Literary Quotations
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I accept Time absolutely.
It alone is without flaw,
It alone rounds and completes all,
That mystic baffling wonder.

WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass

Time as he grows old teaches all things.

AESCHYLUS, Prometheus Bound

Time cools, time clarifies, no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Time will pass, and we shall go away for ever, and we shall be forgotten, our faces will be forgotten, our voices, and how many there were of us; but our sufferings will pass into joy for those who will live after us, happiness and peace will be established upon earth, and they will remember kindly and bless those who have lived before.

ANTON CHEKHOV, The Three Sisters

The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it.

H. G. WELLS, The Time Machine

If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow, and which will not,


Our mental existences, which are immaterial and have no dimensions, are passing along the Time-Dimension with a uniform velocity from the cradle to the grave. Just as we should travel down if we began our existence fifty miles above the earth's surface.

H. G. WELLS, The Time Machine

Oh Time, thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie.


Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? (Calmer.) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.

SAMUEL BECKETT, Waiting for Godot

Time doth run with calm and silent foot,
Shortening my days and thread of vital life.


Time brings all things to pass.

Time goes by so fast. Nothin' can outrun it.


Time eases all things.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus Rex

Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.

WILLIAM FAULKNER, The Sound and the Fury

Every time serves for the matter that is then born in't.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

Time overlaps itself. A breath breathed from a passing breeze is not the whole wind, neither is it just the last of what has passed and the first of what will come, but is more--let me see--more like a single point plucked on a single strand of a vast spider web of winds, setting the whole scene atingle. That way; it overlaps ... as prehistoric ferns grow from bathtub planters.

On the human imagination events produce the effects of time.


Nothing makes time pass more quickly or more shortens a journey than a thought that absorbs all the faculties of the one who thinks. External existence then resembles a sleep of which this thought is the dream. By its influence, time has no measure, space no distance. We depart from one place and arrive at another--that is all. Of the interval between the two, nothing remains in the memory but a vague mist in which a thousand confused images of trees, mountains, and landscapes are merged.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS, The Three Musketeers

On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time; our sense of that, not a disinterested love of science, and certainly not wisdom, is why we devote such a huge proportion of the ingenuity and income of our societies to finding faster ways of doing things--as if the final aim of mankind was to grow closer not to a perfect humanity, but to a perfect lightning flash.

Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I’m nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water.

MARGARET ATWOOD, The Handmaid's Tale

Sun and moon, sun and moon, time goes.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

Our mission in life is not to discover our fate as we go along, or even to procreate, but rather to fill up the endless gray void that is time.

JANE HAMILTON, A Map of the World

Anesthetized time; nothing moves and everything is at once.

The cancer of time is eating us away.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

There is a balance, a kind of standoff between the time continuum and the human entity, our frail bundle of soma and psyche. We eventually succumb to time, it's true, but time depends on us. We carry it in our muscles and genes, pass it on to the next set of time-factoring creatures, our brown-eyed daughters and jug-eared sons, or how would the world keep going. Never mind the time theorists, the cesium devices that measure the life and death of the smallest silvery trillionth of a second.... We were the only crucial clocks, our minds and bodies, way stations for the distribution of time.

DON DELILLO, Underworld

Time cannot be spurred on like a horse.

Pick an apocalypse, any apocalypse. A sea of black oil and dead things. No wind. No light. Nothing stirring, not even an ant, a spider. A silent universe. Such is the end of the flicker of time, the brief, hot fuse of events and ideas set off, accidentally, and snuffed out, accidentally, by man. Not a real ending of course, nor even a beginning. Mere ripple in Time's stream.


Time is a rigid, bonelike structure, extending infinitely ahead and behind, fossilizing the future as well as the past.

ALAN LIGHTMAN, Einstein's Dreams

What's that as flies without wings, your ladyship? Time! Time!

D. H. LAWRENCE, Lady Chatterley's Lover

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