he is unlike the other customers. They sense it too, and look at him with hard eyes, eyes like little metal studs pinned into the white faces of young men. In the hush his entrance creates, the excessive courtesy the weary woman behind the counter shows him amplifies his strangeness. He orders coffee quietly and studies the rim of the cup to steady the sliding in his stomach. He had thought, he had read, that from shore to shore all America was the same. He wonders, Is it just these people I’m outside or is it all America?
― John Updike, Rabbit, Run
He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.
― Kate Chopin, The Awakening
And, after all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but the truth in masquerade.
The Art of Disappearing
“I like the stars. It’s the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend…I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend…”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives
“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?”
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”
― A.A. Milne
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
“We’re actors — we’re the opposite of people!”
― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
False friends, sometimes also called frenemies, are people who pretend to be a friend and then turn out to be just the opposite. These are people who get close to you for the specific reason to make fun of you behind your back, delight in the misery you endure, use you for whatever you can give them, and find out about your life so they can gossip about it later.
― Richelle E. Goodrich
Tell me what you brag about and I’ll tell you what you lack.
– Jalal-Uddin Rumi
“All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else’s manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money!”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950), Letters
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
― George Eliot
“I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.”
― Charles de Lint
― François Rabelais
Anything we haven’t seen before is marvellous.
― Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility
“It’s that sense of powerlessness that destroyed my soul. I cannot be as good as I would like to be.nor as bad as I think I need to be. think you have the same doubts that your goodness was not rewarded”
― Paulo Coelho
― Steven Erikson, The Forge of Darkness
“Having said that, I must now admit that I was still afraid of human beings, and before I could meet even the customers in the bar I had to fortify myself by gulping down a glass of liquor. The desire to see frightening things—that was what drew me every night to the bar where, like the child who squeezes his pet all the harder when he actually fears it a little, I proclaimed to the customers standing at the bar my drunken, bungling theories of art.”
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human