"To keep his books Cosimo constructed a kind of hanging bookcase, sheltered as best he could from rain and nibbling mouths. But he would...moreGolden Lines:
"To keep his books Cosimo constructed a kind of hanging bookcase, sheltered as best he could from rain and nibbling mouths. But he would continuously change them around, according to his studies and tastes of the moment, for he considered books as rather like birds and it saddened him to see them caged or still" (102).
"Youth soon passes on earth, so imagine it on the trees, where it is the fate of everything to fall..." (208)
"Ombrosa no longer exists. Looking at the empty sky, I ask myself if it ever did really exist. That mesh of leaves and twigs of fork and froth, minute and endless, with the sky glimpsed only in sudden specks and splinters, perhaps it was only there so that my brother could pass through it with his tomtit's tread, was embroidered on nothing, like this thread of ink which I have let run on for page after page, swarming with cancellations, corrections, doodles, blots and gaps, bursting at times into clear big berries, coagulating at others into piles of tiny starry seeds, then twisting away, forking off, surrounding buds of phrases with frameworks of leaves and clouds, then interweaving again, and so running on and on and on until it splutters and bursts into a last senseless cluster of words, ideas, dreams, and so ends" (217). (less)
So, apparently sex and arsenic don't mix...that was the theme, wasn't it?
Reading this book was really a departure from my usual novel choices. I'm ge...moreSo, apparently sex and arsenic don't mix...that was the theme, wasn't it?
Reading this book was really a departure from my usual novel choices. I'm generally not a fan of 19th century "classics" mostly because I don't usually get hooked by the characters or absorbed into the story like I do with more modern texts. That being said, as an English teacher, I also recognize the importance of earlier works, so I decided to give Madame Bovary a try (mostly because my literary crush Lydia Davis did the translation).
I was pleasantly surprised by the book. To be honest, I was bored at times by the long, seemingly never-ending passages that describe characters' lineages, provincial town squares, and the furnishings of living rooms, but the characters' struggles, the scandalous trysts, and the utter collapse of beauty more than makes up for the dull parts. (less)
This line sums up the Pninian experience: "poor Pnin, poor albino porcupine!"
Other awesome lines/ phrases:
"He was in a Pninian quandr...moreThis line sums up the Pninian experience: "poor Pnin, poor albino porcupine!"
Other awesome lines/ phrases:
"He was in a Pninian quandry."
"pathologically purplish car"
"...soon they began to appreciate Pnin at his uniquely Pninian worth..."
"...traumatic episodes floating out of everybody's childhood like corpses."
"a strong anti-Pninist"
"Pnin slowly walked under the solemn pines. The sky was dying. He did not believe in an autocratic God. He did believe, dimly, in a democracy of ghosts. The souls of the dead, perhaps, formed committees, and these, in continuous session, attended to the destinies of the quick."
"...The Egg and We, a recently inaugurated and not very successful little restaurant which Pnin frequented from sheer sympathy with failure..."
"...Our friend applied himself to the pleasant task of Pninizing his new quarters."(less)