- When I came back to Dublin, I was courtmartialled in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.
Hostage (1958) act 1 1923–64 Irish dramatist:
- The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out. We have really no absent friends.
Death of the Heart (1938) 1899–1973 British novelist and short-story writer, born in Ireland:
- The absent are always in the wrong.
L'Obstacle imprévu (1717) act 1, sc. 6 1680–1754 French dramatist:
- ‘Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’
‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’
‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’
‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘Silver Blaze’ 1859–1930 Scottish-born writer of detective fiction:
- Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place—macavity wasn't there!
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) ‘Macavity: the Mystery Cat’ 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist:
- Partir c'est mourir un peu.
To go away is to die a little. 1856–1941 French poet: ‘Rondel de l'Adieu’ (1891)
- Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.
‘Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.
Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.’
The Masnavi ‘The Reed Flute's Song’, tr. Coleman Barks 1207–73 Persian poet and Sufi mystic:
- Absence diminishes commonplace passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and kindles fire.
Maximes (1678) no. 276; see Bussy-Rabutin, Francis 1613–80 French moralist:
- The more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn't there.
The House at Pooh Corner (1928) ch. 1 1882–1956 English writer for children:
- Omissions are not accidents.
Complete Poems (1967) epigraph 1887–1972 American poet:
- Look for what's missing. Many advisers can tell a president how to improve what's proposed, or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.
Rumsfeld's Rules (2001); interview in Wall Street Journal 29 January 2001 1932– American Republican politician and businessman:
- Most of what matters in your life takes place in your absence.
Midnight's Children (1981) bk. 2 1947– Indian-born British novelist:
- I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. 1892–1962 English writer and gardener: letter to Virginia Woolf, 21 January 1926