love
money
death
love

“She”—he tried to ask himself what that meant; for it is a point of resemblance between love and death, far more striking than those which are usually pointed out, that they make us probe deeper, in the fear that its reality may elude us, into the mystery of personality.

— In Search of Lost Time

In its published form, this book is being read, I assume, in the first years of 2000 A.D. (1935 plus eighty or ninety, live long, my love); and elderly readers will surely recall at this point the obligatory scene in the Westerns of their childhood.

— Lolita

The conversation Vasenka had begun with Kitty was again on yesterday’s subject, on Anna and whether love can be above social conventions.

— Anna Karenina

Strong, young, recently awakened love showed in the expression on both their faces.

— Anna Karenina

She was bewildered by this insistent association of love with questions that to the best of her knowledge had never yet had anything to do with love.

— The Man Without Qualities

I’d have all the time I needed, I thought, to study the surface and the depths of this leafy immensity, this ocean of red, of mottled yellow, of flamboyant hams and head cheeses, magnificent no doubt for people who love nature.

— Journey to the End of the Night

Guardians of the shrine

They were while life was left, until one day,

Undone by years and age, standing before

The sacred steps and talking of old times,

Philemon saw old Baucis sprouting leaves

And green with leaves she saw Philemon too,

And as the foliage o’er their faces formed

They said, while still they might, in mutual words

“Goodbye, dear love” together, and together

The hiding bark covered their lips.

— Metamorphoses

Not as I’d have wanted to love, but I do love him, and Anna did not love hers.

— Anna Karenina

They try to unload their unhappiness on someone else when making love, they do their damnedest, but it doesn’t work, they keep it all, and then they start all over again, trying to find a place for it.

— Journey to the End of the Night

And so even at this moment he could also appreciate the statistical disenchantment of his person, and the methods of measurement and description applied to him by the police officer aroused his enthusiasm as much as might a love-poem invented by Satan.

— The Man Without Qualities

I could wish

(Strange lover’s wish!) my love were not so near!

— Metamorphoses

For little Lo was aware of that glow of hers, and I would often catch her coulant un regard in the direction of some amiable male, some grease monkey, with a sinewy golden-brown forearm and watch-braceleted wrist, and hardly had I turned my back to go and buy this very Lo a lollipop, than I would hear her and the fair mechanic burst into a perfect love song of wisecracks.

— Lolita

To neither love nor reverence wilt thou be kind; and e’en for hate thou canst but kill; and all are killed.

— Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

And so, drawing her aside after this dinner, he took care to thank her effusively, seeking to indicate to her by the extent of his gratitude the corresponding intensity of the pleasures which it was in her power to bestow on him, the supreme pleasure being to guarantee him immunity, for so long as his love should last and he remain vulnerable, from the assaults of jealousy.

— In Search of Lost Time

Love made her bold.

— Metamorphoses

Daylight had come, and now, as Tereus left,

Pandion wrung him by the hand and gave

His daughter to his trust with many a tear:

‘My son, since links of love leave me no choice,

And both have set their hearts (and your heart too,

My son, is set), I give her to your keeping;

And I beseech you by your honour, by the ties

Of family and by the gods above,

To guard her with a father’s love and send

Back soon (each waiting day will be so long)

The darling solace of my sombre age.

— Metamorphoses

One of the most infuriating habits of these people was their love of superfluous words, he thought.

— Things Fall Apart

And before Swann had time to understand what was happening and say to himself: “It’s the little phrase from Vinteuil’s sonata—I mustn’t listen!”, all his memories of the days when Odette had been in love with him, which he had succeeded until that moment in keeping invisible in the depths of his being, deceived by this sudden reflection of a season of love whose sun, they supposed, had dawned again, had awakened from their slumber, had taken wing and risen to sing maddeningly in his ears, without pity for his present desolation, the forgotten strains of happiness.

— In Search of Lost Time

If I were an immoral woman, I could get her husband to fall in love with me … if I wanted to.

— Anna Karenina

It goes without saying that he never spoke with any of his comrades about his love, did not let it slip even during the wildest drinking parties (however, he never got so drunk as to lose control of himself), and stopped the mouths of those of his light-minded comrades who tried to hint at his liaison.

— Anna Karenina

From the moment of Anna’s love for him, he had considered his own right to her unassailable.

— Anna Karenina

The same Kitty that Vronsky was in love with,’ thought Anna, ‘the one he remembered with love.

— Anna Karenina

Will you not tell me just for once that you love me?

— To the Lighthouse

Just to mention one item: the in folio de-luxe Bagration Island by the explorer and psychoanalyst Melanie Weiss, a remarkable lady, a remarkable work — drop that gun — with photographs of eight hundred and something male organs she examined and measured in 1932 on Bagration, in the Barda Sea, very illuminating graphs, plotted with love under pleasant skies — drop that gun — and moreover I can arrange for you to attend executions, not everybody knows that the chair is painted yellow —’

— Lolita

‘You envy him for being unable to fall in love?’

— Anna Karenina

He dreamed the heart warm, active, secret—about the size of a closed fist, a garnet-colored thing inside the dimness of a human body that was still faceless and sexless; he dreamed it, with painstaking love, for fourteen brilliant nights.

— Ficciones

As the different circumstances that bring us into contact with certain people do not coincide with the period in which we are in love with them, but, overlapping it, may occur before the love has begun, and may be repeated after it has ended, the earliest appearances in our lives of a person who is destined to take our fancy later on assume retrospectively in our eyes a certain value as an indication, a warning, a presage.

— In Search of Lost Time

In his arms and holding him I love

On the far seas I’ll fare; in his embrace

If aught I fear, I’ll only fear for him,

My husband.

— Metamorphoses

Nor could the mysterious and charming Kitty love such an unattractive man as he considered himself to be, and above all such a simple man, not distinguished in any way.

— Anna Karenina

When I saw my wife again,

My heart was overcome and my resolve

To test her love and honour almost failed;

I hardly stopped myself confessing all,

Stopped myself kissing her as she deserved.

— Metamorphoses

Not daring to tell himself, lest he should doubt the truth of the suggestion, that he would always love Odette, at least in supposing that he would go on visiting the Verdurins (a proposition which, a priori, raised fewer fundamental objections on the part of his intelligence) he saw himself in the future continuing to meet Odette every evening; that did not, perhaps, come quite to the same thing as loving her for ever, but for the moment, while he loved her, to feel that he would not eventually cease to see her was all he asked.

— In Search of Lost Time

‘Poor unfortunate man!’ thought Levin, and tears came to his eyes from love and pity for the man.

— Anna Karenina

It was as if she came to her senses; she felt all the difficulty of keeping herself, without pretence and boastfulness, on that level to which she had wished to rise; besides, she felt all the weight of that world of grief, sickness and dying people in which she had been living; the efforts she had made to force herself to love it seemed tormenting to her, and she wished all the sooner to go to the fresh air, to Russia, to Yergushovo, where, as she learned from a letter, her sister Dolly had already moved with the children.

— Anna Karenina
money

For months I borrowed money right and left.

— Journey to the End of the Night

So you’d better sell them there yourself if you can get three times the money for them.

— Dead Souls

Once toward the end of my stay, I thought of writing to Monsieur Puta to touch him for some money.

— Journey to the End of the Night

She seemed to be of that species of small lady landowner that keep complaining about poor crops and losing money and that hold their heads slightly to one side while on the sly they are accumulating cash kept in little patchwork bags cached away in various drawers.

— Dead Souls

Finally, there was the money question.

— Lolita

One of them was Musyne, the most attractive of the lot for my money.

— Journey to the End of the Night

The little darlings don’t know yet that everything costs money.

— Journey to the End of the Night

People laughed at him because he was a loafer, and they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back.

— Things Fall Apart

Featherstone had rarely given him presents of money, and at this moment it seemed almost harder to part with the immediate prospect of bank-notes than with the more distant prospect of the land.

— Middlemarch

“The white man’s court has decided that it should belong to Nnama’s family, who had given much money to the white man’s messengers and interpreter.”

— Things Fall Apart

“Particularly where money is concerned!” Arnheim said swiftly.

— The Man Without Qualities

People in Nantucket invest their money in whaling vessels, the same way that you do yours in approved state stocks bringing in good interest.

— Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

I took the offensive: “Lola, lend me the money you promised or I’ll sleep here, and you’ll hear me repeat all I know about cancer, its complications, its hereditary character, because you know, Lola, cancer is hereditary, and don’t forget it!”

— Journey to the End of the Night

I don’t have money.

— Pedro Páramo

As soon as she had the money, she’d send him out to the backroom with me.

— Journey to the End of the Night

He had not been capable of becoming either a poet or one of those disappointed people who believed only in money and power, although he had had the makings of either, as of everything.

— The Man Without Qualities

And yet, for my life, I cannot hep thinking but that the parson himself, tho’ he had not the good fortune to hit upon the design first,—yet, as he heartily concurred in it the moment it was laid before him, and as heartily parted with his money to carry it into execution, had a claim to some share of it,—if not to a full half of whatever honour was due to it.

— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Understandably enough, he felt that whatever negligible sums of money the natives called their own should remain available to the tax collector.

— Journey to the End of the Night

He stood for every penny he had (and could not do otherwise, because as soon as he slackened his energy, he would not have enough money to pay the workers), and they stood only for working quietly and pleasantly, that is, as they were accustomed to do.

— Anna Karenina

Waule had money too.

— Middlemarch

Do you really imagine I’ll take money for souls which, in a sense, have terminated their existence?

— Dead Souls

Let me say that with the money he gives me we can establish ourselves in Sayula and live in comfort for the rest of our days.

— Pedro Páramo

Not being able to see any way of obtaining what he needed at such short notice, he happened to recall a rich Jew, Melchizedek by name, who ran a money-lending business in Alexandria, and would certainly, he thought, have enough for his purposes, if only he could be persuaded to part with it.

— The Decameron

Levin was surprised that they argued about it for so long, especially since, when he asked Sergei Ivanovich if he thought the money had been embezzled, Sergei Ivanovich answered: ‘Oh, no!

— Anna Karenina

They ignore it and then use their dishonestly earned money to buy off the former contempt.

— Anna Karenina

I don’t know what to do then…I didn’t bring enough money with me.

— Dead Souls

Moreover, on closer inspection he saw that they were such a collection of rapacious money-grubbers that they were as ready to buy and sell human, that is to say, Christian blood as they were to trade for profit in any kind of divine object, whether in the way of sacraments or of church livings.

— The Decameron

The money for two-thirds of the wood had already been run through, and he had taken from the merchant, after a discount of ten per cent, almost all the money for the final third.

— Anna Karenina

I put the money away in a box without counting it, and a whole month passed before I discovered there were four pennies more than there should have been.

— The Decameron

One day, when reflections of this sort had brought him back to the memory of the time when someone had spoken to him of Odette as of a kept woman, and he was amusing himself once again with contrasting that strange personification, the kept woman—an iridescent mixture of unknown and demoniacal qualities embroidered, as in some fantasy of Gustave Moreau, with poison-dripping flowers interwoven with precious jewels—with the Odette on whose face he had seen the same expressions of pity for a sufferer, revolt against an act of injustice, gratitude for an act of kindness, which he had seen in earlier days on his own mother’s face and on the faces of his friends, the Odette whose conversation so frequently turned on the things that he himself knew better than anyone, his collections, his room, his old servant, the banker who kept all his securities, it happened that the thought of the banker reminded him that he must call on him shortly to draw some money.

— In Search of Lost Time

When he received Count Leisdorf’s inaugural letter, he went to the looking-glass—naturally enough, though not for that reason—and saw looking out at him, surmounting the tail-coat and the order-ribbons, the well-organised face of a bourgeois minister, in which all that remained of money’s hardness was, at the most, a trace of something far back in the eyes, and his fingers hung down from his hands like flags on a windless day, as though they had never in their life had to carry out the hasty movements with which a junior bank-clerk counts his cash.

— The Man Without Qualities

PS Enclosed is the money you may need for your expenses.

— Anna Karenina

When a peasant came to him, scratching the back of his head, and said, “Allow me, sir, to go and earn some money to pay my taxes,” he’d say, “Go ahead,” still puffing at his pipe.

— Dead Souls
death

My vengeance is my guilt:

Death must be paid with death, crime piled on crime,

Bloodshed on bloodshed.

— Metamorphoses

Condemned to a deferred death, the only thing that really mattered was an enormous longing for sleep, all the rest was torture, even the time and effort it took to eat.

— Journey to the End of the Night

So there and then Acoetes was hauled off

And locked in a strong cell; but while the fire,

The steel, the instruments of cruel death,

Were being prepared, all of their own accord

The doors flew open, all of their own accord

The chains fell, freed by no one, from his arms.

— Metamorphoses

“Peleg! Peleg!” said Bildad, lifting his eyes and his hands, “thou thyself, as I myself, hast seen many a perilous time; thou knowest, Peleg, what it is to have the fear of death; how, then, can’st thou prate in this ungodly guise.

— Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

To speak of unrelated things seemed to him offensive, impossible; to speak of death, of dark things — also impossible.

— Anna Karenina

She accepted the accident of my death, and not content to acquiesce, she wondered if I was as resigned to it as she was.

— Journey to the End of the Night

You too, dear father, you, immortal now

And destined by your birthright to live on

Through all eternity, will long to die

When you are tortured by the serpent’s blood,

That agonizing poison in your wounds;

And, saved from immortality, the gods

Shall put you in death’s power, and the three

Goddesses shall unloose your threads of fate.

— Metamorphoses

No, whatever you say, her death was itself the death of a vile, irreligious woman.

— Anna Karenina

A turnabout was obviously taking place that was to make him look at death as the satisfaction of his desires, as happiness.

— Anna Karenina

And how did death catch up with you?

— Dead Souls

A few days before his death, he had received a sealed, certified package from Brazil containing a book printed in octavo major.

— Ficciones

But now we two—one soul—one death will die.

— Metamorphoses

Heraclides Ponticus reports, admiringly, that Pythagoras recalled having been Pyrrhus, and before that, Euphorbus, and before that, some other mortal; in order to recall similar vicissitudes, I have no need of death, nor even of imposture.

— Ficciones

Death doesn’t resemble slumber, I said, since in slumber one is alive and sleeping, and I don’t know how death can resemble anything at all for us, since we have no experience of it, nor anything to compare it to.

— The Book of Disquiet

He too who dealt him death was dead as soon,

And of that new-given lifebreath breathed his last.

— Metamorphoses

Some people even assure me that they have felt the chill of death up there.

— In Search of Lost Time

But not to let his death go unavenged,

Lycormas snatched in fury from the door

The right crossbar and crashed it down upon

Pettalus’ neck, and he dropped like an ox

Slaughtered in sacrifice.

— Metamorphoses

When Kitty had gone and Levin was left alone, he felt such anxiety without her and such an impatient desire to live quickly, the more quickly, till tomorrow morning, when he would see her again and be united with her for ever, that he became afraid, as of death, of those fourteen hours that he had to spend without her.

— Anna Karenina

Now I knew it for sure, he was worse than a dog, he couldn’t conceive of his own death.

— Journey to the End of the Night

Notwithstanding her jealousy of the Vincys and of Mary Garth, there remained as the nethermost sediment in her mental shallows a persuasion that her brother Peter Featherstone could never leave his chief property away from his blood relations:—else, why had the Almighty carried off his two wives both childless, after he had gained so much by manganese and things, turning up when nobody expected it?—and why was there a Lowick parish church, and the Waules and Powderells all sitting in the same pew for generations, and the Featherstone pew next to them, if, the Sunday after her brother Peter’s death, everybody was to know that the property was gone out of the family?

— Middlemarch

Death seems the only desirable sequel for a career like this; but Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored; therefore, to the death-longing eyes of such men, who still have left in them some interior compunctions against suicide, does the all-contributed and all-receptive ocean alluringly spread forth his whole plain of unimaginable, taking terrors, and wonderful, new-life adventures; and from the hearts of infinite Pacifics, the thousand mermaids sing to them—“Come hither, broken-hearted; here is another life without the guilt of intermediate death; here are wonders supernatural, without dying for them.

— Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Now that the veil was there before her face, it was all over; it was solemn as a death-sentence or as when the lock on a cabin-trunk closes with a final click.

— The Man Without Qualities

Delivering one’s brothers from the yoke is a goal worthy of both death and life.

— Anna Karenina

“Not forged!” and snatching Perth’s levelled iron from the crotch, Ahab held it out, exclaiming—“Look ye, Nantucketer; here in this hand I hold his death!”

— Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

For a moment he thought of taking refuge in the water, but then he realized that death would be a crown upon his age and absolve him from his labors.

— Ficciones

Nor is death sad for death will end my sorrow;

Would he I love might live a long tomorrow!

— Metamorphoses

Of those nine, four might initiate a third drawing to determine the name of the executioner, two might replace the unlucky draw with a lucky one (the discovery of a treasure, say), another might decide that the death should be exacerbated (death with dishonor, that is, or with the refinement of torture), others might simply refuse to carry out the sentence….That is the scheme of the Lottery, put symbolically.

— Ficciones

Some called for Cepheus’ death beside

His son-in-law, but he by now had left

The hall, calling Faith, Justice and the Gods

Of Hospitality to bear him witness

That what was done defied his word and will.

— Metamorphoses

And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father’s contemptible life and shameful death.

— Things Fall Apart

Indeed, I could very well do with a little rest in this subdued, frightened-to-death rocking chair, before I drove to wherever the beast’s lair was — and then pulled the pistol’s foreskin back, and then enjoyed the orgasm of the crushed trigger: I was always a good little follower of the Viennese medicine man.

— Lolita

Not doubting of her death,

They mourned the house of Cadmus, beat their breasts

And tore their hair and garments.

— Metamorphoses

And then I wonder what this thing is that we call death.

— The Book of Disquiet

The truth is an endless death agony.

— Journey to the End of the Night