“I asked you earlier if you saw yourself reflected in your tale.”
“I do not. I MAY not. I am Prince of Stories, Will; but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever.”
“Why did you not want a tragedy? Something lofty, something dark, a tale of a noble hero with a tragic flaw?”
“I wanted a tale of graceful ends. I wanted a play about a King who drowns his books, and breaks his staff, and leaves his kingdom. About a magician who becomes a man. About a man who turns his back on magic.”
Ben: So…tell me about your new play. Does it go well?
Will: Not really, no. I am writing a scene in which Miranda, our virginal and innocent heroine, sits and listens as her father Prospero, the exiled and deposed Duke of Milan, and a wise magician, laboriously explains the plot to her.
I trust they will finish soon, and allow me to get on to more interesting matters.
That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be un-dreamed.
Only the phoenix arises and does not descend.
And everything changes.
And nothing is truly lost.
Tools, of course, can be the subtlest of traps. One day, I know, I must smash the emerald. … But that day can wait.
I have no liking for prisons, Master Li. Sometimes I suspect that we build our traps ourselves, then we back into them, pretending amazement the while.
Death’s a funny thing. I used to think it was a big, sudden thing, like a huge owl that would swoop down out of the night and carry you off. I don’t anymore. I think it’s a slow thing. Like a thief who comes to your house day after day, taking a little thing here and a little thing there, and one day you walk round your house and there’s nothing there to keep you, nothing to make you want to stay. And then you lie down and shut up for ever. Lots of little deaths until the last big one.
“Del…? That’s not for eating. I think it’s a table decoration.”
“It’s nice. It tastes a bit like forever.”
Destiny: Matthew. You were close to our brother…
Matthew: Nobody was close to your brother. Not unless you’re talking about astronomical distances…y’know–the sun is close to Alpha Centauri… He…he wasn’t very good at close.
the envoy O’Shaughnessy: Sir Librarian–the young lord in white…who was he?
Lucien: He is Dream of the Endless.
envoy: He is…? But the wake. That ceremony. I was told that Dream of the Endless was no more.
envoy: So…who died?
Lucien: Nobody died. How can you kill an idea? How can you kill the personification of an action?
envoy: Then what died? Who are you mourning?
Abel: A puh-point of view.