she is definitely Snakes

What can you do in this degenerate age? Women are either nuns, mothers, or witches. If she’s a nun you’ll never have her, if she’s a mother she died abed, and your best chance, lad, lies with the witch.

The Folded World, Catherynne M. Valente (via michellefairley)

… and in future days perhaps you will call John Mandeville a liar, and my shade will laugh at you and say: true, true, I was, but not always, not so. When the world was good enough in my sight, when it behaved as wildly and gorgeously as I always knew it could, I told the truth of it.

The Folded World, Catherynne M. Valente (via michellefairley)

Books can harm you, and a careless John I would be if I were to let you open this volume and think you had a nice plump dog on a satin leash who would do your bidding and ask for no more than you liked to give. Books are not like that. They want to eat you up. They want you to spend yourself on their iron hearts and submit to their wills. An unsuspecting man who happens to find himself in this unfortunate world which is practically ruled by books has but two choices—give in and go under the page with the secret smile of the slattern on one’s lips, or become the thing the book spends itself upon, become himself the iron princess with horns of gold, become fantastical and gorgeous beyond measure, nearly impossible to believe, but not so impossible that the spell is broken. Become the thing the tale tells of, something so strange that some book somewhere simply bursts into being to record your supereminence.

John of Mandeville, The Folded World (Catherynne M. Valente)

You’d like to think such simple lies wouldn’t work, that they would be too feeble to carry their own weight, but a straight back and a level gaze will purchase more or less anything you might like to possess if you are comely enough of face and sufficiently quicksilver of tongue.

The Folded World, Catherynne M. Valente

Books think they can boss me about. They think they have the upper hand, and can make me read them and pay attention to them and say nice things about them after I am done. They are snooty and think they are smarter than me. They insist on being read page one to page whathaveyou, and no stopping for good behavior.

Catherynne M Valente, The Folded World (via bygoshbygolly)

There was a great war, he told me while we cut pages for his improved Bible. Some say it was over a woman, some say over trade routes. I did not understand why anyone would fight a war over a woman. She chooses the mate she chooses. You cannot force her, I insisted, but John promised me you could.

Cat Valente, The Folded World (via whoistorule)

I had begun to tire of them if I am frank. I have many talents but only a few are of any interest to children, and the day would go better with me if I had something alcoholic and a bored queen in my sight.

Cat Valente, The Folded World (via whoistorule)

JOHN OF MANDEVILLE LOVE OF MY LIFE

Love is hungry and severe. Love is not unselfish or bashful or servile or gentle. Love demands everything. Love is not serene, and it keeps no records. Love sometimes gives up, loses faith, even hope, and it cannot endure everything. Love, sometimes, ends. But its memory lasts forever, and forever it may come again. Love is not a mountain, it is a wheel. No harsher praxis exists in this world. There are three things that will beggar the heart and make it crawl—faith, hope, and love—and the cruelest of these is love.

The Folded World, Catherynne M. Valente

Love begins as it ends. The beginning is only a mirror held up to the end. Thus, you must pay good attention to how love first appears, what it is wearing, how it stands, with what colors and objects it decks itself, and in this way the rough prophesy of love may be practised.

The Folded World, Catherynne M Valente (via honeyspider)

We can see everything and it is a real place at the top of the world but you are not ready to come here yet, you are not ready to know us by our names, only by our works shall you know us, and by our works we will bring the new world into being, we will make it be born. Everything will meet everything else, and there will be no more walls forever, and we promise this is how it must be. We are not capricious, we are just a girl waiting for her first kiss, we are just a new heaven and a new earth waiting to be wakened from a thousand-year sleep by an enchanted princess. We are just Fate, three sisters and this one our youngest of all. That is how we have children. We find a mouth no one is using. Three who can see the one world to come, a fourth to bring it round.

The Folded World, Catherynne M. Valente
RF