Standout lines

Starting a thread for standout lines in whatever you’re reading! Good metaphors, descriptions, epiphanies, etc. Can be a standalone quote or something interesting without full context.

I’ll start with this from this Wired longread from last summer The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story that made me lol:

The conference was two stops outside Zurich’s city center, at a hulking black venue called Samsung Hall. It looked like what you’d get if you gave an alien civilization’s stodgiest corporation a written definition of a nightclub.

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Thanks @saltzshaker great topic! My main way to save great quotes from things I read is Kindle highlights, saved > Readwise for easier review. Kind of a random selection since I read lots of good physical books w/ no quotes saved, but luckily I just started Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness on Kindle and have a few good ones so far!

From the introduction:

Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive. Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge), by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore more honored in their day than prophets), and by futurologists (salaried). Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist’s business is lying.

A sentence or paragraph is like a chord or harmonic sequence in music: its meaning may be more clearly understood by the attentive ear, even though it is read in silence, than by the attentive intellect.

From the story itself:

I was trying to speak insipidly, yet everything I said to Tibe seemed to take on a double meaning. “Oh very much indeed,” said Tibe. “Indeed Lord Estraven is famous for his kindness to foreigners.” He smiled again, and every tooth seemed to have a meaning, double, multiple, thirty-two different meanings.

Like all the King’s House this room was high, red, old, bare, with a musty chill on the air as if the drafts blew in not from other rooms but from other centuries.

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Dropping a few from Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers, who has a rapier wit:

On faux pas:

“Even the most crashing social bricks make but a small ripple in the ocean of time, which quickly dies away.”

A good reminder to people, like me, seek refuge in scenery:

”But peace is found in the mind, not in streets, however old and beautiful.”

On ducks:

”…twenty three years ago I fed these identical ducks with these identical sandwiches. “
“Ten years ago, I too fed them to bursting-point.”
“And ten and twenty years hence the same ducks and the same undergraduates will share the same ritual feast…how fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.”