"In this box are all the words I know," he said. "Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is use them well and in the right places."
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, 1961
I have this fantasy where I’m in the Marty McFly role and Anais Nin is Doc Brown. At the big dance, I freak out on the solo from “Live Forever.” My mother is Jean Genet.
Not that I’ve given it much thought.
The sun is a star. It seemed a revelation, a fresh way to think about being who we are, the purest way and only finally unfolding, a kind of mystical shiver, an awakening.
Falling Man by Don DeLillo, 2007
"Do you know what it is, Bertie, to feel the humility of a worm? She is so far above me."
Nothing irrevocable had yet been spoken, but there was only the barest margin of safety left them; each of them moving delicately along the outskirts of an open question, and, once spoken, such a question—as “Do you love me?”—could never be answered or forgotten. They walked slowly, meditating, wondering, and the path sloped down from their feet and they followed, walking side by side in the most extreme intimacy of expectation; their feinting and hesitation done with, they could only await passively for resolution.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, 1959
"Like so many young men," said Mr. Trout, "you have allowed yourself to be ensnared by a pretty face, never asking yourself if the person you are hoping to marry is capable of making out your income tax return and can be relied on to shovel snow while you are curled up beside the fire with a novel of suspense."
Bachelors Anonymous by P.G. Wodehouse, 1973