Albert Camus’s ‘La Peste’ – ‘The Plague’ – had an enormous impact on me when I read it in high school French class, and I chose my senior yearbook quote from it. In college, I wrote a philosophy class paper on Camus and Sartre, and again chose my yearbook quote from ‘La Peste.’
There are a lot of editorials that have nothing to do with anything like that. But I was just thinking of that sense of prose as being very responsible and perceptive, thoughtful, intimate, and contriving a quote statement.
You may be able to read Bernard Shaw’s plays, you may be able to quote Shakespeare or Voltaire or some new philosopher; but if you in yourself are not intelligent, if you are not creative, what is the point of this education?
Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn’t. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.
I quote others only in order the better to express myself.
One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well.
A quote is just a tattoo on the tongue.