
without any effort on your part.
- Elias Canetti
Peace was my aim, but not at all my idol.
- Marguerite Yourcenar