"There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality.
But they used to take morphia and cocaine."
"He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather whisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, was Ur of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylon and Cnossos and Mycenae. Whisk. Whisk -- and where was Odysseus, where was Job, where was Jupiter and Gotama and Jesus? Whisk -- and those specks of antique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the Middle Kingdom -- all were gone. Whisk -- the place where Italy had been was empty. Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts of Pascal. Whisk, Passion; whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk..."
"Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."
"If one's different, one's bound to be lonely."
"'Oh brave new world!' Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibility of transforming even the nightmare into something fine and noble. 'Oh brave new world!' It was a challenge, a command."
"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."
"But I don't want comfort. I want God. I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."