"He thought that in the beauty of the world hid a terrible secret. He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower."
from Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses
To get overly English-geek with this quote, it embodies the postmodern aesthetic of constantly shifting values. Plus it's depressing yet beautiful.
Simply put, the quote's fucking sweet. This book is so good it makes me cream my pants. "exacted for the vision of a single flower" !!! C'mon, how is that not the best thing anyone could ever read?