Catherynne M. Valente Quotes
Marya Morevna! Don’t you know anything? Girls must be very, very careful to care only for ribbons and magazines and wedding rings. They must sweep their hearts clean of anything but kisses and theater and dancing. They must never read Pushkin; they must never say clever things; they must never have sly eyes or wear their hair loose and wander around barefoot, or they will draw his attention!
The rapt pupil will be forgiven for assuming the Tsar of Death to be wicked and the Tsar of Life to be virtuous. Let the truth be told: There is no virtue anywhere. Life is sly and unscrupulous, a blackguard, wolfish, severe. In service to itself, it will commit any offense. So, too, is Death possessed of infinite strategies and a gaunt nature- but also mercy, also grace and tenderness. In his own country, Death can be kind.
For though, as we have said, all children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it.
It’s been me all along, said September slowly. Me who gave up my shadow, me who went down into Fairyland-Below and Fairyland-Lower-Than-That to wake up the Prince. Me who shot the poor Minotaur. You oughtn’t just hand the whole business over the moment a Prince comes on the scene. I’ve got to see it through, don’t you see? The Hollow Queen is hollow because she’s missing the part of her that’s me. We’ve got to come together again. And he can’t do a thing about that.