„Whenever I start a novel, I'm always looking for two things: a bit of science that makes me go 'what if?' and a piece of history that ends in a question mark.“

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„I'm just trying to look at something without blinking, to see what it is like, or it could have been like, and how that had something to do with the way we live now. Novels are always inquiries for me.“

—  Toni Morrison American writer 1931
Interview in Salon magazine ( 2 February 1998) http://web.archive.org/web/20000301183409/http://www.salon.com/books/int/1998/02/cov_si_02int.html

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„Things always seem to end before they start“

—  Lou Reed, Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics

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„All these tattered old bits and pieces have a history and a meaning.“

—  Philip Pullman English author 1946
Context: All these tattered old bits and pieces have a history and a meaning. A group of them together can seem like the traces left by an ionizing particle in a bubble chamber: they draw the line of a path taken by something too mysterious to see. That path is a story, of course. What scientists do when they look at the line of bubbles on the screen is work out the story of the particle that made them: what sort of particle it must have been, and what caused it to move in that way, and how long it was likely to continue. Dr. Mary Malone would have been familiar with that sort of story in the course of her search for dark matter. But it might not have occurred to her, for example, when she sent a postcard to an old friend shortly after arriving in Oxford for the first time, that that card itself would trace part of a story that hadn't yet happened when she wrote it. Perhaps some particles move backward in time; perhaps the future affects the past in some way we don't understand; or perhaps the universe is simply more aware than we are. There are many things we haven't yet learned how to read. The story in this book is partly about that very process.

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