“I read,” I say. “I study and read. I bet I’ve read everything you read. Don’t think I haven’t. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.” My instincts concerning syntax and mechanics are better than your own, I can tell, with all due respect. But it transcends the mechanics. I’m not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you’d let me, talk and talk.”

–David Foster Wallace, Hal Incandenza, Infinite Jest


“The beauty in it lifted them far above their enemies and their troubles in the world, as if they were looking at life from the vantage point of the dead.  Suddenly overcome with affection for the people they loved, they saw before them the city of sunshine and shadow, now covered in moonlight, and they loved it so much that they wanted to hold it in their arms.”  –page 520

–Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale


“’…Those mountains  are the stairs that lead to the moon. Would you like to go?   All we have to do is turn left before it sinks down beneath the last step.’
As they considered their father’s offer, the children’s faces were bathed in the light of the moon.  Sitting at the top landing of the mountain staircase, it was so voluminous, pearly, and entrancing that they nodded their heads.  Yes, they wanted to go.  They would give up the earth, which they hardly knew at all, for a round eternal place where everything glowed in cream and silver.  They would gladly take the mountain staircase to another world, and were sad when the opportunity vanished, as the moon, ever faithful to its obligations, disappeared behind glacial balustrades that darkened as it left.” –page 553

–Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

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