Bookish

Caro

22, Ruhrgebiet

Im Augenblick lese ich Die erste Liebe (nach 19 vergeblichen Versuchen) von John Green.

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Julia

20, Baden-Württemberg

Im Augenblick lese ich Dragonfly von Julia Golding.

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Sabi

22, Bayern

Im Augenblick lese ich Traumsplitter von Tanja Heitmann.

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Fyn

22, Köln

Im Augenblick lese ich Invisible von Paul Auster.

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Zitate

Zitate aus Of Human Bondage

W. Somerset Maugham

He asked himself dully whether whenever you got your way you wished afterwards that you hadn't.
He was thinking that he ought to kiss her there and then. He wondered if she expected him to do it;
Then, as he put the letter in his pocket, he felt a queer little pang of bitterness because reality seemed so different from the ideal.
‘That doesn't sound very cordial,’ he laughed.
‘I'm not much of a one for saying pretty things.’
‘No, it wasn't that. I was afraid you'd think me a nuisance.’
‘When I do that I'll tell you sharp enough.’
‘It seems to me an awfully selfish way of looking at things,’ said Philip.
‘But are you under the impression that men ever do anything except for selfish reasons?’
‘Thank you very much, but I've got something better to do with my time.’
‘You were very glad to put up with me when you knew nobody here,’ she said bitterly, ‘and as soon as you made friends with other people your threw me aside, like an old glove’ - she repeated the stale metaphor with satisfaction - ‘like an old glove. All right, I don't care, but I'm not going to be made a fool of another time.’
He was troubled, and the fear seized him that love would pass him by. He wanted a passion to seize him, he wanted to be swept off his feet and borne powerless in a mighty rush he cared not whither.
He could not understand himself. Would he always love only in absence and be prevented from enjoying anything when he had the chance by that deformity of vision which seemed to exaggerate the revolting?
How could you tell whether there was anything in it or whether you were wasting your time? It was clear that the will to achieve could not help you and confidence in yourself meant nothing.
‘It's cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.’
He disliked her, and yet, he knew not why, he wanted to be with her.
He had thought of love as a rapture which seized one so that all the world seemed spring-like, he had looked forward to an ecstatic happiness; but this was not happiness; it was a hunger of the soul, it was a painful yearning, it was a bitter anguish, he had never known before.
He wondered how he was going to endure that ceaseless aching of this soul.
He looked at her, but could think of nothing to say; he racked his brains anxiously, seeking for a remark which should keep her by him; he wanted to tell her how much she meant to him;
A bitter answer leaped to his tongue, but he was learning self-restraint.
‘Don't you remember that I said I'd never see you again?’
‘What are you doing now then?’
She seemed anxious to make him drink up the cup of his humiliation; but he knew her well enough to know that she spoke at random; she hurt him frightfully, and never even tried to.
‘It's very simple. I'm such a blasted fool as to love you with all my heart and soul, and I know that you don't care twopence for me.’
His passion made him abject. He was willing to submit to anything rather than not see her.
He knew that she did not care for him, and he tried to force a love which his reason told him was not in her nature: she was cold. He had no claim on her, but he could not help being exacting. Now that they were more intimate he found it less easy to control his temper; he was often irritable and could not help saying bitter things.
‘Thank you, I'm about sick of being made a convenience.’
Sometimes he awoke in the morning and felt nothing; his soul leaped, for he thought he was free; he loved no longer; but in a little while, as he grew wide awake, the pain settled in his heart, and he knew that he was not cured yet.
He was not inclined to pursue the subject. He had discovered of late the effective dignity of silence.
‘But are you under the impression that you have so great a mind that you can understand the most profound writer at a first reading?’
‘I don't want to understand him, I'm not a critic. I'm not interested in him for his sake but for mine.’
‘That seems to me perfect nonsense’
And yet even as he said it he was not quite sure whether he spoke sincerely. When he was under the influence of passion he had felt a singular vigour, and his mind had worked with unwonted force. He was more alive, there was an excitement in sheer being, and eager vehemence of soul, which made life now a trifle dull. For all the misery he had endured there was a compensation in that sense of rushing, overwhelming existence.
‘Say something nice to me,’ she murmured.
‘What shall I say?’
‘You might by an effort of imagination say that you rather liked me.’
‘You know I do that.’
‘You never let me get a word in, and I've got out of the habit of talking.’
But when all was said the important thing was to love rather than to be loved;
‘I can't help myself,’ he thought. ‘I've just got her in my bones.’
‘My dear fellow, don't make such a fuss about it. People do get over these things, you know. She probably isn't so wrapped up in you as you think, either. One's always rather apt to exaggerate the passion one's inspired other people with.’
[...]
‘Look here, there's only one thing you can do. Write to her, and tell her the thing's over. Put it so that there can be no mistake about it. It'll hurt her, but it'll hurt her less if you do the thing brutally than if you try half-hearted ways.’
‘I don't think there's any use in letting these things drag on when they've ceased to be amusing. You told me to go and I went. I do not propose to come back. Good-bye.’
‘I'm sorry to make such a fool of myself. I was so unprepared.’
‘Oh, it's always the same,’ she sighed; ‘if you want men to behave well to you, you must be beastly to them; if you treat them decently they make you suffer for it.’
‘If I've done anything for you, I've done it because I love you. You owe me nothing. I don't want you to do anything unless you love me.’
she had never cared for him, she had made a fool of him from the beginning; she had no pity, she had no kindness, she had no charity. The only thing was to accept the inevitable. The pain he was suffering was horrible, he would sooner be dead than endure it; and the thought came to him that it would be better to finish with the whole thing: he might throw himself in the river or put his neck on a railway line; but he had no sooner set the thought into words than he rebelled against it. His reason told him that he would get over his unhappiness in time; if he tried with all his might he could forget her;
He felt that he would never over-come his passion, but he knew that after all it was only a matter of time.
‘How childish and hysterical! Why should he care? I'm a very insignificant person, and he can do very well without my company. I'm not interested in him any more.’
He spoke with an indifference which he was satisfied with. No one could have guessed how violently his heart was beating.
There was neither good nor bad there. There were just facts. It was life.
The only way to live is to forget that you're going to die.
‘It puts ideas in their heads, and women are never at ease with themselves when they have ideas.’
‘I shouldn't have been surprised if you'd just told me I'd only got what I deserved.’
‘You don't know me very well, do you, even now?’
He remembered how passionately he had loved her, and he wondered why now he was entirely indifferent to her. The change in him filled him with dull pain. It seemed to him that all he had suffered had been sheer waste. The touch of her hand had filled him with ecstasy; he had desired to enter into her soul so that he could share every thought with her and every feeling; he had suffered acutely because, when silence had fallen between them, a remark of hers showed how far their thoughts had travelled apart, and he had rebelled against the unsurmountable wall which seemed to divide every personality from every other. He found it strangely tragic that he had loved her so madly and now loved her not at all.
‘One can't help these things. I remember that I thought you wicked and cruel because you did this, that, and the other; but it was very silly of me. You didn't love me, and it was absurd to blame you for that. I thought I could make you love me, but I know now that was impossible. I don't know what it is that makes someone love you, but whatever it is, it's the only thing that matters, and if it isn't there you won't create it by kindness, or generosity, or anything of that sort.’
‘I should have thought if you'd loved me really you'd have loved me still.’
‘I should have thought so too. I remember how I used to think that it would last for ever; I felt I would rather die than be without you, and I used to long for the time when you would be faded and wrinkled so that nobody cared for you any more and I should have you all to myself.’
He could not bear the thought of discussing his situation, he could endure it only by determining resolutely not to think about it. He was afraid of his weakness if once he began to open his heart.
..., till nothing held them together but habit and old memories. It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary. You life proceeded and you did not even miss him.
The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a way and a wherefore.
What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing.
He was always embarrassed by the weakness of human nature.
Life was not so horrible if it was meaningless, and he faced it with a strange sense of power.
He hesitated. He felt that she was creeping back again into his life when he thought she was gone out of it for ever.
He merely wanted to kiss her because he was happy and he liked her and the night was so lovely.
‘Good-night then,’ he said, with a little laugh, drawing her towards him.
She gave him her lips; they were warm and full and soft; he lingered a little, they were like a flower; then, he knew not how, without meaning it, he flung his arms round her. She yielded quite silently. Her body was firm and strong. He felt her heart beat against his. Then he los his head. His senses overwhelmed him like a flood of rushing waters.
There was a queer feeling in his heart; he did not know what it was, unless it was happiness.