id: 26620324 updated: 2023-04-19 title: Oathbringer author: Brandon Sanderson share: true readwise_url: https://readwise.io/bookreview/26620324
The trick to happiness wasn’t in freezing every momentary pleasure and clinging to each one, but in ensuring one’s life would produce many future moments to anticipate.
‘The question,’ she replied, ‘is not whether you will love, hurt, dream, and die. It is what you will love, why you will hurt, when you will dream, and how you will die. This is your choice. You cannot pick the destination, only the path.’
“I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.”
“Sometimes, a hypocrite is nothing more than a man who is in the process of changing.”
‘The question,’ she replied, ‘is not whether you will love, hurt, dream, and die. It is what you will love, why you will hurt, when you will dream, and how you will die. This is your choice. You cannot pick the destination, only the path.’ ”
The most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step, Dalinar.
Failure is the mark of a life well lived. In turn, the only way to live without failure is to be of no use to anyone. Trust me, I’ve practiced.”
“All things exist in three realms, Dalinar,” Nohadon said. “The Physical: what you are now. The Cognitive: what you see yourself as being. The Spiritual: the perfect you, the person beyond pain, and error, and uncertainty.”
There are no foolish oaths. All are the mark of men and true spren over beasts and subspren. The mark of intelligence, free will, and choice.
But she had learned that nobody was strong all the time, not even Dalinar Kholin. Love wasn’t about being right or wrong, but about standing up and helping when your partner’s back was bowed. He would likely do the same for her someday.
Life was about momentum. Pick a direction and don’t let anything—man or storm—turn you aside.
“There is satisfaction,” he said to Dalinar, “in creating a list of things you can actually accomplish, then removing them one at a time. As I said, a simple joy.”
You can’t spend forever floating between worlds, Cousin, she thought. Eventually you’ll need to decide where you want to belong. Life was so much harder, but potentially so much more fulfilling, when you found the courage to choose.
Power was an illusion of perception, as Jasnah had said. The first step to being in control was to see yourself as capable of being in control.
Aim for the sun. That way if you miss, at least your arrow will fall far away, and the person it kills will likely be someone you don’t know.”
He needed more than vague explanations and abstract ideas—but those were the very soul of art. If you could explain something perfectly, then you’d never need art. That was the difference between a table and a beautiful woodcutting. You could explain the table: its purpose, its shape, its nature. The woodcutting you simply had to experience.
“But maybe you shouldn’t be looking for life to be easier because you choose to do something that is right! Personally, I think life is fair. It’s merely that often, you can’t immediately see what balances it.”
“I don’t mind people believing what works for them, Uncle. That’s something nobody ever seems to understand—I have no stake in their beliefs. I don’t need company to be confident.”
Being a human was about making sense of chaos, finding meaning among the random elements of the world.
“I’m not good with relationships, Shallan.” “Is there anyone who actually is? I mean, is there really someone out there who looks at relationships and thinks, ‘You know what, I’ve got this’? Personally, I rather think we’re all collectively idiots about it.”
Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.
“You learn more from bad art than you do from good art, as your mistakes are more important than your successes. Plus, good art usually evokes the same emotions in people—most good art is the same kind of good. But bad pieces can each be bad in their own unique way. So I’m glad we have bad art, and I’m sure the Almighty agrees.”
If the journey itself is indeed the most important piece, rather than the destination itself, then I traveled not to avoid duty—but to seek it.
It becomes the responsibility of every man, upon realizing he lacks the truth, to seek it out.
“Do you wish,” Wit asked, “that you could go back to not being able to see?” “No,” she whispered. “Then live. And let your failures be part of you.”
“Welcome to war, Evi,” Dalinar said, heading toward the door. “There are no unequivocal wins. Just victories that leave fewer of your friends dead than others.”
“The best indication of what human beings will do is not what they think, but what the record says similar groups have done in the past.”
Lunamor didn’t push Renarin to talk. Some people you wanted to press, draw them out. Others you wanted to let move at their own pace. Like the difference between a stew you brought to a boil and one you kept at a simmer.
Art is about emotion, examination, and going places people have never gone before to discover and investigate new things. The only way to create something that nobody hates is to ensure that it can’t be loved either. Remove enough spice from soup, and you’ll just end up with water.”