Companion Quotes


In my mind, these quotes belong together.

I was emotionally mature and schooled enough in sorrow to understand the truth of Hardy's statement even in my early youth. Successive decades have only proved its veracity to me in ever new ways.

The Lawrence quote, however, I have come to fathom only very recently. It's not easy, after all, to understand in one's youth just how many skies can fall...!


We go through life, aided in no small measure by favourite books, songs, poems. But sometimes, just single lines can remain companions for life, touchstones to live by. So it has been for me, with these - by two all-time favourite writers.

I love these quotes because they go beyond facile articulations of 'pessimism' and 'optimism'.

Hardy observes an undeniable truth about life with Olympian detachment. Just saying it like it is. Nothing more. While Lawrence injects a poetic passion even in this one sentence, making it an ultimate statement about the will to live. Our obligation to live, as humans.


In the audio of my mind, I play these quotes in loop.

I have been playing them in loop far more often in the last few months...


Bill Kirton said…
I can’t resist appending a wee note to your Hardy quote. Poor Jude not only suffered from being ‘the Obscure’, he colluded with the title. I remember actually finding it funny (in a perverted way maybe) when I first read the incident where he walked out onto the ice covering a pond and deliberately jumped up and down in an attempt to end it all but the ice failed to break and eventually, as Hardy wrote, ‘He supposed he was not a sufficiently dignified person for suicide’.
Rituparna Roy said…
Bill Kirton - thank you for your reminding me of this episode from Jude. Had read it several decades ago. Hardy's characters are sometimes, indeed, difficult to relate to. I am teaching 'Mayor of Casterbridge' at the moment & find I have severely problems with Henchard. But the quote I gave, from the end of that novel, has always resonated with me!

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