What books have made you cry /lit/?
Please tell us about the scene if it was character related, or if there was a certain passage if the prose was moving.
The Prophet by Gibran.
The Famished Road by Okri.
Didn't cry, but this part from The Overcoat by Gogol made me come closer than most things. If you haven't read it, I recommend that you do. It makes more sense in context. Apart from that, it's a short read, and Gogol is God of the short story:
But if the joking became wholly unbearable, as when they jogged his hand and prevented his attending to his work, he would exclaim, "Leave me alone! Why do you insult me?"
Passages where Anne Frank talks about/ imagines her future (e.g. wanting kids), the ending of Lolita, and usually always the ending of Oscar Wild's stories (The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose).
I keep getting the name wrong so I had to fetch my volume & look it up.
It wasn't "The Prophet". It was a short passage in "Tears & Laughter called "A Poet's Death Is His Life".
The sense of solitude & loneliness being the source of beauty, and beauty being ignored by the passage of life & material ignorance - culminating in ignoble death, alone in poverty.
When I first read it, I remember being moved to tears, setting the book down & taking a very long, meandering walk while every emotion possible fought inside my head for control.
Also, The Famished Road is just a beautiful book altogether. The parts that made me cry were many, but specifically the weariness of the father & his unwillingness to surrender his dreams of triumphing over his limitations.
Of mice and men and flowers for Algernon. Both pretty cliche examples but I had a different experience than everyone. I always read the last page of a book when I'm like a third of the way in. I knew the endings to both of these books and it was so hopeless while I was reading. The endings are just so much more tragic
because I'm human and like to know about these things.
i apologize! although it's interesting how none of the responses in this thread were mentioned there.
i also remember these being quite sad, but it was a long time ago, i can't quite remember if it brought me to tears though... :(
Before I had really begun with lit I read the last page of Ulysses when a first edition copy was on display in an Irish museum and I cried and had to leave the tour, that one page was one of the most beautiful things I had ever read.
I still get really emotional when I think of "yes I said yes I will Yes."
God. I can literally feel like the ache I felt after flowers for Algernon. It's such a simple book that it doesn't try to make any overly profound connotations. Is just plain tragedy. I've always appreciated more' pleb' literature for that reason. They aren't necessarily written spectacularly but the can evoke more simple pure emotions.
I've been thinking about this myself. When reading the greats of classic literature, although wonderful and beautifully written, I've had very few examples of being overcome with tears.
I wonder why that is. Is there something about more 'simple' literature that connects with our more primal emotions of sadness or empathy, whereas the great classics appeal more to an intellectual emotion?
'Coming Up For Air' by George Orwell
My introduction to 'literature' was, like most precocious British teenagers, through 'Animal Farm' and '1984'. Eager for more, I loped down to the local library in Henley (where Orwell, unbeknownst to me, grew up) and found a laminated copy of 'Coming Up For Air' that I took back home. I read maybe the first 20-30 pages when a couple of my friends asked me if I wanted to go for a bike-ride down to the Thames, so I placed it face-first on my pillow and frolicked off.
The day was picture perfect: cloudless blue sky with the gentle, warming heat of the sun splaying through the trees as we cycled our well-worn journey down to the Thames through the Binfield Heath area. When we got there, we dismounted from our bikes and sprawled ourselves onto the grass, taking our shoes and socks off so we could dip our feet into the river's edge.
When I got home after dark, I went up to my room and picked up the book and read until my eye-lids started to feel leaden. I noticed that it was set in 'Oxfordshire', where I was from, but didn't think much more of it. Then the narrator started describing trips with his friends around 'Lower Binfield' on his bike with nostalgic tenderness, where the group of them would go by the water and fool around. The feeling of déjà vu was uncanny. Towards the end of the book, the narrator, by now a depressed middle-aged man living in London, returns to Oxfordshire to see what remains of his childhood. He finds that all his old haunts have been bull-dozed and cemented over, and nothing memorable stands. Realizing that he was describing, with eery precision, the area I lived and cycled and fooled around in, tears started to stream down my eyes as I recognized that I would one day have to deal with a loss like his.
Because there's something so innate about easily digested emotions. Think about when you feel extreme emotions, they aren't eloquent. Now no one would want to read them in their rawest form but when you get to higher tiers of literature, you're playing more with art than with expression. YA books are some of my favorite because of this. When a YA book is written by a good author, they are still writing with the convictions and purity for a child. Is simple it's relatable and it's still beautiful. I also like (high quality, not fucking frozen shit, older) Disney movies because of this. Movies like iron giant or spirit seed kids with emotions that are too mature for them to quite grasp but they introduce a childish version of that emotion. That's why adults still cry at the fucking lion king.