An affinity for spouting other people’s words

13 Mar

‘L’homme est libre au moment qui’il reut l’être’

Man is free at the instant he wants to be – Voltaire

I have an affinity for quotes. Quotes that I read in books, or hear, some even that I have made up. Quotes can be inspiring, thought-provoking, funny, educational. Quotes could whisper the innermost facets of true love, make you laugh and cry, or quite simply make you think.

So I have a quote book. Every time I read or hear a good one, I write it down in my book. This book is now halfway full, of quotes of people as diverse as Napoleon and JFK, Cormac McCarthy and Ned Kelly, Shah Jahan and Virgil. Some are from my favourite books, like Catch-22, and some are from my favourite speeches, like Kennedy’s Rice University Address. Some are my own, and some belong to some close friends. If I read a good poem, I write it in my quote book, and now whenever I feel lost, or bad, or bored, I read through the pages and I am comforted. Because it doesn’t just reflect the people who spoke or wrote these lines, but also the last couple of years of my life.

As Prince Hamlet would say, the rest is silence.


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