Birdsong Quotes Parts 1, 2, 4 & 6 - Sebastian Faulks

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Part 1

“Behind the gardens the river Somme broke up into small canals.”

“His artless enthusiasm and outraged sense of right and wrong had made him the dispair of his teachers, but he had slowly learnt to breathe amd keep calm, not to trust his responses, but to wait and be watchful.”

“Madame Azaire, a figure he viewed with an incompatible mixture of feelings.”

“Stephen had noticed some slight adhesion caused the membrane of her lower lip to linger for a fraction of a second as she pulled the glass away.”

“Aunt Elise…with her blackened mouth and harsh voice she, she seemed to embody a minatory spiritual truth, that real faith is not to be found on the pale face of the anchorite but in the ravaged lives of those who have had to struggle to survive.”

“Her laughter undoubtedly gave him a wonderful source of relief from the daily details of army life.” (Isabelle’s soldier lover)

“Stepehen..felt close to the vegetable futility of death. The brown waters were murky and shot through with the scurrying of rats from the banks where the earth had been dug out of trenches and held back by elaborate wooden boarding.”

“What was held to be a place of natural beauty was a stagnation of living tissue which could not be saved from decay.”

“The sensation of desire seemed indistinuishable from and impulse toeards death. All of them, he thought, would be taken back by this earth.”

“He had lost sight of his original aim, to restore peace, and now wanted only to damage the man who had enraged him.”

“He felt as though his existence in the boulevard du Cange, and perhaps his life in its longer perspecitve where coming to a crsis he could not control.”

“He was a boy…and now she would always have him.” (Isabelle about Stephen)

“One day she might lie to him and he would never know. Perhaps all women had this ability to survive.” (Stephen about Isabelle)

“The only difference between living and dying was not one of quality, only time.”

“He saw a picture in his mind of a terrible piling up of the dead. It came from his contemplation of the church, but it had its own clarity; the row on row, the deep rotting earth hollowed out to hold them, while the efforts of the living, with all their works and wars and great buildings, were no more than the beat of a wing against the weight of time.”

“He prayed instinctively, without knowing what he did. Save me from that death. Save Isabelle. Save all of us. Save me.”

“He could not rest until he knew where it would end. Almost as decisive as his tenderness towards Isabelle was an overpowering sense of curiosity.”

“I’m a frightened woman, no more than that – not an adulterer, or a harlot or anything else. I’m just the same person I ever was, but you never took any trouble to found out who that was.”



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