“And I would have answered:
"The knottier the branch, the more twisted and misshapen, the more bent people called it, the harder it is to find it a place among the smooth planks, the more people agree that it should be thrown on the fire, the more useless it is, the more unsuitable for anything except letting one's imagination run riot, the more I covet it, the more I yearn to weigh it in my hand, the more I long to let my whittling knife be guided by its knots and veins...Yes, bring that piece to me...”
“In the halls of heaven it was now dark enough for the Aurora Borealis sisters to begin their lively dance of the veils. With an enchanting play of colors they flitted light and quick about the great stage of the heavens, in fluttering golden dresses, their tumbling pearl necklaces scattering here and there in their wild caperings.”
“An ominous hush lies over the busiest, most bustling part of town. No hoofbeats, no rattling of cart wheels or rumble of automobiles, no roar of motorcycles or ringing of bicycle bells. No rasp of sawing from the carpenters’ workshops, or clanging from the forges, or slamming of warehouse doors. No gossiping voices of washerwomen on their way to the hot springs, no shouts of dockworkers unloading the ships, or cries of newspaper hawkers on the main street. No smell of fresh bread from the bakeries, or waft of roasting meat from the restaurants.”
“Tėvas, piršto galu prilaikydamas tavo stuburą, atsargiai atlenkė delną taip, kad tu išsitiesei, apsivertei ir likai gulėti ant nugaros. Žengiau į priekį, norėdamas geriau į tave įsižiūrėti. Sugniaužtu kumščiu tu pasikasei nosį, baisiai žaviai nusičiaudėjai ir pražiota burna pažvelgei į mane savimylos akimis. Ir aš išvydau, kad ši burna niekada nebus pasotinta, kad krūminiai niekados nenustos malę, o liežuvis niekada nepavargs būti vilgomas kitų gyvų būtybių kraujyje. Tuomet tavo lūpos sujudėjo. Mėginai ištarti savo pirmąjį žodį. Ir tas žodis buvo AŠ.”
“To be something, to have status in society, to be born at the centre of things, to live through momentous times, to be part of the world’s anthology of stories - if only in the gap between the lines, between the words, between the letters, or even in the minute blank space inside the lower-case ‘e’, just once in that dauntingly long book; could there be any more human desire than that? Don’t we all long to be something, to feel that we exist, that others notice our existence, for the brief space of time that we are here?”
“Mutta jos ihmiset oppisivat ymmärtämään paremmin, että heillä on velvollisuuksia muitakin kuin itseään kohtaan, niin kuoleman valinta, joka tuntuu meistä niin epäoikeudenmukaiselta ja julmalta, ei olisi niin vaikeatajuinen. Jos rakkaus olisi suurempi ja voimakkaampi, uusi tuki ja uusi ystävä tulisi jokaisen menetetyn tilalle.”
“The malady had him in it's grip - and he had the malady.
Rolling to the wall and rolling away again, rolling to a fro, rolling and rolling, back and forth like chaff and corn, like corn and chaff. He drove his head into the pillow: if only he could keep his head still for a moment the lump would leave his throat. And if the lump left his throat, he would be able to catch his breath. And if he could catch his breath, his stomach muscles would relax. And is his stomach muscles relaxed, his colon wouldn't contract. And if his colon didn't contract, perhaps he would be able to keep his head still for a moment.
So it is to be at sea.”