"A person from Mississippi is sure to be all wrong" -- Henry James, The Bostonians
"Our father knew who his father was in Tennessee and who his grandfather had been in Virginia and our neighbors and the people we lived among knew that we knew they knew and we knew that they would have believed us about who and where we came from even if we had lied."
--William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
"Doth truth come in the dark, and steal on us, and rob us so, and then depart, deaf to all pursuing invocations? If this night, which now wraps this half of the world; then fate, I have a choice quarrel with thee."
--Herman Melville, Pierre
"Was it not written that the sun turns our attention from intellectual to sensuous matters? It is said that the sun numbs and enchants our reason and memory to such an extent that the soul in its pleasure forgets its ordinary condition."
--Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet, and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."
--Herman Melville, Moby Dick
"In this republican country, amid the fluctuating waves of our social life, somebody is always at the drowning point."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables
"It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars wasn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble."
--Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
"Her hand, though very soft, was larger than most women would like to have--or than they could afford to have."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance
"It's a fraud--yes; but it's a good fraud. So they are all good frauds. I say frankly that I'm glad that the change and the chance came to help Souls by and me to be good frauds.'
'And the point is that I'm to be a good fraud, too,' commented the young minister."
--Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware
"They were excellent examples of that native type of American which resists facts and reveres illusions." --Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy