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  #61  
Old 08-07-2011, 05:51 PM
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It felt like being a child again, though it was not. Being a child is like nothing. It’s only being. Later, when we think about it, we make it into youth.
China Mieville, Embassytown
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  #62  
Old 08-08-2011, 04:57 AM
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Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and of stars and stripes forever?

You're goddamned right they didn't.

They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important. They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live.
Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun
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  #63  
Old 08-11-2011, 07:32 PM
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Ermengarde Stubbs was the beauteous blonde daughter of Hiram Stubbs, a poor but honest farmer-bootlegger of Hogton, Vt. Her name was originally Ethyl Ermengarde, but her father persuaded her to drop the praenomen after the passage of the 18th Amendment, averring that it made him thirsty by reminding him of ethyl alcohol, C2H5OH. His own products contained mostly methyl or wood alcohol, CH3OH. Ermengarde confessed to sixteen summers, and branded as mendacious all reports to the effect that she was thirty. She had large black eyes, a prominent Roman nose, light hair which was never dark at the roots except when the local drug store was short on supplies, and a beautiful but inexpensive complexion. She was about 5ft 5.33...in tall, weighed 115.47 lbs. on her father's copy scales - also off them - and was adjudged most lovely by all the village swains who admired her father's farm and liked his liquid crops.
H.P. Lovecraft (writing as Percy Simple), Sweet Ermengarde

I had no idea Lovecraft was capable of being funny. How odd.
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  #64  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:35 PM
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"Frank, listen. Try not to start talking until I finish, and just listen.” And in an oddly stifled voice, as if she’d rehearsed her speech several times without allowing for the fact that she’d have to breathe while delivering it, she told him of a girl in dramatic school who knew from first hand experience, an absolutely infallible way to induce a miscarriage. . .

Even as he filled his lungs for shouting he knew it wasn’t the idea itself that replled him—the idea itself, God knew, was more than a little attractive—it was that she had done all this on her own, in secret. . .that if she’d thought about him at all it was only a possible hitch in the scheme, a source of tiresome objections that would have to be cleared up and disposed of if the thing were to be carried out with maximum efficiency. That was the intolerable part of it; that was what enriched his voice with a tremor of outrage:

“Christ sake, don’t be an idiot. You want to kill yourself? I don’t even want to hear about it.”

She sighed patiently. “All right, Frank. In that case there’s certainly no need for you to hear about it. I only told you because I thought you might be willing to help me in this thing. Obviously, I should have known better.”

“Listen. Listen to me. You do this—you do this and I swear to God I’ll—“

“Oh, you’ll what? You’ll leave me? What’s that supposed to be—a threat or a promise?”

And the fight went on all night. It caused them to hiss and grapple and knock over a chair, it spilled outside and downstairs and into the street (“Get away from me! Get away from me!”); it washed them trembling up against the hire wire fence of a waterfront junkyard, until a waterfront drunk came to stare at them and make them waver home, and he could feel the panic and the shame of it even now. . .The next day, weeping in his arms, she had allowed herself to be dissuaded.

“Oh, I know I know,” she had whispered against his shirt, “I know you’re right. I’m sorry. I love you. We’ll name it Frank and we’ll send it to college and everything. I promise, promise.”

And it seemed to him now that no single moment of his life had ever contained a better proof of manhood than that, if any proof were needed: holding that tamed, submissive girl and saying “Oh, my lovely; oh my lovely,” while she promised she would bear his child. . .

And I didn’t even want a baby, he thought to the rhythm of his digging. Isn’t that the damnedest thing? I didn’t want a baby any more than she did. Wasn’t it true, then, that everything in his life from that point on had been a succession of things he hadn’t really wanted to do? Taking a hopelessly dull job to prove he could be as responsible as any other family man, moving to an overpriced, genteel apartment to prove his mature belief in the fundamentals of orderliness and good health, having another child to prove that the first one hadn’t been a mistake, buying a house in the country because that was the next logical step and he had to prove himself capable of taking it. Proving, proving; and for no other reason than that he was married to a woman who had somehow managed to put him forever on the defensive, who loved him when he was nice, who lived according to what she happened to feel like doing and who might at any time—this was the hell of it—who might at any time of day or night just happen to feel like leaving him. It was as ludicrous and as simple as that.

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road.
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  #65  
Old 09-08-2011, 09:31 AM
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We tell our children they're trapped like rats on a doomed, bankrupt, gangster haunted planet with dwindling resources, with nothing to look forward to but rising sea levels and imminent mass extinctions, then raise a disapproving eyebrow when, in response, they dress in black, cut themselves with razors, starve themselves, gorge themselves or kill one another.


Grant Morrison, Supergods
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  #66  
Old 10-18-2011, 12:05 AM
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"In your world as in mine, is it not considered bad to take and use, without permission, an object that another man is currently using or depending on?"

"Yes, in our world we call this 'stealing,'" said John, "It is considered a greater crime, though, to unleash killer spiders on an unarmed crowd. We call it 'arachnicide'"
John Dies At The End, Dave Wong
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  #67  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:52 PM
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Coming to the end of Great Expectations, writing these out to imprint them more firmly in my soul.
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I knew not how to answer, or how to comfort her. That she had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable young child to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in, I knew full well. But that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well. And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?
So much more palpably resonant than a random "revenge is an abyss!" line in any given Batman.
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When the Sessions came round, Mr. Jaggers caused an application to be made for the postponement of his trial until the following Sessions. It was obviously made with the assurance that he could not live so long, and was refused. The trial came on at once, and, when he was put to the bar, he was seated in a chair. No objection was made to my getting close to the dock, on the outside of it, and holding the hand that he stretched forth to me.

The trial was very short and very clear. Such things as could be said for him, were said--how he had taken to industrious habits, and had thriven lawfully and reputably. But, nothing could unsay the fact that he had returned, and was there in presence of the Judge and Jury. It was impossible to try him for that, and do otherwise than find him Guilty.
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The whole scene starts out again in the vivid colours of the moment, down to the drops of April rain on the windows of the court, glittering in the rays of April sun. Penned in the dock, as I again stood outside it at the corner with his hand in mine, were the two-and-thirty men and women; some defiant, some stricken with terror, some sobbing and weeping, some covering their faces, some staring gloomily about. There had been shrieks from among the women convicts, but they had been stilled, and a hush had succeeded.
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Among the wretched creatures before him whom he must single out for special address, was one who almost from his infancy had been an offender against the laws; who, after repeated imprisonments and punishments, had been at length sentenced to exile for a term of years; and who, under circumstances of great violence and daring had made his escape and been re-sentenced to exile for life. That miserable man would seem for a time to have become convinced of his errors, when far removed from the scenes of his old offences, and to have lived a peaceable and honest life. But in a fatal moment, yielding to those propensities and passions, the indulgence of which had so long rendered him a scourge to society, he had quitted his haven of rest and repentance, and had come back to the country where he was proscribed . . . The appointed punishment for his return to the land that had cast him out, being Death, and his case being this aggravated case, he must prepare himself to Die.


It's a testament to the sublime ability of the public education system to nurture an absolute abhorrence of reading, that I read this book for the second time in the same year that I read Crime & Punishment for the first, with the result being:
  1. Crime & Punishment, being a leisure reading that I alone out of my entire school, including teachers probably, read that year, sank itself and its details so deeply into me that I was able to recall most of the plot, character relations, and name pronunciations when I read it again years later.
  2. Great Expectations had so thoroughly and successfully erased itself in every possible way from my memory by the time I took it up again a few months ago that the only things I remembered at all about it were 1) that it is a book by Charles Dickens and 2) that the main character has the most jovial and unexpected reunion with an old acquaintance when he first enters his furnished London apartment.
That's it. I literally couldn't even remember the main character's name is Pip, even though before re-reading the book I had just read that fact in Ebert's stonking review of one of the book's adaptations! On the one hand, it was absolutely wonderful to encounter every plot twist as freshly as if I had never even heard the name "Dickens" until I opened this book. On the other: What the hell, high school English? I read the damn thing twice in two years and I couldn't even remember a three-letter name.

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The sun was striking in at the great windows of the court, through the glittering drops of rain upon the glass, and it made a broad shaft of light between the two-and-thirty and the Judge, linking both together, and perhaps reminding some among the audience, how both were passing on, with absolute equality, to the greater Judgment that knoweth all things and cannot err.

yes it's literally the next sentence after my last quote what of it
And I desperately want to get this one in before I lose the moment of it:
Quote:
Our oarsmen were so fresh, by dint of having occasionally let her drive with the tide for a minute or two, that a quarter of an hour's rest proved full as much as they wanted. We got ashore among some slippery stones while we ate and drank what we had with us, and looked about. It was like my own marsh country, flat and monotonous, and with a dim horizon; while the winding river turned and turned, and the great floating buoys upon it turned and turned, and everything else seemed stranded and still. For, now, the last of the fleet of ships was round the last low point we had headed; and the last green barge, straw-laden, with a brown sail, had followed; and some ballast-lighters, shaped like a child's first rude imitation of a boat, lay low in the mud; and a little squat shoal-lighthouse on open piles, stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches; and slimy stakes stuck out of the mud, and slimy stones stuck out of the mud, and red landmarks and tidemarks stuck out of the mud, and an old landing-stage and an old roofless building slipped into the mud, and all about us was stagnation and mud.

Last edited by Dubin; 03-08-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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  #68  
Old 01-09-2016, 04:16 PM
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BRUTUS
Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heaped on Caesar.


CASSIUS
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar—what should be in that “Caesar”?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
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  #69  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:21 PM
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The Childlike Empress read what was being written, and it was exactly what was happening at that same moment: 'The Childlike Empress read what was being written...'

'You write down everything that happens,' she said.

'Everything that I write down happens,' was the answer, spoken in the deep, dark voice that had come to her like an echo of her own voice.

Strange to say, the Old Man of Wandering Mountain had not opened his mouth. He had written her words and his, and she had heard them as though merely remembering that he had just spoken. 'Are you and I and all Fantastica,' she asked, 'are we all recorded in this book?'

He wrote, and at the same time she heard his answer: 'No, you’ve got it wrong. This book is Fantastica - and you and I.'

'But where is this book?'

And he wrote the answer: 'In the book.'

'Then it’s all a reflection of a reflection?' she asked.

He wrote, and she heard him say: 'What does one see in a mirror reflected in a mirror? Do you know that, Golden-eyed Commander of Wishes?'
The Neverending Story, Michael Ende
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