Quotes. First Edition.

I am a collector of words, usually in the form of quotes from books though I do like a good definition now and again. Words bring images to mind and the most real words are the ones that point to the cosmos around us. I tend to often use words in my artwork, usually mixed media projects.

I love when authors describe a thing using seemingly unrelated words – for instance, using colors to describe noises or personifying physical feelings like pain. But then you read it and you can see it in your head and feel it and those unrelated words make total sense and give the thing being described more weight and being.

So after a week of watching the BBC miniseries "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" I went back and looked at some quotes I highlighted on my Kindle when I read the book a few years ago.

I really enjoy Susanna Clarke's gift for combining words to create imagery. I'm just going to leave some of these here for you to enjoy if that's your thing too*.

“She wore a gown the color of storms, shadows, and rain, and a necklace of broken promises and regrets.”

“To be more precise it was the color of heartache.”

“Mr. Robinson was a polished sort of person. He was so clean and healthy and pleased about everything that he positively shone - which is only to be expected in a fairy or an angel, but is somewhat disconcerting in an attorney.”  

“Woods were ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour - as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.” 

“He gave her his heart. She took it and placed it quietly in the pocket of her gown. No one observed what she did.”  

“It is these black clothes," said Strange. "I am like a leftover piece of funeral, condemned to walk about the town, frightening people into thinking of their own mortality.”

“...knew by a curious twist of their senses, as if they had tasted a string quartet, or been, for a moment, deafened by the sight of colour blue.”  

"Stephen felt clouds pause in their passing; he felt sleeping hills shift and murmur; he felt cold mists dance. He understood for the first time that the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands."

“Sometimes the pain in Childermass’s shoulder escaped from him and ran about the room and hid. When this happened he thought it became a small animal. No one else knew it was there. He supposed he ought to tell them so that they could chase it out. Once he caught sight of it; it had flame-coloured fur, brighter than a fox.”

“To Strange’s unnautical eye, it looked very much as if the ship had simply lain down and gone to sleep. He felt that if he had been the Captain he would have spoken to her sternly and made her get up again.” 

“Bright yellow leaves flowed swiftly upon the dark, almost-black water, making patterns as they went. To Mr. Segundus the patterns looked a little like magical writing. 'But then,' he thought, 'So many things do.”

Hardcover copies of Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" 

*All quotes are from the book "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susann Clarke. Not my work, just admiring. 


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