Monday, October 31, 2016
From Tales of Terror and Mystery, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"My heart sank within me as I saw these ominous preparations, and yet I was held by the fascination of horror, and I could not take my eyes from the strange spectacle."
From The Leather Funnel
Sunday, October 30, 2016
From Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, by Peter Orner
NO LONG VIEW
"There is no long view. There is no time other than this time. Welty captures how it feels to suddenly live in a universe utterly unlike the one you lived in the day before."
From Eudora Welty, Badass
Saturday, October 29, 2016
From The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan, by Ian Buruma
"When the court of law is used for history lessons, then the risk of show trials cannot be far off. It may be that show trials can be good politics -- though I have my doubts about this too. But good politics don't necessarily serve the truth."
From Part Three, History on Trial: Stuttgart
Friday, October 28, 2016
"All that is left is to find a porcupine. Take some quills. Commence the decorations."
From page 54
Thursday, October 27, 2016
From Selected Letters, by Cicero, translated by D. R. Shackleton Bailey
"But that is enough moaning. I must sail off on the sly then, and creep secretly on board some freighter."
From 72 Cicero to Atticus, Cumae, 5 May 49
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
From Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by David Hume
"We have, indeed, experience of ideas, which fall into order, of themselves, and without any known cause: But, I am sure, we have a much larger experience of matter, which does the same; as in all instances of generation and vegetation, where the accurate analysis of the cause exceeds all human comprehension."
From Part IV
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
"'For public life a man should be one-sided. He must act with party; and a party insists that the shield is silver, when if it will take the trouble to turn the corner it will see that the reverse of the shield is gold. Woe to the man who makes the discovery alone, while his party are still swearing the shield is silver, -- and that not once in his life, but every night!"
From Part Sixth, Chapter I.
Monday, October 24, 2016
From The Eastern Shore, by Ward Just
"His article was entirely straightforward, a professional job, spare sentences, the facts allowed to carry the story. It was not an eloquent piece. In fact it was laconic, almost mundane, free of sentimentality and yet sympathetic."
From Chapter 4, The Haberdasher
Sunday, October 23, 2016
From The Caxtons, A Family Picture, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
"I shook my head, surprised every hour more and more to find how very little there was in it."
From Part Fifth, Chapter I.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
From Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell
"But it was only the weakness of an instant; for were not the very minutes precious, for deliberation if not for action?"
From Chapter XXII, Mary's Efforts to Prove an Alibi
Friday, October 21, 2016
From The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
"'Culture! Yes—if we had it! But there are just a few little local patches, dying out here and there for lack of—well, hoeing and cross–fertilising: the last remnants of the old European tradition that your forebears brought with them. But you're in a pitiful little minority: you've got no centre, no competition, no audience. You're like the pictures on the walls of a deserted house: 'The Portrait of a Gentleman.' You'll never amount to anything, any of you, till you roll up your sleeves and get right down into the muck. That, or emigrate ... God! If I could emigrate ...'"
From Chapter XIV
Thursday, October 20, 2016
THE AVERAGE PANTHER
"The average Panther rose at dawn and retired at dusk and did whatever job needed to be done to keep the programs going for the people, from brothers and sisters cooking breakfast for the school kids, to going door-to-door to gather signatures for petitions, to gathering clothes for the free clothing program, to procuring donated supplies from the neighboring merchants.
The average Panther's life was long, hard, and filled with work."
From Chapter 8, A Panther's Life
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
From For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, by Nathan Englander
"'You have an epiphany and want everyone else to have the same one. Well, if we did, even if it was the best, greatest, holiest thing in the world. If every person had the same one, the most you'd be left with is a bright idea.'
'I don't know if that's theologically sound,' Zalman said, twisting the pointed ends of his beard."
From The Gilgul of Park Avenue
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
From Heavy Water and Other Stories, by Martin Amis
"Mother followed the others, who followed the guide. And John followed Mother. All of them flinching, cringing, in the heat, the lavatorial gusts and crosscurrents, the beggars, the touts."
From Heavy Water
Monday, October 17, 2016
From Independent People, by Halldor Laxness, translated by J. A. Thompson
"Meals in this family were eaten as a rule in silence and in an atmosphere of almost furtive solemnity, as though some dark impressive rite were being performed."
From Part II, Free of Debt, Day
Sunday, October 16, 2016
From Break of Day, by Colette, translated by Enid Mcleod
"She merely raised her arm to smooth her hair with the flat of her hand. Even without seeing her I should have known from this gesture that she was blonde, healthily and rather pungently blonde; blonde and upset, on edge -- there was no doubt of it."
From page 69, this translation
Saturday, October 15, 2016
From Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jarad Diamond
"Any reader steeped in the history of Western civilization would be forgiven for assuming that African food production began in ancient Egypt's Nile Valley, land of the pharaohs and pyramids."
From Chapter 19, How Africa Became Black
Friday, October 14, 2016
From Slowness, by Milan Kundera
"He is naked. He's a little astonished at the fact, and laughs a throat-clearing laugh directed more to himself than to her, because being naked like this in this huge glassed-in space is so unaccustomed for him that all he can think of is the weirdness of the situation."
From Chapter 34
Thursday, October 13, 2016
From The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
"It was success that dazzled her -- she could distinguish facts plainly enough in the twilight of failure."
From Chapter V
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
From Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism, by Slavoj Zizek
"Even if reality is 'more real' than fantasy, it needs fantasy in order to retain its consistency: if we subtract fantasy, the fantasmatic frame, from reality, reality itself loses its consistency and disintegrates."
From Part III: Hegel Beyond Hegel, Chapter Seven, The Two Butterflies
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
From Mister Monkey, by Francine Prose
THE YOUNG MAN
"The young man has gotten louder, and now the words fucking Darwin pierce the companionable fog of wine and food into which Lauren and Ray have slipped."
From Chapter 6
Monday, October 10, 2016
From Upstream: Selected Essays, by Mary Oliver
"The beauty and strangeness of the world may fill the eyes with its cordial refreshment. Equally it may offer the heart a dish of terror. On one side is radiance; on another is the abyss."
From Wordsworth's Mountain, 3.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
"The West has never properly acknowledged slavery as a crime against humanity, for to acknowledge it is to accept responsibility for the crime and its consequences."
From The Legacy of Slavery