Describe Quotes (displaying: 121 - 150 of 881 quotes )
I feel closer ties and more intimate bonds with certain characters in books, with certain images I’ve seen in engravings, than with many supposedly real people with the metaphysical absurdity known as ‘flesh and blood’. In fact, ‘flesh and blood’ describes them very well: they resemble cuts of meat laid out on the butcher’s marble slab, dead creatures bleeding as though still alive … I’m not ashamed to feel this way because I know it’s how everyone feels.
I think no more than a week after I started writing I ran into the first block. It's hard to describe it in a way that will be understandable to anyone who is not a neurotic. I will try. All my life I have been haunted by the obsession that to desire a thing or to love a thing intensely is to place yourself in a vulnerable position, to be a possible, if not a probable, loser of what you most want. Let's leave it like that. That block has always been there and always will be, and my chance of getting, or achieving, anything that I long for will always be gravely reduced by the interminable existence of that block.
Once, probably, I used to think that vagueness was a loftier kind of poetry, truer to the depths of consciousness, and maybe when I started to read mathematics and science back in the mid-70s I found an unexpected lyricism in the necessarily precise language that scientists tend to use My instinct, my superstition is that the closer I see a thing and the more accurately I describe it, the better my chances of arriving at a certain sensuality of expression.
When I get out of here, if I'm ever able to set this down, in any form, even in the form of one voice to another, it will be a reconstruction then too, yet another remove. It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too may parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many. But if you happen to be a man, sometime in the future, and you've made it this far, please remember: you will never be subject to the temptation or feeling you must forgive, a man, as a woman. It's difficult to resist, believe me. But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold it or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
The truth was that upsilamba was one of Nabokovs fascinating creations, possibly a word he invented. I said I associate Upsilamba with the impossible joy of a suspended leap. Yassi, who seemed excited for no particular reason, cried out that she always thought it could be a name of a dance- you know, "C'mon, baby, do the Upsilamba with me". Manna suggested that the word upsilamba evoked the image of small silver fish leaping in and out of a moonlit lake. Nima added in parentheses, Just so you won't forget me, although you have barred me from your class: an upsilamba to you too! For Azin it was a sound, a melody. Mahashid described an image of three girls jumping rope and shouting" Upsilamba" with each leap. For Sanaz, the word was a small African boy's secret magical name. Mitra wasn't sure why the word reminded her of the paradox of a blissful sigh. And for Nassrin it was a magic code that opened the door to a secret cave filled with treasures.
It is often difficult, I find, for people today to grasp the notion that one family, working through several restaurants could change the eating habit of an entire country. But such was the achievement of the Delmonicos in the United States of the last century. Before they opened their first small cafe on William Street in 1823, catering to the business and financial communities of Lower Manhattan, American food could generally be described as things boiled or fried whose purpose was to sustain hard work and hold down alcohol - usually bad alcohol. The Delmonicos, though Swiss, had brought the French method to America, and each generation of their family refined an expanded the experience ... The craving for first-rate dining became a kind of national fever in the latter decades of the century - and Delmonico's was responsible.
The primitive tribes permitted far less individual freedom than does modern society. Ancient wars were committed with far less moral justification than modern ones. A technology that produces debris can find, and is finding, ways of disposing of it without ecological upset. And the schoolbook pictures of primitive man sometimes omit some of the detractions of his primitive life - the pain, the disease, famine, the hard labor needed just to stay alive. From that agony of bare existence to modern life can be soberly described only as upward progress, and the sole agent for this progress is quite clearly reason itself.
What was it, he wondered for the hundredth time, that enabled Pastor Harris to hear the answers in his heart? What did he mean when he said he felt God’s presence? Steve supposed he could ask Pastor Harris directly, but he doubted that would do any good. How could anyone explain such a thing? It would be like describing colors to someone blind from birth: The words might be understood, but the concept would remain mysterious and private.
[a] strange sense of excessive pleasure which seemed somehow to be communicated to him through all his senses at once. I use the word 'excessive' because Ransom himself could only describe it by saying that for his first few days in Perelandra he was haunted, not with a feeling of guilt, but by surprise that he had no such feeling.
Yet from whom has not that rude hand rent away some dear connexion; and why should I describe a sorrow which all have felt, and must feel? The time at length arrives, when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished.
Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year, I felt a door opening in me and I entered the clarity of early morning. One after another my former lives were departing, like ships, together with their sorrow. And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas assigned to my brush came closer, ready now to be described better than they were before.
This little theater of mine has as many doors into as many boxes as you please, ten or a hundred thousand, and behind each door exactly what you seek awaits you. It is a pretty cabinet of pictures, my dear friend; but it would be quite useless to go through it as you are. You would be checked and blinded by it at every turn by what you are pleased to call your personality. You have no doubt guessed long since that the conquest of time and the escape from reality, or however else it may be that you choose to describe your longing, means simply the wish to be relieved of your so-called personality. That is the prison where you lie.