Epigraphs to The Imagination Thief
I was too far to hear his words; but Alexander looked, and for the first time I saw his eyes. Them I remember like yesterday; my own mind less clearly; a kind of shock, a sense that one should have been more prepared.
—Mary Renault, The Persian Boy.
Once more he stopped to survey the scene. And suddenly, as if prompted by a memory, by an impulse, he turned at the waist, one hand on his hip, with an enchanting twist of the body, and looked back over his shoulder at the beach. There the watcher sat, as he had sat once before when those twilight-grey eyes, looking back at him then from that other threshold, had for the first time met his… But to him it was as if the pale and lovely soul-summoner out there were smiling to him, beckoning to him; as if he loosed his hand from his hip and pointed outwards, hovering ahead and onwards, into an immensity rich with unutterable expectation. And as so often, he set out to follow him.
—Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (tr. David Luke).
One should let one’s fingernails grow for a fortnight.
—Lautréamont, Maldoror (tr. Alexis Lykiard).