Lane himself lit a cigarette as the train pulled in. Then, like so many people, who, perhaps, ought to be issued only a very probational pass to meet trains, he tried to empty his face of all expression that might quite simply, perhaps even beautifully, reveal how he felt about the arriving person (7).
Lane was speaking as someone does who has been monopolizing the conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong (11).
“I do like him. I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect” (20).
“It happens to be one of those days when I see everybody in the family, including myself, through the wrong end of a telescope” (58).
“The cards are stacked (quite properly, I imagine) against all professional aesthetes, and no doubt we all deserve the dark, wordy, academic deaths we all sooner or later die” (59).
“Phooey, I say, on all the white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day” (98).
“Every time all hell breaks loose around here, it seems very funny to me that it always comes from that spot right where you’re lying. And you’re always the one that’s there” (157).
Although there was nothing markedly peculiar about her gait as she moved through the hall—she neither dallied nor quite hurried—she was nonetheless very peculiarly transformed as she moved. She appeared, vividly, to grow younger with each step. Possibly long halls, plus the aftereffects of tears, plus the ring of a telephone, plus the smell of fresh paint, plus newspapers underfoot—possibly the sum of all these things was equal, for her, to a new doll carriage (186).
“He says the only people he ever really wants to meet for a drink somewhere are either all dead or unavailable” (191).
“You’d better get busy, though, buddy. The goddamn sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I’m talking about. You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddamn phenomenal world” (198).
“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s” (199).
“There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady” (201).