50 Books to Read Before You Die

words to inspire before you expire

Tag: Pain

“Should the earth enter turnaround tomorrow, nuke out, commit suicide, then we’ll already have our suicide notes, pain notes, dolour bills—money is freedom. That’s true. But freedom is money. You still need money.”

—from Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis

” . . . you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.”

—from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

“All alone, outside the pueblo, on the bare plain of the mesa. The rock was like bleached bones in the moonlight. Down in the valley, the coyotes were howling at the moon. The bruises hurt him, the cuts were still bleeding; but it was not for pain that he sobbed; it was because he was all alone, because he had been driven out, alone, into this skeleton world of rocks and moonlight. At the edge of the precipice he sat down. The moon was behind him; he looked down into the black shadow of the mesa, into the black shadow of death. He had only to take one step, one little jump. . . . He held out his right hand in the moonlight. From the cut on his wrist the blood was still oozing. Every few seconds a drop fell, dark, almost colourless in the dead light. Drop, drop, drop. To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow . . .

He had discovered Time and Death and God.”

—from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

“[O]ut of my great pain, I had an illumination. It didn’t come in words; the words I attempted to fit to it were confused and caused the illumination itself to vanish. It seemed to me that men were born only to grow old, to live out their span, to acquire experience. Men lived to acquire experience; the quality of the experience was immaterial; pleasure and pain—and above all, pain—had no meaning; to possess pain was as meaningless as to chase pleasure.”

—from A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul