- Despair, in short, seeks its own environment as surely as water finds its own level.
The Savage God (1971) 1929– English critic, poet, and novelist:
- My God, my God, look upon me; why hast thou forsaken me?
: Psalm 22, v. 1; text as given in the Book of Common Prayer (1662)
- I give the fight up: let there be an end,
A privacy, an obscure nook for me.
I want to be forgotten even by God.
Paracelsus (1835) pt. 5, l. 363 1812–89 English poet:
- lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate!
Abandon all hope, you who enter!
inscription at the entrance to Hell; now often quoted as ‘Abandon hope, all ye who enter here’
Divina Commedia ‘Inferno’ canto 3, l. 1 1265–1321 Italian poet:
- In despair there are the most intense enjoyments, especially when one is very acutely conscious of the hopelessness of one's position.
Notes from Underground (1864) pt. 1, ch. 7 1821–81 Russian novelist:
- There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.
Adam Bede (1859) ch. 31 1819–80 English novelist:
- In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning.
Esquire March 1936; see John 1896–1940 American novelist: ‘Handle with Care’ in
- Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim.
Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 2 1904–91 English novelist:
- Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
1844–89 English poet and priest: ‘Carrion Comfort’ (written 1885)
- No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
1844–89 English poet and priest: ‘No worst, there is none’ (written 1885)
- Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair. 1883–1924 Czech novelist: diary, 21 July 1913
- Human life begins on the far side of despair.
The Flies (1943) act 3, sc. 2 1905–80 French philosopher, novelist, dramatist, and critic:
- Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded.
Frankenstein (1818) ch. 10 1797–1851 English novelist: