It was one of the most horrific tragedies in Renaissance art. In 1857, Pope Pius IX decided that the accurate representation of the male form might incite lust inside the Vatican. So he got a chisel and mallet and hacked off the genitalia of every single male statue inside the Vatican City. He defaced works by Michelangelo, Bramante, and Bernini. Plaster fig leaves were used to patch the damage. Hundreds of sculptures had been emasculated. Langdon had often wondered if there was a huge crate of stone penises someplace.

Dan Brown, Angels and Demons

My English class had read Macbeth in the fall, but only now was it starting to make sense why Lady Macbeth could never scrub the blood off her hands, why it was still there after she washed it away.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

In those days, paperbacks came in their traditional liveries: orange Penguins for fiction, blue Pelicans for non-fiction. To have more blue than orange on your shelf was proof of seriousness.

Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

You have the single empty box

of a life and all the universe

to fill it with.

Gabriel Gadfly, ‘Life and Death and Knowledge’

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib’d
In one self place; but where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be.

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

“Forever and ever” means that time has come to an end.

Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds