I was thinking recently of a variety of aspects of books that I love, including plot, theme, and character. As I was considering these elements, I realized that some books have extraordinary sentences. These lines might not encapsulate the entirety of those books, but they are beautiful and powerful.
I will offer two such quotations:
The first is the closing sentence from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, one of the most important novels ever written:
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known” (307).
The second offering is from A Soldier Of The Great War by Mark Helprin. This novel is, in my not too modest opinion, one of the absolute best novels ever written. With this book, Helprin takes his place among the pantheon of literary giants such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Cervantes, and Tolstoy.
“As a way to arrive at the truth, exactitude and methodology are, in the end, far inferior to vision and apotheosis” (30)
I am sure I will continue this idea as a series, but this little post will serve as a beginning.
So, now I ask everyone who reads this: what are some of the most beautiful and important sentences you have read in books?
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Wordworth Classics. 1993.
Helprin, Mark. A Soldier Of The Great War. Perennial. 2001.