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  • On Earth we're briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

    “In a world myriad as ours, the gaze is a singular act: to look at something is to fill your whole life with it, if only briefly. Once, after my fourteenth birthday, crouched between the seats of an abandoned school bus in the woods, I filled my life with a line of cocaine. A white letter “I” glowed on the seat’s peeling leather. Inside me the “I” became a switchblade— and something tore. My stomach forced up but it was too late. In minutes, I became more of myself. Which is to say the monstrous part of me got so large, so familiar, I could want it. I could kiss it.”

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    “There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.”

  • pluviophile

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    “There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.”

    good book, read it in my freshman gothic lit class along with a bunch of other gems

  • pluviophile

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    “There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.”

    Top 10 Fav Book of All Time

  • pluviophile

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    “There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.”

    Haven't started on this one yet but damn

  • Ronald_Vegan

    Haven't started on this one yet but damn

    you gotta read it man its one of the most beautiful written books ive ever read.
    there is one chapter where oscar wilde trails off a bit but other than that the books is absolutely fantastic

  • pluviophile

    you gotta read it man its one of the most beautiful written books ive ever read.
    there is one chapter where oscar wilde trails off a bit but other than that the books is absolutely fantastic

    Oh boy, you mean rambly style tangent or...

  • Ronald_Vegan

    Oh boy, you mean rambly style tangent or...

    lol there is a whole chapter where he goes very much into detail about "beautiful things" and their history like music, tapestries, jewelery, embroideries, etc. which drags on a bit imo but other than that the book is really really great

  • pluviophile

    lol there is a whole chapter where he goes very much into detail about "beautiful things" and their history like music, tapestries, jewelery, embroideries, etc. which drags on a bit imo but other than that the book is really really great

    So I should just skip it when I see it? Or it contributes to the actual plot

  • Ronald_Vegan

    So I should just skip it when I see it? Or it contributes to the actual plot

    it contributes a bit to the plot, but he goes verrrrryyy much into detail and it goes on for a whole chapter lol still wouldnt skip but obviously most people arent that interested in tapestries or embrodieries. if it bothers or bores you you can kinda skim through it tbh

    its chapter 11 if i remember correctly

  • since nobody else seems to wanna do this ima just continue myself

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

    “I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers - hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark - and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful.

    Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet - for me, anyway - all that's worth living for lies in that charm?

    A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are.

    Because - isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart."

    Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?”

  • The Secret History also by Donna Tartt (probably my fav contemporary author, especially since this is the book that got me into more "serious" literature)

    “It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown back, throat to the stars, "more like deer than human being." To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”

  • pluviophile

    The Secret History also by Donna Tartt (probably my fav contemporary author, especially since this is the book that got me into more "serious" literature)

    “It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown back, throat to the stars, "more like deer than human being." To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”

  • gbluecheez

    this if from The Goldfinch, not The Secret History but yea it was between this one and the one I posted above. Donna Tartt really is amazing.

    Another of my fav quotes from The Golfinch (a bit more nihilistic tho lmao):

    “Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is a catastrophe. The basic fact of existence – of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do – is a catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp, &c. For me – and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death.”

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

    “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

  • "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

    Opening to the Great Gatsby. Has always stuck with me while also setting up the book incredibly well.

  • Artyom

    "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

    Opening to the Great Gatsby. Has always stuck with me while also setting up the book incredibly well.

    finally someone contributing

    the ending is so beautifully written too:

    “And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

    Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning—

    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    the great gatsby really lives through fitzgeralds beautiful prose. I mean the story is not bad but his writing style is definitely what makes this book the classic it is!

  • pluviophile

    finally someone contributing

    the ending is so beautifully written too:

    “And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

    Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning—

    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    the great gatsby really lives through fitzgeralds beautiful prose. I mean the story is not bad but his writing style is definitely what makes this book the classic it is!

    Amazing ending to the book. I forgot how tragic it all is.

    Fitzgerald is a hack, but in terms of The Great Gatsby, the book could only have come from someone like him.

    Its this idea of telling a weird love story while working in themes about what it truly means to pursue the American dream. Ive heard the book reffered to as the true american novel. While definitely elitist, I really agree.

    Out of all the classics, its the only one that needed to be set in America during prohibition. The country plays as much of a part in the story as the characters.

  • Artyom

    Amazing ending to the book. I forgot how tragic it all is.

    Fitzgerald is a hack, but in terms of The Great Gatsby, the book could only have come from someone like him.

    Its this idea of telling a weird love story while working in themes about what it truly means to pursue the American dream. Ive heard the book reffered to as the true american novel. While definitely elitist, I really agree.

    Out of all the classics, its the only one that needed to be set in America during prohibition. The country plays as much of a part in the story as the characters.

    yea I put off reading it for a long time because its one of those books that everyone has read and claims its amazing and i always suspected that thats the case because its super short compared to most classic literature. But ive read it twice since.

    If you like audiobooks i highly recommend the version narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, its one of my favorite audibooks of all time. His voice was almost exactly as I imagined Gatsby to sound like while I read the book for the first time and Gatsby saying "old sport" will be forever connected in my mind with Gyllenhaals voice

  • pluviophile

    yea I put off reading it for a long time because its one of those books that everyone has read and claims its amazing and i always suspected that thats the case because its super short compared to most classic literature. But ive read it twice since.

    If you like audiobooks i highly recommend the version narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, its one of my favorite audibooks of all time. His voice was almost exactly as I imagined Gatsby to sound like while I read the book for the first time and Gatsby saying "old sport" will be forever connected in my mind with Gyllenhaals voice

    Even though ive read it a bunch its been a couple years. May actually listen to that

  • pluviophile

    this if from The Goldfinch, not The Secret History but yea it was between this one and the one I posted above. Donna Tartt really is amazing.

    Another of my fav quotes from The Golfinch (a bit more nihilistic tho lmao):

    “Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is a catastrophe. The basic fact of existence – of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do – is a catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp, &c. For me – and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death.”

    Yeah I was just sharing another quote of hers, one of my fav authors

  • gbluecheez

    Yeah I was just sharing another quote of hers, one of my fav authors

    already had this conversation with someone else in this sxn before but did you read The Little Friend by her? I was hooked after reading The Secret History and loved The Goldfinch so I was hyped to read The Little Friend but I couldnt make it through and stopped reading like 1/3 through the book. Wondering if its actaully gonna pick up and if i should give it another try

  • pluviophile

    already had this conversation with someone else in this sxn before but did you read The Little Friend by her? I was hooked after reading The Secret History and loved The Goldfinch so I was hyped to read The Little Friend but I couldnt make it through and stopped reading like 1/3 through the book. Wondering if its actaully gonna pick up and if i should give it another try

    no but I've been meaning to. I really love southern gothic/coming of age stories (actually two of my favorite types of lit.) so I'm sure I'll love it. A friend of mine thought it was really good.

  • gbluecheez

    no but I've been meaning to. I really love southern gothic/coming of age stories (actually two of my favorite types of lit.) so I'm sure I'll love it. A friend of mine thought it was really good.

    i like coming of age and especially character development too but i just couldnt connect with this one. please let me know if you read it and if its worth picking up again

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