While in hiding, Anne Frank kept what she called a “Book of Beautiful Sentences.” In it she collected the words from the texts she read that moved her, articulated a feeling, or illuminated some misty part of her world. It was her running list of the triumphs of language she had so far discovered, a catalogue of written beauty, wit, and truth.
Hers is a splendid idea, and in the six categories tabbed here I’m following her example. The pulled quotes are those sentences or phrases that, when I encountered them, glowed somehow, that begged to be remembered and carried along. The categories are just my way of sorting them, and are not meant to be defining (see quote one, God & nature).
Many of the quotes deserve context; some of them, to swing with their full weight, require preceding passages or a certain readerly mood. If any of the quotes catch your interest and you’d like to receive this information, please contact me and I can deliver the title of the text. Likewise, if there’s a quote you’d like to share, please do so and send the name of the parent text along with it.
There are some sentences that become foundational. They seem somehow to hold more than so few words ever could, contain whole philosophies and histories and gods that we interpret and add to and lean on, eternally. The beauty of written language is that we can remember such things. Happy pulling.