As writers, we do not just read more compared to plus friends, but given our knowledge of the trade, we tend to appreciate good writing just a little better.
Whether structure, symbolism, images or other literary devices, good writing could literally take your breath away with its strength, truthfulness, revelation and clarity. I remember that I was impressed with the reading of J.D. Salinger The Guardian in the rye. He managed to cleverly weave penetrations of adult penetration into the cynical but naive thoughts of Holden Caulfield without making the teenage protagonist sound like a bitter old man.
"I was half in love with her when we sat down. That's what happens with girls. Every time they do something beautiful, even if they do not have much to do, or even if they are a little stupid, you fall in love with them and you never know where the hell you are."
It sounds exactly like something a 16 year old would say, but with much more wisdom. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I feel some resentment and even jealousy when reading these wonderfully elaborated passages.
Hence this thread: I expected everyone to share their own favorite passages so that we can all marvel and collectively admire those talented souls who could so easily inspire us, drag us into melancholy or conjure a myriad of other forms of emotional manipulation.
I'll start with a few to roll the ball. I really want to see yours, although secretly I hope it's something dark, so I can have something new to look forward to reading.
♦ Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
"He took a step down, trying not to look at her much, as if it were the sun, but he saw her as the sun, even without looking."
"There was something in her that was higher than what surrounded her. There was in it the brightness of the real diamond among the crystal imitations. This brightness shone in his exquisite and truly enigmatic eyes. The look tired, and at the same time passionate, of those eyes, surrounded by dark rings, impressed by their perfect sincerity. Everyone who looked at those eyes believed that he knew her completely, and that knowing her, he could not stop loving her."
♦ A tale of two cities, Charles Dickens
"I want you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. In my degradation, I have not been so degraded, but the vision of you with your father and this home made by you as a home, has awakened old shadows that I thought had disappeared from me. Since I met you, I've been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and I've heard whispers of old voices pushing me up, which I thought were silent forever. I have had unformed ideas to try again, to start over, to get rid of laziness and sensuality, and to fight against the abandoned struggle. A dream, a dream, that ends in nothing and leaves the sleeper where he lies, but I want you to know that you inspired him."
♦ William Faulkner, in his acceptance speech for the 1950 Nobel Prize
"I believe that man will not only endure: he will prevail. It is immortal, not because only among creatures it has an inexhaustible voice, but because it has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion, sacrifice and resistance. The duty of the poet, the writer, is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man resist by elevating his heart, reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and compassion and sacrifice that have been the glory of his past. The voice of the poet not only has to be the record of man, it can be one of the pillars, the pillars to help him to endure and prevail."
An audio recording of your speech, if you're interested.
It's okay, your turn.