Michael Ende Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 67 quotes)
If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger--If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early--If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless--If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
When your turn comes to jump into the Nothing, you too will be a nameless servant of power, with no will of your own. Who knows what use they will make of you? Maybe you'll help them persuade people to buy things they don't need, or hate things they know nothing about, or hold beliefs that make them easy to handle, or doubt the truths that might save them.
And if someone felt that his life had been an utter failure, and that he himself was only one among millions of wholly unimportant people who could be replaced as easily as broken windowpanes, he would go and pour out his heart to Momo. And, even as he spoke, he would come to realize by some mysterious means that he was absolutely wrong: that there was only one person like himself in the whole world, and that, consequently, he mattered to the world in his own particular way. Such was Momo's talent for listening.
He wanted to be loved for being just what he was. In this community of Yskalnari there was harmony, but no love. He no longer wanted to be the greatest, strongest or cleverest. He had left all that far behind. He longed to be loved just as he was, good or bad, handsome or ugly, clever or stupid, with all his faults - or possibly because of them. But what was he actually? He no longer knew. So much have been given to him in Fantastica, and now, among all these gifts and powers, he could no longer find himself.
Woman!" said the litle man testily. "Get out of my light. You are interfering with my reserarch!"You and your research!" said the woman. "Who cares about that? The important thing is my health elixir. Those two outside are in urgent need of it.""Those two," said the man irritably, "will be far more in need of my help and advice.""Maybe so," said the little woman. "But not until they are well. Move over, old man!"...Atreyu cleared his throat to call attention to his presence..."He's already well," said the little man. "Now it's my turn.""Certainly not! the little woman hissed. "He'll be well when I say so. It'll be your turn when I say it's your turn.
Bastion looked at the book.'I wonder,' he said to himself, 'what's in a book while it's closed. Oh, I know it's full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as I open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventures, deeds and battles. And sometimes there are storms at sea, or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All those things are somehow shut in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. But it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.'Suddenly an almost festive mood came over him. He settled himself down, picked up the book, opened it to the first page, and began to read...
That brings me to the real reason for the title: Where does that which happens during reading a book take place? (...) Does not every reader, whether he wants it or not, bring (...) his own experiences and thoughts into the process of reading? (...) Is not every book a mirror in which the reader is reflected, whether he knows it or not? And is not every reader a mirror in which the book is reflected?
You ask me what you will be there. But what are you here? What are you creatures of Fantastica? Dreams, poetic inventions, characters in a neverending story. Do you think you're real? Well yes, here in your world you are. But when you been through the Nothing, you won't be real anymore. You'll be unrecognizable. And you will be in another world. In that world, you Fantasticans won't be anything like yourselves. You will bring delusion and madness into the human world.
There were doors that looked like large keyholes, others that resembled the entrances to caves, there were golden doors, some were padded and some were studded with nails, some were paper-thin and others as thick as the doors of treasure houses; there was one that looked like a giant's mouth and another that had to be opened like a drawbridge, one that suggested a big ear and one that was made of gingerbread, one that was shaped like an oven door, and one that had to be unbuttoned.
... it's like this. Sometimes, when you've a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you'll never get it swept. And then you start to hurry. You work faster and faster and every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, and you try even harder, and you panic, and in the end you're out of breath and have to stop--and still the street stretches away in front of you. That's not the way to do it. You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else. That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that's how it ought to be. And all at once, before you know it, you find you've swept the whole street clean, bit by bit. what's more, you aren't out of breath. That's important, too... (28-29)
If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless. If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
Human passions have mysterious ways, in children as well as grown-ups. Those affected by them have no understanding of them at all. Some people risk their lives to conquer a mountain peak. No one, not even they themselves, can really explain why. Others ruin themselves trying to win the heart of a certain person who wants nothing to do with them. Still others are destroyed by their devotion to the pleasures of the table. Some are so bent on winning a game of chance that they lose everything they own, and some sacrifice everything for a dream that can never come true. Some think their only hope of happiness lies in being somewhere else, and spend their whole lives traveling from place to place. And some find no rest until they have become powerful. In short, there are as many different passions as there are people.
As they advanced (towards the fountain) one after another of Bastian's Fastastican gifts fell away from him. The strong, handsome, fearless hero became the small, fat, timid boy.(...) But then he jumped into the crystal-clear water... He drank till his thrist was quenched. And joy filled him from head to foot, the joy of living and the joy of being himself. He was new born. And the best part of it was that he was now the very person he wanted to be. If he had been free to choose, he would have chosen to be no one else.