Clockwork Quotes

11 of the best book quotes from Clockwork
“It was the custom that when a clockmaker’s apprentice finished his period of service, he made a new figure for the great clock of Glockenheim. ‘So we’re to have a new piece of clockwork in the tower! Well, I look forward to seeing it tomorrow.’ ‘I remember when my apprenticeship came to an end’, said Herr Ringelmann, ‘I couldn’t sleep for thinking about what would happen when my figure come out of the clock. Supposing, I hadn’t counted the cogs properly? Supposing the spring was too stiff?’ ”
Philip Pullman
the custom
period of service
a new figure
a new piece
couldn't sleep
“We can control the future, my boy, just as we wind up the mechanism in a clock. Say to yourself: I will win the race - I will come first and you wind up the future like clockwork. The world has no choice but to obey! Can the hands of that old clock in the corner decide to stop? Can the spring in your watch decide to wind itself up and run backward? No! They have no choice. And nor has the future, once you have wound it up!′ ”
“In the fading light of a snowy winter’s evening, with church bells and timepieces sounding the hour, a story has been set in motion by turns magical, terrifying, and urgent as a ticking clock. Karl, an apprentice clockmaker who has missed a deadline that may well be his last; Fritz, the write, who has begun a story he can’t control; and Gretl, the innkeeper’s daughter, whose courage will soon need to match her kindness.”
“In the old days, when this story took place, time used to run by clockworks. Real clockwork, I mean, springs and cogwheels and gears and pendulums and so on. When you took it apart you could se how it worked, and how to put it together again. Nowadays time runs by electricity and vibrating crystals of quarts and goodness know what else.”
“Now as it happened, there was one other person awake, and that was Gretl, the landlord’s little daughter. She couldn’t sleep at all, and the reason for that was Fritz’s story. There was one thing she couldn’t get out of her mind. It wasn’t the clockwork in the dead Prince’s breast; it wasn’t the hoses foaming from terror or the dead driver behind the, it was the young Prince Florian.”
“Meanwhile Karl has been preparing the place in the mechanism of the great clock that was set aside for his masterpiece. Feverish with excitement, he hurried down the staircase of the clock tower and across the square to the inn. The old cat Putzi had come outside with Gretl, but he didn’t like the cold, and he sat on the windowsill, cleaning his ears, wondering if this man would let him in again for a snooze by the stove. But Karl didn’t notice him.
“Once upon a time (when time ran by clockwork) a strange event took place in a little German town. Actually, it was a series of events, all fitting together like the parts of a clock, and although each person saw a different part, no one saw the whole of it, but here it is, as well as I can tell it. It began on a winter’s evening, when townsfolk were gathering in the White Horse Tavern. The snow was blowing down from the mountains, and the wind was making the bells shift restlessly.”
″ The door opened, and far white flakes fo snow swirled in, to faint away into water as they met the hear of the parlor. The incomers, Herr Ringelmann the clockmaker and his apprentice, Karl, stamped their boots and shook the snow off their greatcoats. ‘It’s Herr Ringelmann’ said the Burgomaster. ‘Well, old friend, come and drink some beer with me! And a mug for young what’s his name, your apprentice. It’s your day of glory tomorrow, my boy!’
“But in the fifth year of his life, the little prince began to show signs of disturbing illness. There was a painful stiffness in his joints, he had a constant feeling of chill, and his face, which was normally so lively and expressive, was becoming masklike and rigid. Princess mariposa was worried to distraction, for he no longer looked nearly so handsome next to her.”
“Fritz had had to stop himself or interrupting when Karl spoke about the difficulty of working. Stories are just as hard as clocks to put together, and they can go wrong just as easily -as we shall see with Fritz’s own story in a page or two. Still Fritz was an optimist, and Karl was a pessimist, and that makes all the difference in the world.”
“Karl looked at him with a face full of savage bitterness. ‘I haven’t made a figure,’ he muttered. ‘I couldn’t do it. I’ve failed, Fritz. When the clock chimes ten tomorrow. But nothing will come out, nothing....’ He groaned softly, and turned away. ‘I can’t face them!’ he went on. ′ I should go and throw myself off the tower now and have done with it!.” ‘Oh, come on, don’t talk like that!’ said Fritz, who had never seen his friend so bitter.”

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