I absolutely cannot see how one can later make up for having failed to go to a good school at the proper time. For this is what distinguishes the hard school as a good school from all others: that much is demanded; and sternly demanded; that the good, even the exceptional, is demanded as the norm; that praise is rare, that indulgence is nonexistent; that blame is apportioned sharply, objectively, without regard for talent or antecedents. What does one learn in a hard school? Obeying and commanding.
Athos liked every one to exercise his own free-will. He never gave his advice before it was demanded and even then it must be demanded twice. "In general, people only ask for advice," he said "that they may not follow it or if they should follow it that they may have somebody to blame for having given it".
The historic transition from Novice to Proficient to Adept was said to be accomplished virtually overnight by the progression from marijuana to peyote to lysergic acid. Instant mysticism had arrived. Before the court of law, hippies demanded freedom for LSD the way early Christians demanded freedom for the Eucharist.
He believes that if talent is demanded of a literary publisher or a writer, it must also be demanded of a reader. Because we mustn't deceive ourselves: on the journey of reading we often travel through difficult terrains that demand a capacity for intelligent emotion, a desire to understand the other, and to approach a language distinct from the one of our daily tyrannies... Writers fail readers, but it also happens the other way around and readers fail writers when all they ask of them is confirmation that the world is how they see it.
Hope is something that is demanded of us; it is not, then, a mere reasoned calculation of our chances. Nor is it merely the bubbling up of a sanguine temperament; if it is demanded of us, it lies not in the temperament but in the will... Hoping for what? For delivereance from persecution, for immunity from plague, pestilence, and famine... ? No, for the grace of persevering in his Christian profession, and for the consequent achievement of a happy immortality. Strictly speaking, then, the highest exercise of hope, supernaturally speaking, is to hope for perseverance and for Heaven when it looks, when it feels, as if you were going to lose both one and the other.
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox
But the thing I remember most about the screening in October twenty years ago was the moment Julian grasped my hand that had gone numb on the armrest separating our seats. He did this because in the book Julian Wells lived but in the movie's new scenario he had to die. He had to be punished for all of his sins. That's what the movie demanded. (Later, as a screenwriter, I learned it's what all movies demanded.) When this scene occurred, in the last ten minutes, Julian looked at me in the darkness, stunned. "I died, " he whispered. "They killed me off." I waited a bit before sighing, "But you're still here." Julian turned back to the screen and soon the movie ended, the credits rolling over the palm trees as I (improbably) take Blair back to my college while Roy Orbison wails a song about how life fades away.
Bret Easton Ellis
Lennie rolled off the bunk and stood up, and the two of them started for the door. Just as they reached it, Curley bounced in. "You seen a girl around here?" he demanded angrily. George said coldly, "'Bout half an hour ago maybe." "Well, what the hell was she doin'?" George stood still, watching the angry little man. He said insultingly, "She said-she was lookin' for you." Curley seemed really to see George for the first time. His eyes flashed over George, took in his height, measured his reach, looked at his trim middle. "Well, which way'd she go?" he demanded at last. "I dunno, " said George. "I didn't watch her go." Curley scowled at him, and turning, hurried out the door. George said, "Ya know, Lennie, I'm scared I'm gonna tangle with that bastard myself. I hate his guts. Jesus Christ! Come on. There won't be a damn thing left to eat.