Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some 10 of My Favorite Quotes from Lit.

My son is taking a course in Creative Writing, and had to write some of his favorite sentences from literature. That sounded like a fun thing to do, so here are a few of my own; just the first few that came to mind:

“You are to act in the light of experience as guided by intelligence.” –Rex Stout “In the Best Families”

This is Nero Wolfe’s advice to his employee, Archie Goodwin, when Goodwin is unable to consult Wolfe for instructions. It is also a good bit of advice for everyday life.

“Perhaps the experience had been so complete that repetition would be vulgarity - like asking to hear the same symphony twice in a day.” –C. S. Lewis “Perelandra

C. S. Lewis dominates this list. I could do a top 100 list of his quotes. This one is a wonderful illumination on the nature of sin. More than just doing wrong, it can be doing good with wrong motivation, or seeking pleasures instead of receiving them.

“Isn't it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and fierce Right, both on their toes and each terrified of the other? That's how we get things done.” ― C.S. Lewis, “That Hideous Strength”

My favorite novel is full of great quotes. The above one is from the evil powers trying to control the world.  It fits especially today, don't you think, fearful Christian?  Here is another one:

“There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one.” –C.S. Lewis “That Hideous Strength”

There is also a great conversation regarding weather that I would have included here, but it is way more than a sentence.

“There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity they never gave a thought to Christ.” –C.S. Lewis “The Great Divorce”

I have met so many missionaries with exactly this problem.

“Who are you?” he said, scarcely above a whisper. “One who has waited long for you to speak.” –C. S. Lewis “The Horse and His Boy”

This opens my favorite conversation in my favorite book of the Chronicles of Narnia. Read the whole chapter, if not the whole book.

“Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.” –J. R. R. Tolkien “The Return of the King”

Tolkien too has a dozen or more gems. This one is especially important for today’s generation.

“You must never feel badly about making mistakes ... as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.” –Norton Juster “The Phantom Tollbooth”

This book influenced me more than many in my childhood. It is full of many great, insightful treasures. I think everyone I supervise should learn this quote by heart.

“You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.” –Norton Juster “The Phantom Tollbooth”

Ouch.

“I'll continue to see things as a child. It's not so far to fall.” –Norton Juster “The Phantom Tollbooth”

This would make a wonderful life motto.

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