People who commit monstrous crimes are not necessarily monsters. If they were, things would be easy. But they aren't and it is one of the experiences of life.

— Bernhard Schlink

The most joyful Bernhard Schlink quotes that will add value to your life

Desires, memories, fears, passions form labyrinths in which we lose and find and then lose ourselves again.

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She was struggling, as she always had struggled, not to show what she could do but to hide what she couldn't do. A life made up of advances that were actually frantic retreats and victories that were concealed defeats.

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I certainly know German colleagues in the US who try to be Americans, try to melt into Americanism, even before they get married and become American citizens. But I've never tried that.

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The more I suffer, the more I love.

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But then she was not awkward, she was slow-flowing, graceful, seductive - a seductiveness that had nothing to do with breast and hips and legs, but was an invitation to forget the world in the recesses of the body

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Sometimes I had the feeling that all of us in his family were like pets to him.

The dog you take for a walk, the cat you play with and that curls up in your lap, purring, to be stroked - you can be fond of them, you can even need them to a certain extent, and nonetheless the whole thing - buying pet food, cleaning up the cat box, and trips to the vet - is really too much. Your life is elsewhere.

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I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.

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The past has to be remembered, so that it's never repeated.

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I asked her about life, and it was as if she rummaged around in a dusty chest to get me the answers.

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Bravery is good when the cause is good.

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I did not know that children think the hard questions they ask are easy and thus expect easy answers to them, and that they are disappointed when they get cautious, complex answers.

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There's no need to talk about it, because the truth of what one says lies in what one does.

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About Bernhard Schlink

Quotes 39 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday July 6, 1944

I took all the blame. I admitted mistakes I hadn't made, intentions I'd never had. Whenever she turned cold and hard, I begged her to be good to me again, to forgive me and love me. Sometimes I had the feeling that she hurt herself when she turned cold and rigid. As if what she was yearning for was the warmth of my apologies, protestations, and entreaties. Sometimes I thought she just bullied me. But either way, I had no choice.

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The Odyssey is the story of motion both purposeful and purposeless, successful and futile. What else is the history of law?

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Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily.

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I can't say I'm thankful about being German because I sometimes experience it as a huge burden. But it is an integral part of me and I wouldn't want to escape it. I have accepted it.

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Or is there no such thing as 'too late'? Is there only 'late' and is 'late' always better than 'never'? I don't know.

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Philosophy has forgotten about children

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When we open ourselves you yourself to me and I myself to you, when we submerge you into me and I into you when we vanish into me you and into you I Then am I me and you are you.

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It was more dangerous not to go; I was running the risk of becoming trapped in my own fantasies. So I was doing the right thing by going. She would behave normally, I would behave normally, and everything would be normal again.

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We make our own truths and lies....Truths are often lies and lies truths.

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What a sad story, I thought for so long.

Not that I now think it was happy. But I think it is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever.

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As an author, you can't expect a movie to be an illustration of the book.

If that's what you hope for, you shouldn't sell the rights.

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Now to escape involves not just running away, but arriving somewhere.

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It is hard for me to imagine that I felt good about behaving like that.

I also remember that the smallest gesture of affection would bring a lump to my throat, whether it was directed at me or at someone else. Sometimes all it took was a scene in a movie. This juxtaposition of callousness and extreme sensitivity seemed suspicious even to me.

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I thought that if the right time gets missed, if one has refused or been refused something for too long, it's too late, even if it is finally tackled with energy and received with joy. Or is there no such thing as "too late"? Is there only "late," and is "late" always better than "never"? I don't know.

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...I had to point at Hanna. But the finger I pointed at her turned back to me. I had loved her. I tried to tell myself that I had known nothing of what she had done when I chose her. I tried to talk myself into the state of innocence in which children love their parents. But love of our parents is the only love for which we are not responsible. ...And perhaps we are responsible even for the love we feel for our parents.

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Is this what sadness is all about? Is it what comes over us when beautiful memories shatter in hindsight because the remembered happiness fed not just on actual circumstances but on a promise that was not kept?

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There's this old saying that, if you aren't particularly gifted in natural sciences, if you don't want to become a teacher or pastor or doctor, and don't know what else to do, then you become a lawyer. But I've never regretted it.

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What is law? Is it what is on the books, or what is actually enacted and obeyed in a society? Or is law what must be enacted and obeyed, whether or not it is on the books, if things are to go right?

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I know that disavowal is an unusal form of betrayal.

From the outside it is impossible to tell if you are disowning someone or simply exercising discretion, being considerate, avoiding embarrassments and sources of irritation. But you, who are doing the disowning, you know what you're doing. And disavowal pulls the underpinnings away from a relationship just as surely as other more flamboyant types of betrayal.

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The tectonic layers of our lives rest so tightly one on top of the other that we always come up against earlier events in later ones, not as matter that has been fully formed and pushed aside, but absolutely present and alive. I understand this. Nonetheless, I sometimes find it hard to bear.

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As a citizen and someone who was a judge on the constitutional law court for 18 years, I feel whenever I can raise my voice with the hope of being heard I need to do it, but I wouldn't assign a special wisdom and responsibility to writers.

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In the past, I had particularly loved her smell.

She always smelled freshed, freshly washed or of freshed laundry or fresh sweat or freshly loved

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It wasn't that I forgot Hanna. But at a certain point the memory of her stopped accompanying me wherever I went. She stayed behind, the way a city stays behind as a train pulls out of the station. It's there, somewhere behind you, and you could go back and make sure of it. But why should you?

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why does what was beautiful shatter in hindsight because it concealed dark truths?

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So I was still guilty. And if I was not guilty because one cannot be guilty of betraying a criminal, then I was guilty of having loved a criminal.

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When an airplane's engines fail, it is not the end of the flight.

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