Friday, July 24, 2009

Favorite quotes, part 1

Here is a list of some of my favorite quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books. (Apologies to those of you who saw this when I posted it on Compuserve recently, but I thought others might be interested as well.)

These are not, of course, my ONLY favorite quotes from the books. It's just that I wanted to start off with one per book. I titled this post "part 1" because I think it could develop into a regular feature of my blog, if enough people are interested.

I'm always fascinated to see what other people's favorites are. So if you have a favorite quote or two, please post a comment!

1) OUTLANDER
A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight--any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favored, or crabbed in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking.

(From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 14, "A Marriage Takes Place". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
This is the point at which, on my very first reading of OUTLANDER, it suddenly, belatedly, dawned on me that a) Jamie and Claire were going to be together, and b) the story was going to be at least as much about the relationship between the two of them as about Claire's adventures in the 18th century, and c) Jamie Fraser is an amazingly attractive man. <vbg>

2) DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
"I'll leave it to you, Sassenach," he said dryly, "to imagine what it feels like to arrive unexpectedly in the midst of a brothel, in possession of a verra large sausage."

(From Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 12, "L'Hopital des Anges". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
One of the funniest lines in the whole series, in my opinion.

3) VOYAGER
I looked up at his face; it was absolutely blank with shock. He held the pictures close to his chest, unmoving, wide-eyed and staring as though he had just been transfixed by a crossbow bolt through the heart--as I supposed he had.

(From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24, "A. Malcolm, Printer". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
One of my favorite parts of the reunion scene in VOYAGER: Jamie's utter shock, and his joy, at seeing the pictures of Brianna. <g>

4) DRUMS OF AUTUMN
The English had always thought the Scottish Highlanders barbarians; I had never before considered the possibility that others might feel likewise. But these men had seen a ferocious savage, and approached him with caution, arms at the ready. And Jamie, horrified beforehand at the thought of savage Red Indians, had seen their rituals--so like his own--and known them at once for fellow hunters, civilized men.

(From Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 15, "Noble Savages". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I think this is a very interesting point. And it's proof, yet again, that Jamie is not infallible.

5) THE FIERY CROSS
"Tell her...I meant it."

(From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 90, "Danger in the Grass". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I love this quote, as brief and cryptic as it is <g>, because it's Jamie's reaffirmation of what he told Claire in the scene in DRUMS where they discovered the site of Fraser's Ridge, that he will love her forever, even after he is dead.

6) A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
Then he cried, soundless, muscles strained to aching that he might not shake with it, that she might not wake to know it. He wept to emptiness and ragged breath, the pillow wet beneath his face. Then lay exhausted beyond the thought of tiredness, too far from sleep even to recall what it was like. His only comfort was the small, so fragile weight that lay warm upon his heart, breathing.

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 29, "Perfectly Fine". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
As difficult as this part of the book is to get through, the bit from Jamie's POV at the end of the chapter is what always brings me to tears on re-reading. We tend to think of the abduction/rape mostly in terms of what happened to Claire, but Jamie was very deeply shaken by what happened, too. I love the way he pushes his own feelings aside in the face of Claire's need, waiting until she is asleep before he will let himself cry.

7) LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER
Tom gave him a look of mingled bewilderment and suspicion, obviously suspecting that Grey had made up the word upon the moment for the express purpose of tormenting him.

(From Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon, p. 60 in the paperback. Copyright© 2003 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
As a word-lover myself, this bit always makes me laugh. (Especially now that I understand how much Diana herself likes those obscure or unusual words. <g>)

8) LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE
"Your brain's like to burst, Major, and ye dinna give over thinking so much."

(From Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "Ye Jacobites by Name". Copyright© 2007 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Jamie, addressing Lord John. A quote for those of us who tend to indulge in too much Deep Thinking about these books <g>, especially with regard to things like the paradoxes of time-travel.

9) LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS
I love you, he wrote, the strokes light and fast, making scarcely a mark upon the paper, with no ink. I wish it were not so.

(From Lord John and the Hand of Devils, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, by Diana Gabaldon, p. 248 in the hardcover. Copyright© 2007 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Even if Lord John never, ever says these words out loud, there it is, acknowledged at last. Both his love for Jamie, and the fact that he can't stop loving him, no matter how much he might wish to.

3 comments:

Mishu said...

I like the first one. Although i don't like that much of this book, but i think i need to start again. May be i started before the right time of a reader.
Thanks
Mishu

Karen Henry said...

Here's another one I found, listening to the hanging scene in FIERY CROSS this evening:

"He reached for God and heard no plea for mercy deep within himself but only a shriek of no! that echoed in his bones." (chapter 68, "Execution of Orders", p. 617 in the hardcover)

There are references to variations of the phrase "echo in the bone" scattered through the series, but this is one I've never noticed before. And it sort of puts a new spin on the title: the desperate struggle to live, to survive, fighting against impossible odds.

I've said it before, I pick up new little details on every re-read (or "re-listen"), and that is definitely a thought that had not occurred to me until just now.

Karen

Laura's Reviews said...

These are some of my favorite quotes also. Thanks for visiting my blog!