What are we all chasing? Nella wonders. To live, of course. To be unbound from the invisible ropes that Johannes spoke of in his study. Or to be happy in them, at least.
A piece of art only succeeds when it’s creator…possesses the belief that brings it into being
Like most artists, everything I produced was connected to who I was – and so I suffered according to how my work was received. The idea that anyone might be able to detach their personal value from their public output was revolutionary.
You are a stone, thrown upon a lake. But the ripples you create will never make you still.
This city is like no other city in the world. It is brilliant but it is bloated, and I’ve never called it home
The turnip cannot thrive in the tulips patch of soil.
The rules of this house are written in water. I must either sink or swim.
Because, Petronella – it’s something in his soul. It’s something in his soul and you can’t get it out.
All we can do if we’re lucky is stich up the mistakes other people make.
Love your children, for they are the seeds that will make this city bloom.
Words are water in this city. One drop of rumour could drown us.
Take care, take care. This city thrives! It’s money gives you wings to soar. But it is a yoke on your shoulders and you would do well to take note of the bruise around your neck.
Believe it or don’t believe it, Madame. But my feet are tired too. Bloody tired. Like a dead man’s.
The ink was secret nectar, for Marin isn’t married.
There are horizons through the brickwork, you wait and see.
The night darkens, the stars unfriendly, the cold a knife upon her neck – but Nella waits, until she can no longer difference between Johannes and the darkness that carries him away.
Neighbours watching neighbours, twisting ropes to bind us all.
I feel younger than eighteen but burdened as a eighty-year-old.
I felt nothing change in the room, except the shock of my voice alone and the peculiar euphoria one feels in the wake of applause, feeling at once cheapened and triumphant.
But words are water in Amsterdam, they flood your ears and set the rot, and the church’s east corner is crowded.
A Depressive?’ ‘Smiles in ballrooms, weeps in bedrooms. Ill in her head.’ Olive tapped her temple. ‘And here.’ She touched her heart.
When you have truly come to know a person, Nella — when you see beneath the sweet gestures, the smiles — when you see the rage and the pitiful fear which each of us hide — then forgiveness is everything.
A lifetime isn’t enough to know how a person will behave.
1887A lifetime isn’t enough to know how a person will behave.
Then where is home, Johannes?” He looks at the maps on his wall. “I don’t know,” He says. “Where comfort is. And that is hard to find.
She had never had a friend like this, in her private room, combing her hair, listening to her, talking about silly nonsense and the uselessness of one’s parents; how the future was perfect, because they hadn’t lived it yet.
Growing older does not seem to make you more certain. It simply presents you with more reasons for doubt.
Writing is a leap of faith. But how wonderful that the person you’re putting faith in is yourself.
Everything man sees he takes for a toy. ‘Thus is he always, forever a boy.