And you read one page of it [book] or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for month afterwards—perhaps all your life, who knows ?—surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies’ dresses and the gentlemen’s voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music, everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. ‘The house I was living in when I read that book,’ you think, or ‘This colour reminds me of that book.’
— Jean Rhys, from Till September Petronella
And yet I don’t want to cut right through everything and break out, but am just waiting along, letting it happen to me, and what comes takes on the habits and has the dimensions of dream.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to Princess Marie von Thurn, July 12, 1912
I like observing people. I like looking at things.
— Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out