'It's true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.'
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

Because by now she’d begun to forget that inside of her were two souls, and these souls kept quite and cried without tears in the dark prison of her powerful body. In their place there grew inside Marilena’s body a whole new soul, fat and gluttonous, obnoxious and fun-loving, greedy and tactless, charming when this was advantageous to her and grim when it wasn’t.

It’s no secret, of course, that souls sometimes die within a person and are replaced by others - especially with age.

Marilena’s Secret - Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

'Little girls,' said Miss Brodie, ' come and observe this.'

They clustered round the open door while she pointed to a large poster pinned with drawing-pins on the opposite wall within the room. It depicted a man’s big face. Underneath were the words ‘Safety First’.

'This is Stanley Baldwin who got in as Prime Minister and got out again ere long,' said Miss Brodie. 'Miss Mackay retains him on the wall because she believes in the slogan “Safety First”. But Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth and Beauty come first. Follow me.'

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark

But which one among us is without sin? I can hardly think where to cast my stones, so I just go on keening for my own losses, trying to wear the marks of the boot on my back as gracefully as the Congo wears hers.

My little beast, my eyes, my favourite stolen egg. Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I’ve only found sorrow.

The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver

"When anyone grows very old he becomes like a little baby again."

"And dies?" asked the boy.

It was a string in his breast that snapped, one of those delicate childhood strings which break before one has had time to realize that they are capable of sounding; and these strings sound no more; henceforth they are only a memory of incredible days.

"We all die."

Independent People - Halldór Laxness
There is, I hope, a thesis in my work: we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody-two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it’s just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats—maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats—but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike. There’s no real mystique. Every human being, every Jew, Christian, backslider, Muslim, Shintoist, Zen Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, every human being wants a nice place to live, a good place for the children to go to school, healthy children, somebody to love, the courage, the unmitigated gall to accept love in return, someplace to party on Saturday or Sunday night, and someplace to perpetuate that God. There’s no mystique. None. And if I’m right in my work, that’s what my work says.

Boris laughed. “And you love her, yes. But not too much.”

"Why do you say that?"

"Because you are not mad, or wild, or grieving! You are not roaring out to choke her with your own bare hands! Which means that your soul is not too mixed up with hers. And that is good. Here is my experience. Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you. What you want to live and be happy in the world is a woman who has her own life and lets you have yours."

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

There was a pause while they looked at each other, and the momentary eagerness in his eyes wavered. She rose and stood looking at him, her face quite expressionless.

'Shall we dance?' she suggested, coolly.

- Love is fragile - she was thinking - but perhaps the pieces are saved, the things that hovered on lips, that might have been said. The new love-words, the tenderness learned, and treasured up for the next lover.

May Day - F. Scott Fitzgerald

She longs for tonight, she longs to skip the day that’s just begun and plunge headlong into the night as if into a pool; a pool with the moon reflected in it. She longs to swim in liquid moonlight.

But it’s dangerous to live for the night. Daytime becomes irrelevant. You can get careless, you can overlook details, you can lose track.

MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood
It is because woman are never lazy. They don’t know what it is to be quiet. They are Semiramides, and Cleopatra, and Joan of Arcs, Queen Elizabeths, and Catharine the Seconds, and they riot in battle, and murder, and clamour, and desperation. If they can’t agitate the universe and play at ball with hemispheres, they’ll make mountains of warfare and vexation out of domestic molehills; and social storms in household teacups. Forbid them to hold forth upon the freedom of nations and the wrongs of mankind, and they’ll quarrel with Mrs Jones about the shape of a mantle or the character of a small maidservant. To call them the weaker sex is to utter a hideous mockery. They are the stronger sex, the noisier, the more persevering, the most self-assertive sex. They want freedom of opinion, variety of occupation, do they? Let them have it. Let them be lawyers, doctors, preachers, teachers, soldiers, legislators - anything they like - but let them be quiet - if they can.
Lady Audley’s Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon