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35 Best Quotes From The Secret History By Donna Tartt

35 Best Quotes From The Secret History By Donna Tartt
35 Best Quotes From The Secret History By Donna Tartt

Where are my Dark Academia friends at? The Secret History and dark academia obviously go hand in hand and trust us when we say; these words can summon an entire fandom, an entire group of intelligent, curious minds that read Shakespeare and classics for fun. We love words and you must too if you’re lurking on the internet reading this article when you should be sleeping.

TSH was a hard read for us but we can’t deny the fact that it was fun to see these characters doing unimaginable things and trying to get away with it. Moreover, it was written so beautifully that we ended up annotating half our copy. That book is thick and if you want to relive that experience, then here are some of our favorite quotes from that book.

But, if you haven’t read that book, and are just curious, then let us use this chance to convince you to pick that book right now. TSH follows a group of students who dream of living life to the fullest. A group of clever and eccentric misfits, these students study at an elite New England college. When they discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from normal life, they go beyond the boundaries of “normal”. However, everything has consequences, and when they slip, they move from obsession to corruption to betrayal, and at last into evil. In short, it’s chaotic and very dark academia; perfect for all of us! 

Also Read: ‌The Bookish Holy Trinity: The Best of the Best

Page Contents

But walking through it all was one thing; walking away, unfortunately, has proved to be quite another.

But walking through it all was one thing; walking away, unfortunately, has proved to be quite another.

The Secret History By Donna Tartt

I have come to realize that while for years I might have imagined myself to be somewhere else, in reality I have been there all the time.

I have come to realize that while for years I might have imagined myself to be somewhere else, in reality I have been there all the time.

The Secret History Book

I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell. 

I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell. 

The Secret History Quotes

Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw’, that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.

Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw’, that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.

The Secret History Quotes By Donna Tartt

In short: I felt my existence was tainted, in some subtle but essential way.

In short: I felt my existence was tainted, in some subtle but essential way.

Best Quotes From The Secret History

‘If by romantic you mean solitary and introspective,’ I said, ‘I think romantics are frequently the best classicists.’

‘If by romantic you mean solitary and introspective,’ I said, ‘I think romantics are frequently the best classicists.’

Best Quotes From The Secret History Book

The great romantics are often failed classicists.

The great romantics are often failed classicists.

35 Best Quotes: The Secret History

For if the modern mind is whimsical and discursive, the classical mind is narrow, unhesitating, relentless.

For if the modern mind is whimsical and discursive, the classical mind is narrow, unhesitating, relentless.

The Secret History By Donna Tartt Quotes

I am nothing in my soul if not obsessive.

I am nothing in my soul if not obsessive.

The Secret History By Donna Tartt Best Quotes

I believe that having a great diversity of teachers is harmful and confusing for a young mind, in the same way I believe that it is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.

I believe that having a great diversity of teachers is harmful and confusing for a young mind, in the same way I believe that it is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.

Fav Quotes From The Secret History

‘Death is the mother of beauty,’ said Henry. ‘And what is beauty?’ ‘Terror.’

‘Death is the mother of beauty,’ said Henry. ‘And what is beauty?’ ‘Terror.’

Fav Quotes From The Secret History By Donna Tartt

Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.

Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.

Best Quotes From The Secret History By Donna Tartt About Beauty

‘And if beauty is terror,’ said Julian, ‘then what is desire? We think we have many desires, but in fact we have only one. What is it?’ ‘To live,’ said Camilla. ‘To live forever,’ said Bunny, chin cupped in palm.

‘And if beauty is terror,’ said Julian, ‘then what is desire? We think we have many desires, but in fact we have only one. What is it?’ ‘To live,’ said Camilla. ‘To live forever,’ said Bunny, chin cupped in palm.

Quotes On Beauty

‘We don’t like to admit it,’ said Julian, ‘but the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves more than almost anything.

‘We don’t like to admit it,’ said Julian, ‘but the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves more than almost anything.

35 Best Quotes By Donna Tartt

Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.

Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.

Best Quotes On Beauty

‘Should I do what is necessary?’ ‘You should only, ever, do what is necessary.’

‘Should I do what is necessary?’ ‘You should only, ever, do what is necessary.’

35 Best Quotes From TSH: Henry

Nothing is lonelier or more disorienting than insomnia.

Nothing is lonelier or more disorienting than insomnia.

Quotes On Insomnia

I suppose there is a certain crucial interval in everyone’s life when character is fixed forever.

I suppose there is a certain crucial interval in everyone’s life when character is fixed forever.

35 Quotes By Donna Tartt

If I threw myself off, I thought, who would find me in all that white silence?

If I threw myself off, I thought, who would find me in all that white silence?

35 Best Quotes From The Secret History About Life

My life, which before had been only solitary and miserable, became unbearable.

My life, which before had been only solitary and miserable, became unbearable.

Quotes From The Secret History About Life

‘Bunny’s never had a cent of pocket money the entire time I’ve known him,’ said Henry tartly. ‘And he has expensive tastes. That is unfortunate.’

‘Bunny’s never had a cent of pocket money the entire time I’ve known him,’ said Henry tartly. ‘And he has expensive tastes. That is unfortunate.’

Henry In TSH

I felt as though I were in the dining car of a train and had been seated by the steward with another solitary male traveller, some kindly stranger, someone who didn’t even speak my language, perhaps, but who was still content to eat his dinner with me, exuding an air of calm acceptance as if he’d known me all his life.

I felt as though I were in the dining car of a train and had been seated by the steward with another solitary male traveller, some kindly stranger, someone who didn’t even speak my language, perhaps, but who was still content to eat his dinner with me, exuding an air of calm acceptance as if he’d known me all his life.

35 Best Quotes From TSH

‘After all, the appeal to stop being yourself, even for a little while, is very great,’ he said. ‘To escape the cognitive mode of experience, to transcend the accident of one’s moment of being.’

‘After all, the appeal to stop being yourself, even for a little while, is very great,’ he said. ‘To escape the cognitive mode of experience, to transcend the accident of one’s moment of being.’

Dark Academia Quotes

‘Things aren’t marvellous,’ said Henry, ‘but they could certainly be worse.’

‘Things aren’t marvellous,’ said Henry, ‘but they could certainly be worse.’

Best Quotes: Henry In TSH

I suppose the shock of recognition is one of the nastiest shocks of all.

I suppose the shock of recognition is one of the nastiest shocks of all.

Quotes On Shock

One likes to think there’s something in it, that old platitude amor vincit omnia. But if I’ve learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn’t conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.

One likes to think there’s something in it, that old platitude amor vincit omnia. But if I’ve learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn’t conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.

Quotes On Love Is A Lie

In very great poetry the music often comes through even when one doesn’t know the language.

In very great poetry the music often comes through even when one doesn’t know the language.

Quotes About Poetry

‘The more I hear about luxury barges, the less terrible death begins to seem,’ he said.

‘The more I hear about luxury barges, the less terrible death begins to seem,’ he said.

Quotes On Death

Some things are too terrible to grasp at once. Other things – naked, sputtering, indelible in their horror – are too terrible to really ever grasp at all.

Some things are too terrible to grasp at once. Other things – naked, sputtering, indelible in their horror – are too terrible to really ever grasp at all.

Best Quotes By Donna Tartt

He was so perfectly at his ease that there was something palpably dishonest about it. I wondered why no one else, apparently, could see it.

He was so perfectly at his ease that there was something palpably dishonest about it. I wondered why no one else, apparently, could see it.

Best Quotes By Donna Tartt: TSH Book

He did touch people’s lives, the lives of strangers, in an entirely unanticipated way. It was they who really mourned him – or what they thought was him – with a grief that was no less sharp for not being intimate with its object.

He did touch people’s lives, the lives of strangers, in an entirely unanticipated way. It was they who really mourned him – or what they thought was him – with a grief that was no less sharp for not being intimate with its object.

TSH Book Quotes

Julian is like one of those people that’ll pick all his favourite chocolates out of the box and leave the rest. 

Julian is like one of those people that’ll pick all his favourite chocolates out of the box and leave the rest. 

The Secret History Quotes

‘Julian,’ he said curtly, ‘will never be a scholar of the very first rate, and that is because he is only capable of seeing things on a selective basis.’

‘Julian,’ he said curtly, ‘will never be a scholar of the very first rate, and that is because he is only capable of seeing things on a selective basis.’

Book: The Secret History By Donna Tartt

‘There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty – unless she is wed to something more meaningful – is always superficial.

‘There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty – unless she is wed to something more meaningful – is always superficial.

Beauty Quotes

And I know I said earlier that he was perfect but he wasn’t perfect, far from it; he could be silly and vain and remote and often cruel and still we loved him, in spite of, because.

And I know I said earlier that he was perfect but he wasn’t perfect, far from it; he could be silly and vain and remote and often cruel and still we loved him, in spite of, because.

Love Quotes

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Written By

Isha is an avid reader and writer. She loves to spend time on Pinterest like it's her only job. You can find her in her room obsessing over fictional characters and Taylor Swift.

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