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"There is a story about the greek gods. They were bored, so they invented human beings. But they were still bored, so they invented love. Then they weren’t bored any longer, so they decided to try love for themselves. And finally, they invented laughter. So they could stand it."

- Feast of Love (2007), based on the novel by Charles Baxter

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

"And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn’t that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you’re less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn’t it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you’ve experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you’re seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this."

- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

"Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression’s actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it."

- Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone

"How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes."

- Jonathan Franzen