Literary Quotations
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I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

EMILY BRONTË, Wuthering Heights

Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport on earth in the night season, and melt away in the first beam of the sun, which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily pilgrimage through the world.

CHARLES DICKENS, Nicholas Nickleby

Dreams are rough copies of the waking soul.

We should judge a man much more surely from what he dreams than from what he thinks.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

We live, as we dream — alone.

JOSEPH CONRAD, Heart of Darkness

Dreaming is a light pastime, of fortune more golden than gold.

Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.

WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass

If people saw the world for what it truly is. Saw their lives for what they truly are. Without dreams or illusions. I don't believe they could offer the first reason why they should not elect to die as soon as possible.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Sunset Limited

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

No relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams.

JOSEPH CONRAD, Heart of Darkness

There are two gates of Sleep: the one is said
to be of horn, through it an easy exit
is given to true Shades; the other is made
of polished ivory, perfect glittering,
but through that way the Spirits send false dreams
into the world above.

VIRGIL, The Aeneid

It was written that man in his sleep, in his deep sleep, would meet his innermost part and would reside in the Atman.


The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

OSCAR WILDE, Lady Windermere's Fan

And yet, and yet, in these our ghostly lives,
Half night, half day, half sleeping, half awake,
How if our waking life, like that of sleep,
Be all a dream in that eternal life
To which we wake not till we sleep in death?

There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness. At such time, a mortal knows just enough of what his mind is doing, to form some glimmering conception of its mighty powers, its bounding from earth and spurning time and space, when freed from the restraint of its corporeal associate.


Ay—wondrous how
Imagination in a sleeping brain
Out of the uncontingent senses draws
Sensations strong as from the real touch;
That we not only laugh aloud, and drench
With tears our pillow; but in the agony
Of some imaginary conflict, fight
And struggle—ev'n as you did; some, 'tis thought,
Under the dreamt-of stroke of death have died.

None but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.


How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads, to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.


In sleep the soul left the body and went to the country of dreams, where all was illusion and folly, and sometimes ... truth.


His dreams are shallow, furtive things. His legs switch. His lips move a little against the pillow. The skin of his eyelids shudders as his eyeballs turn, surveying the inner wall of vision.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

In dreams, as in the Gospels, one usually possesses the gift of tongues.


How else are we to live but by dreams?

J. M. COETZEE, Elizabeth Costello

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