Saturday Quotes: David Mitchell

Every Saturday we’re publishing a collection of wonderful quotes we’ve read during the previous week. This week we’re featuring quotes from David Mitchell renowned novel, Cloud Atlas.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.

My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?

Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.

Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an’ tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same, it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud’s blowed from or who the soul’ll be ‘morrow? Only Sonmi the east an’ the west an’ the compass an’ the atlas, yay, only the atlas o’ clouds.

Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides… I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.

In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.