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All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

all the light we cannot see quotesAll the Light We Cannot See is a literary book of fiction written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Doerr – it tells the story of Marie-Laure, a blind French teenager, and Werner, a German soldier, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. On May 10, 2019, a deadline reports that  Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is developing All The Light We Cannot See as a limited series to be available on Netflix. The progress of the movie/film is still in the works – below are the best All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “His voice is low and soft, a piece of silk you might keep in a drawer and pull out only on rare occasions, just to feel it between your fingers.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “Stones are just stones and rain is just rain and misfortune is just bad luck.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “That something so small could be so beautiful. Worth so much. Only the strongest people can turn away from feelings like that.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “Doing nothing is as good as collaborating.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

  • “Sometimes the eye of a hurricane is the safest place to be.”

― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Important All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

  • “Open your eyes’ concludes the man, ‘and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

― (Chapter 18, p. 59)

  •  “What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”

― (Chapter 20, p. 63)

  • “‘You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course, we do. Name me a person or a nation that does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.’” 

― (Chapter 30, p. 95)

  • “‘Is it right,’ Jutta says, ‘to do something only because everyone else is doing it?’”

― (Chapter 43, p. 143)

  • “Nearly every species that has ever lived has gone extinct, Laurette. No reason to think we humans will be any different.”

― Dr. Geffard, Part 1

  • “Walk the paths of logic. Every outcome has its cause … every predicament has its solution.”

― Daniel LeBlanc, Part 3

  •  “A scientist’s work … is determined by two things. His interests and the interests of his time.”

― Dr. Hauptmann, Part 3

  • “March the dead in a single-file line, and for eleven days … they’d walk past our door.”

― Etienne LeBlanc, Part 7

  • “Every hour … someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world.”

― Marie-Laure LeBlanc, Part 13

  • “Frederick said we don’t have choices … but in the end, it was Werner who pretended there were no choices.”

― Narrator, Part 9

Top 20 Best All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

  • “Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”
  • “You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course, we do. Name me a person or a nation that does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”
  • “Sometimes the eye of a hurricane is the safest place to be.”
  • “Doing nothing is as good as collaborating.”
  • “I am only alive because I have not yet died.”
  • “War is a bazaar where lives are traded like any other commodity: chocolate or bullets or parachute silk.”
  • “Is she happy? For portions of every day, she is happy.”
  • “See obstacles as opportunities, Reinhold. See obstacles as inspirations.”
  • “Every rumor carries a seed of truth,”
  • “We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”
  • “It’s embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.”
  • “But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
  • “Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution.”
  • “To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air.”
  • “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.:
  • “Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”
  • “So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”
  • “All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?”
  • “A real diamond is never perfect.”
  • “Some people are weak in some ways, sir. Others in other ways.”

One of the few recorded interviews with Anthony Doerr on All the Light We Cannot See

The New York Times bestselling author Anthony Doerr pops into the studio to discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” and the writing inspiration that started it all. See below the additional All the Light We Cannot See Quotes. 

Other All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

  • “War is a bazaar where lives are traded like any other commodity: chocolate or bullets or parachute silk.”
  • “Memories cartwheel out of her head & tumble across the floor.”
  • “The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the globe . . . The sea is only a receptacle for all the prodigious, supernatural things that exist inside it. It is only movement and love; it is the living infinite.”
  • “A shell screams over the house. He thinks: I only want to sit here with her for a thousand hours.”
  • “And yet she can tell he is visited by fears so immense, so multiple, that she can almost feel the terror pulsing inside him. As though some beast breathes all the time at the windowpanes of his mind.”
  • “The moon sets and the eastern sky lightens, the hem of the night pulling away, taking stars with it one by one until only two are left.”
  • “This is life, he thinks, this is why we live, to play like this on a day when winter is finally releasing its grip.”
  • “Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make because they lead little by little to the truth.”
  • “Nothing will be healed in this kitchen. Some grief can never be put right…She only wants a tide of normality to wash in and cover everything again.”
  •  “There are none so distant that fate cannot bring them together.”
  • “None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.”
  • “when God stops whispering, they become desperate for someone who can put things right.”
  • “So many windows are dark. It’s as if the city has become a library of books in an unknown language, the houses great shelves of illegible volumes, the lamps all extinguished. But there is a machine in the attic at work again. A spark in the night.”
  • “Dust floats through the feeble beam of the flashlight: ten thousand particles, turning softly, twinkling.”
  • “Nearly every species that has ever lived has gone extinct, Laurette. No reason to think we humans will be any different!”
  • “Who will lie on her back and let her last breath curl up to the ceiling as a curse upon the invaders.”
  • “It’s the absence of all the bodies, she thinks, that allows us to forget. It’s that the sod seals them over.”
  • “The locusts have no king, yet all of them go out in ranks”
  • “A child is born, and the world sets in upon it. Taking things from it, stuffing things into it. Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye—the body can never be pure.”
  • “But over these past few weeks, her existence has become tolerable. At least, out on the beaches, her privation and fear are rinsed away by wind and color and light.

All The Light We Cannot See Movie / Series Development Timeline

May 6, 2014 –  All The Light We Cannot See (novel) is released.

April 1, 2015 – All The Light We Cannot See is optioned for film by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush at 20th Century Fox (and transitioned to Fox Searchlight).

April 20, 2015 –  All The Light We Cannot See wins the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

May 10, 2019 – Deadline reports that Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is developing All The Light We Cannot See as a limited series to be available on Netflix.

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