Furtive Quotes

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Furtive Quotes

I won but I wasnt like Pat. Because—and why this should be Ill never know—I never did a thing that wasnt somehow touched with selfish, furtive hunger, with a private, annihilating need for recognition. Because Im like a child in a fairy tale cursed from birth, and there has never been anything I can put my hand to without tainting it, no triumph so great or solemn that it doesnt turn spoiled and ridiculous. Because, sooner or later, the darkness always gets in.
— Austin Grossman —

The imagination is also sometimes commended for offering us in vicarious form experiences which we are unable to enjoy at first hand. If you can't afford an air ticket to Kuala Lumpur, you can always read Conrad and imagine yourself in South-East Asia. If you have been monotonously married for forty years, you can always lay furtive hands on a copy of James Joyce's letters. Literature on this view is a kind of supplement to our unavoidably impoverished lives - a sort of spiritual prosthesis which extends our capabilities beyond their normal restricted range. It is true that everyone's experience is bound to be limited, and that art can valuably augment it. But why the lives of so many people should be imaginatively impoverished is then a question that can be easily passed over.

— Terry Eagleton

He led the way in under the huge branches of the trees. Old beyond guessing, they seemed. Great trailing beards of lichen hung from them, blowing and swaying in the breeze. Out of the shadows, the hobbits peeped, gazing back down the slope: little furtive figures that in the dim light looked like elf-children in the deeps of time peering out of the Wild Wood in wonder at their first Dawn.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension.

— Virginia Woolf

Respectability, regularity, and routine - the whole cast-iron discipline of a modern industrial society - have atrophied the artistic impulse, and imprisoned love so that it can no longer be generous and free and creative, but must be either stuffy or furtive.

— Bertrand Russell

The birth of a better world is not ultimately up to you, though I know, each day, there are grown men and women who tell you otherwise. The world needs saving precisely because of the actions of these same men and women. I am not a cynic. I love you, and I love the world, and I love it more with every new inch I discover. But you are a black boy, and you must be responsible for your body in a way that other boys cannot know. Indeed, you must be responsible for the worst actions of other black bodies, which, somehow, will always be assigned to you. And you must be responsible for the bodies of the powerful-the policeman who cracks you with a nightstick will quickly find his excuse in your furtive movements. And this is not reducible to just you-the women around you must be responsible for their bodies in a way that you never will know. You have to make your peace with the chaos, but you cannot lie.

— Ta-Nehisi Coates

Over the next few days, every knowing glance and furtive look reminded me how much small towns loved to gossip. My mother delighted me each day by telling me what she'd heard. I'd pushed Leo behind a snap pea display at the farmers' market and wrestled him to the ground. I'd offered him my bagel repeatedly, refusing to take no for an answer. I'd been seen out behind the market, helping him load up his vegetables and been caught holding his cucumber. That was my favorite.

— Alice Clayton

Charlus takes the narrator's chin and slides his magnetized fingers up to the ears "like a barber's fingers." This trivial gesture, which I begin, is continued by another part of myself; without anything interrupting it physically, it branches off, shifts from a simple function to a dazzling meaning, that of the demand for love. Meaning (destiny) electrifies my hand: I am about to tear open the other's opaque body, oblige the other (whether there is a response, a withdrawal, or mere acceptance) to enter into the interplay of meaning: I am about to make the other speak. In the lover's realm, there is no acting out: no propulsion, perhaps even no pleasure
nothing but signs, a frenzied activity of language: to institute, on each furtive occasion, the system (the paradigm) of demand and response.

— Roland Barthes

Sometimes in the afternoon sky the moon would pass white as a cloud, furtive, lusterless, like an actress who does not have to perform yet and who, from the audience, in street clothes, watches the other actors for a moment, making herself inconspicuous, not wanting anyone to pay attention to her.

— Marcel Proust

What people called the truth seemed worthless to her; what was it but a furtive, bruised story to convince yourself life was worth living.

— Alice Hoffman

I think life is so difficult to catch, it's so furtive, that a copy, a film, can in no way catch it and represent it.

— Abbas Kiarostami

Evil, which is our companion all our days, is not to be treated as a foe. It is wrong to cocker vice, but we grow narrow and pithless if we are furtive about it, for this is at best a pretense, and the sage knows good and evil are kindred. The worst of men harm others, and the best injure themselves.

— Edward Dahlberg

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