"I sometimes think, Harry, that there are only two eras of any importance in the world’s history. The first is the appearance of a new medium for art, and the second is the appearance of a new personality for art also. What the invention of oil-piainting was to the Venetians, the face of Antinous was to late Greek sculpture, and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me."
— Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Location 140
"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."
— Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Location 76
"Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless."
— Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Location 13
"Failure is easy to measure. Failure is an event. Harder to measure is insignificance. A nonevent. Insignificance creeps, it dawns, it gives you hope, then delusion, then one day, when you’re not looking, it’s there, at your front door, on your desk, in the mirror, or not, not any of that, it’s the lack of all that. One day, when you are looking, it’s not looking, no one is. You lie in your bed and realize that if you don’t get out of bed and into the world today, it is very likely no one will even notice."
— Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Location 2039
"In school our class has been reading a story about a woman who falls into a hole and cannot get out and everyone in the town tries to help her out but they can’t seem to pull her out and at the end, they all walk away one by one, and this is before I start to see commercials on television, with people staring out rain-streaked windows, commercials advertising medicine for some kind of condition, of what, I am not sure, a disease of the brain? Of the heart? Of the soul? This is before I learn to put my mother in that diagnostic box and label it, keep her in there, tidy and categorized, long before any of that, when I can still see her crying as what it is in its raw, unnamed form, jagged, knife-like sobs, pure and intense, wonder why it is so powerful, why she needs to do it, why it bothers my father so much. I can still wonder if it might be a kind of bridge between what is and what could have been, what is and what isn’t anymore, what is and what never was, and that wouldn’t make the crying any less awful but it would make a kind of sense."
— Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Location 1773
"My father was quiet, but not meek, soft-spoken but not unsure. It was more than that. Quiet speaking was more than just a controlled softness of the voice, more than the virtues of decorum and tact and propriety. Quiet speaking was more than manners, or a personal preference or style, or personality in total. It was a way of moving about the world, my father’s way of moving through the world. It was a survival strategy for a recent immigrant to a new continent of opportunity, a land of possibility, to the science fictional area where he had come, on scholarship, with nothing to his name but a small green suitcase, a lamp that his aunt gave him, and fifty dollars, which became forty-seven after exchanging currency at the airport."
— Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Location 877
"I don’t miss him anymore. Most of the time, anyway. I want to. I wish I could but unfortunately, it’s true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If you’re not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your paint into experience. Raw data will be compiled, will be translated into a more comprehensible language. The individual events of your life will be transmuted into another substance called memory and in the mechanism something will be lost and you will never be able to reverse it, you will never again have the original moment back in its uncategorized, preprocessed sate. It will force you to move on and you will not have a choice in the matter."
— Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Location 697
"‘Choose a world, any world,’ he liked to say. It was a stack of planes, an n-dimensional space-time, ready to be filled. I would take out one of the five pads and then he would put the rest back into his cabinet. The squares of the grid went all the way to the top, and the bottom, and the edges of either side, which was pleasing and Platonic and right. If there had been any sort of margin on the sides, or at the top, any other kind of break in the Cartesian plane, something would have been lost, the ability of that graph paper to represent the total, the universal, the conceptual space would have been destroyed."
— Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Location 631
"Only the strong survive. And the only way to stay strong is to rid yourself of weaknesses. … In the future, when our enemies have trampled us to the ground simply because we haven’t evolved for the past few millenia, will the last, dying human see what you’re feeling right now as compassion—or stupidity?"
— Gene Luen Yang’s Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order
"From how to live without fighting to how to please your wife—all derive from the conceptual logic … understanding who you are, why you’re here, how you tick—and behaving accordingly. Happiness is a matter of functioning the way a human being is organized to function."
— Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land (The Original Uncut Version), Page 490