“ He was as much himself again as he ever would be, and yet that “self” would never be the same again for now he knew the meaning of fear as it defines itself in its most violent form, that is, fear of the death of the beloved, of the loss of the beloved, of the loss of love. It was the beginning of an anxiety that would never end, except with the deaths of either or both; and anxiety is the beginning of conscience, which is the parent of the soul but is not compatible with innocence.
— Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992)
“ The girl burst out laughing; she knew she was nobody’s meat. She laughed at him full in the face, she ripped off his shirt for him and flung it into the fire, in the fiery wake of her own discarded clothing.
— “The Company of Wolves” – The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992)
“ Her voice is filled with distant sonorities, like reverberations in a cave: now you are at the place of annihilation, now you are at the place of annihilation. And she is herself a cave full of echoes, she is a system of repetitions, she is a closed circuit. ‘Can a bird sing only the song it knows or can it learn a new song?’ She draws her long, sharp fingernail across the bars of the cage in which her pet lark sings, striking a plangent twang like that of the plucked heartstrings of a woman of metal. Her hair falls down like tears.
— “The Lady of the House of Love” – The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992)
“ For most of human history, “literature,” both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written—heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labour created our world.
— Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales—Ed. Angela Carter
It seemed this laughter of the happy young woman rose up from the wilderness in a spiral and began to twist and shudder across Siberia. It tickled the sleeping sides of the inhabitants of the railhead at R.; it penetrated the counterpoint of the music in the Maestro’s house; the members of the republic of free women experienced a refreshing breeze. The Colonel and the Escapee, snug in a compartment on the way to Khabarovsk, caught the echoes and found abashed smiles creep across their faces.
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Y’all, please read this novel. It’s one of my absolute favorites.
“ The unexplained was sort of a given in the South; every town has a haunted house, and if you asked most folks, at least a third of them would swear they’d seen a ghost or two in their lifetime.
— Beautiful Creatures—Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
“ My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water.
“ Distorted realities have always been my cup of tea.
— Virginia Woolf, Selected Diaries (via fuckyeahvirginiawoolf)