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The English Patient Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from The English Patient
  1. #1
    “You have to protect yourself from sadness. Sadness is very close to hate.”
  2. #2
    “I have spent weeks in the desert, forgetting to look at the moon, he says, as a married man may spend days never looking into the face of his wife. These are not sins of omission but signs of preoccupation.”
  3. #3
    “The trouble with all of us is we are where we shouldn’t be.”
  4. #4
    “If you take in someone else’s poison – thinking you can cure them by sharing it – you will instead store it within you.”
  5. #5
    “The English! They expect you to fight for them but won’t talk to you. Singh. And the ambiguities.”
  6. #6
    “She entered the story knowing she would emerge from it feeling she had been immersed in the lives of others, in plots that stretched back twenty years, her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams.”
  1. #7
    “We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.”
  2. #8
    “From this point on, she whispered, we will either find or lose our souls.”
  3. #9
    “What I want to tell you is, I think the English patient is not English.”
  4. #10
    “A novel is a mirror walking down a road…Many books open with an author’s assurance of order. One slipped into their waters with a silent paddle…But novels commenced with hesitation or chaos. Readers were never fully in balance. A door a lock a weir opened and they rushed through, one hand holding a gunnel, the other a hat. When she begins a book, she enters through stilted doorways into large courtyards.”
  5. #11
    “She had grown older. And he loved her more now than he had loved her when he understood her better, when she was the product of her parents. What she was now was what she herself had decided to become.”
  6. #12
    “The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names before Canterbury existed, long before battles and treaties quilted Europe and the East…. All of us, even those with European homes and children in the distance, wished to remove the clothing of our countries. It was a place of faith. We disappeared into landscape.”

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  1. #13
    “She had always wanted words, she loved them, grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”
  2. #14
    “Seas move away, why not lovers?”
  3. #15
    “I believe this. When we meet those we fall in love with, there is an aspect of our spirit that is historian, a bit of a pedant, who imagines or remembers a meeting when the other had passed by innocently.”
  4. #16
    “Why are you not smarter? It’s only the rich who can’t afford to be smart. They’re compromised. They got locked years ago into privilege. They have to protect their belongings. No one is meaner than the rich. Trust me.”
  5. #17
    “‘What do you hate most?’ he asks.
    ‘A lie. And you?’
    ‘Ownership,’ he says. ‘When you leave me, forget me.’”
  6. #18
    “But all parts of the body must be ready for the other, all atoms must jump in one direction for desire to occur.”
  7. #19
    “There are betrayals in war that are childlike compared with our human betrayals during peace. The new lover enters the habits of the other. Things are smashed, revealed in a new light. This is done with nervous or tender sentences, although the heart is an organ of fire.”
  8. #20
    “Don’t we forgive everything of a lover? We forgive selfishness, desire, guile. As long as we are the motive for it.”
Book Topics › countries
Children's Books About Countries

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