“You have it good, … you can still feel fear, my head is dark, I haven’t had any dreams for a long time.”

— Herta Müller, The Fox Was Ever the Hunter

Translated by Philip Boehm

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“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh nothing!” Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts — not to hurt others.”

— George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch

“Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come, and like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again, and we bear to go on with our labor, what it may be.”

— Bram Stoker, Dracula

“It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I — nor for that matter anyone else — will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”

— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

“Such is the World, such Man, such Love. What are we (I ask) but puppets in a show-box? Oh, omnipotent Destiny, pull our strings gently! Dance us mercifully off our miserable little stage!”

— Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

Good Old Adrienne…

“To think as a feminist means trying to think connectedly about, for example, the science of embryology as it may connect with sexuality (what does it mean, for example, that in the fetus male differentiation occurs only after several weeks); about human body-rhythms and their relation to natural cycles (the menses and the lunar month, the connections between woman, darkness, sleep, and death in the male unconscious; the connections with these and male attitudes and political decisions affecting women); about the uses and criteria of psychology.”

— Adrienne Rich, “The Antifeminist Woman,” On Lies, Secrets, and Silence