A sect, incidentally, is a religion with no political power.

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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Out of the nameless and unfathomed weavings of billion-footed life, out of the dark abyss of time and duty, blind chance had brought these two together on a ship, and their first meeting had been upon the timeless and immortal seas that beat forever at the shores of the old earth.

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

After that, we had no.

Among other things Jonestown was an example of a definition well known to sociologists of religion: a cult is a religion with no political power.

Fiction is not fact, but fiction is fact selected and understood, fiction is fact arranged and charged with purpose.

My dear, dear girl [. . .] we can't turn back the days that have gone. We can't turn life back to the hours when our lungs were sound, our blood hot, our bodies young. We are a flash of fire--a brain, a heart, a spirit. And we are three-cents-worth of lime and iron--which we cannot get back.

Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don't freeze up.

What I had to face, the very bitter lesson that everyone who wants to write has got to learn, was that a thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish.

Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years.

The thought of these vast stacks of books would drive him mad: the more he read, the less he seemed to know — the greater the number of the books he read, the greater the immense uncountable number of those which he could never read would seem to be…. The thought that other books were waiting for him tore at his heart forever.

By God, I shall spend the rest of my life getting my heart back, healing and forgetting every scar you put upon me when I was a child. The first move I ever made, after the cradle, was to crawl for the door, and every move I have made since has been an effort to escape.

And he knew that he would never come again, and that lost magic would not come again. Lost now was all of it - the street, the heat, King's Highway, and Tom the Piper's son, all mixed in with the vast and drowsy murmur of the Fair, and with the sense of absence in the afternoon, and the house that waited, and the child that dreamed.

McGuire's meaty shoulders recoiled burlily as if from the cold shock of water.

He plundered the living treasure of those shelves. There was Burton's marvelous Anatomy, his staggering erudition never smelling of the dust or of the lamp...There was the dark tremendous music of Sir Thomas Browne, and Hooker's sounding and tremendous passion made great by genius and made true by faith.