2. "Henderson nodded, and closed his eyes. Then he said, The murder. I’d want to stay on that, Lucas said. I’d insist. This thing will leak five minutes after you call St. Paul, and there’s gonna be a shit storm. I’ll be outraged, and you’ll be my minister plenipotentiary to the investigation. That’ll give us a reason for these . . . conferences. That’ll work, I think, Lucas said. They sat there for a minute, then Henderson said, There’s the elephant in the room . . . that we haven’t talked about. Lucas nodded: Who did it. Who killed Tubbs. If he’s dead. Yeah, if he’s dead. But . . . it feels like it."
- John Sandford, Silken Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel
3. "Colonial governors at their seats of government, and Ministers Plenipotentiary in their ambassadorial residences are very great persons indeed; and when met in society at home, with the stars and ribbons which are common among them now, they are less, indeed, but still something. But at the Colonial and Foreign Offices in London, among the assistant secretaries and clerks, they are hardly more than common men. All the gingerbread is gone there. His Excellency is no more than Jones, and the Representative or Alter Ego of Royalty mildly asks little favours of the junior clerks."
- Anthony Trollope, The American Senator
4. "Doubt is more intelligent than poetry, insofar as it tells malicious tales about the world, things we’ve long known but struggled to hide from ourselves. But poetry surpasses doubt, pointing to what we cannot know. Doubt is narcissistic; we look at everything critically, including ourselves, and perhaps that comforts us. Poetry, on the other hand, trusts the world, and rips us from the deep-sea diving suits of our I; it believes in the possibility of beauty and its tragedy. Poetry’s argument with doubt has nothing in common with the facile quarrel of optimism and pessimism. The twentieth century’s great drama means that we now deal with two kinds of intellect: the resigned and the seeking, the questing. Doubt is poetry for the resigned. Whereas poetry is searching, endless wandering. Doubt is a tunnel, poetry is a spiral. Doubt prefers to shut, while poetry opens. Poetry laughs and cries, doubt ironizes. Doubt is death’s plenipotentiary, its longest and wittiest shadow; poetry runs"
- Adam Zagajewski, A Defense of Ardor: Essays