Chilling. It's written with such clarity, but from a perspective standing at a tethered distance from the goings-on. It's disturbing mostly in how staChilling. It's written with such clarity, but from a perspective standing at a tethered distance from the goings-on. It's disturbing mostly in how stark Capote's descriptions are, the ultimate omniscient storyteller. ...more
"I dreamed about a dairy cow. Rather nice and small this cow, the type that looked like she'd been through a lot. We passed each other on a big bridge"I dreamed about a dairy cow. Rather nice and small this cow, the type that looked like she'd been through a lot. We passed each other on a big bridge. It was a pleasant spring afternoon. The cow was carrying an old electric fan in one hoof, and she asked whether I wouldn't buy it from her for cheap.
'I don't have much money,' I said. Really, I didn't.
'Well, then,' said the cow, 'I might trade it to you for a pair of pliers.'
Not a bad deal. So the cow and I went home together, and I turned the house upside down looking for the pliers."...more
Profoundly sad characters that crack me up. Here's a platter of emotionally-removed people mumbling iroWonderful follow-up to "The End of Vandalism".
Profoundly sad characters that crack me up. Here's a platter of emotionally-removed people mumbling ironically-detached dialogue -- note that Drury's been writing before Wes Anderson ever schmucked around in his velvet suits and ascots.
Still prefer its predecessor (mostly because I don't give two hoots about teenagers and their coming-of-age garbage), and I didn't need any of it to be set in Hollywood, but I laughed out loud here, guys. Fun, light read. ...more
Somehow, I felt for this ignorant misogynist. Somehow.
"So you walk along Bunker Hill, and you shake your fist at the sky, and I know what your'e thinkSomehow, I felt for this ignorant misogynist. Somehow.
"So you walk along Bunker Hill, and you shake your fist at the sky, and I know what your'e thinking, Bandini. The thoughts of your father before you, lash across your back, hot fire in your skull that you are not to blame: this is your thought, that you were born poor, son of miseried peasants, driven because you were poor, rambling the gutters of Los Angeles because you are poor, hoping to write a book to get rich, because those who hated you back there in Colorado will not hate you if you write a book. You are a coward, Bandini, a traitor to your soul, a feeble liar before your weeping Christ. This is why you write, this is why it would be better if you died.
Yes, it's true: but I have seen houses in Bel-Air with cool lawns and green swimming pools. I have wanted women whose very shoes are worth all I have ever possessed. I have seen golf clubs on Sixth Street in the Spalding window that make me hungry just to grip them. I have grieved for a necktie like a holy man for indulgences. I have admired hats in Robinson's the way critics gasp at Michelangelo."...more
"In one of the fiction-writing manuals, it says that there are only two stories: a hero goes on a journey, and a stranger comes to town. I don't know."In one of the fiction-writing manuals, it says that there are only two stories: a hero goes on a journey, and a stranger comes to town. I don't know. This being life, and not literature, we'll have to make do with this: A middle-aged man, already bowing and half broken under his psychic burdens, decides to take on the stress of being one of the most unqualified players in the history of the Big Game. A hapless loser goes on a journey, a strange man comes to gamble."
"On breaks I parked myself at a one-armed bandit. Out of sight of the Poker Room, scanning my poker tips. 'Play the cards they have,' my notes said, 'not the cards you want them to have.' Don't get all starry-eyed and ignore what the cards are saying just because you like the flop. 'Are Ace-Jack suited really worth rising your tournament life???' Underlined, starred in the margin, circled in unignorable loops. I don't know how 'STAY SEXY' snuck in there, but I nodded thoughtfully."...more
"His life was a constant war with insensate objects that fell apart, or attacked him, or refused to function, or viciously got themselves lost as soon"His life was a constant war with insensate objects that fell apart, or attacked him, or refused to function, or viciously got themselves lost as soon as they entered the sphere of his existence."
"It surprised him to realize how fond he had been of his teeth. His tongue, a fat sleek seal, used to flop and slide so happily among the familiar rocks, checking the contours of a battered but still secure kingdom, plunging from cave to cove, climbing this jag, nuzzling that notch, finding a shred of sweet seaweed in the same old cleft; but now not a landmark remained, and all there existed was a great dark wound, a terra incognita of gums which dread and disgust forbade one to investigate. And when the plates were thrust in, it was like a poor fossil skull being fitted with the grinning jaws of a perfect stranger."
"During the eight years Pnin had taught at Waindell College he had changed his lodgings -- for one reason or another, mainly sonic -- about every semester. The accumulation of consecutive rooms in his memory now resembled those displays of grouped elbow chairs on show, and beds, and lamps, and inglenooks which, ignoring all space-time distinctions, commingle in the soft light of a furniture store beyond which it snows, and the dusk deepens, and nobody really loves anybody."...more
"Magazines boomed, too. Advertising revenues leaped 500 percent in the decade, and many publications of lasting importance made their debut ...Time wa"Magazines boomed, too. Advertising revenues leaped 500 percent in the decade, and many publications of lasting importance made their debut ...Time was perhaps the most immediately influential. Founded by two former Yale classmates, Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, it was very popular but wildly inaccurate. It described Charles Nungesser, for instance, as having 'lost an arm, a leg, a chin' during the war, which was not merely incorrect in all particulars but visibly so since Nungesser could be seen every day in newspaper photographs with a full set of limbs and an incontestably bechinned face."
"The critic Edmund Wilson wondered in an essay why it was that something so dull and unimaginative as the Snyder murder excited such earnest attention, without pausing to reflect that the same question could be asked of his essay."
"Ruppert's most arresting peccadillo was that he kept a second home in Garrison, New York, where he maintained a shrine to his mother in the form of a room containing everything she would need if she came back to life. This may go some way toward explaining why he never married."
"President Coolidge made a short speech of welcome, pinned the Distinguished Flying Cross on [Lindbergh's] lapel, and with a gesture invited Lindbergh to speak. Lindbergh leaned into the microphone, for it was set a little low for him, expressed pleasure at being present, said a very few words of thanks, and stepped back. A moment of eerie stillness followed as it dawned on the watching throngs, most of whom had been standing in the hot sun for hours, that they were in the presence of two of the most taciturn men in America and that this ceremony was over."
"[President Coolidge's] most celebrated trait was his taciturnity. An oft-told story, which has never been verified, is that a woman sitting next to him at dinner gushed, 'Mr. President, my friend bet me that I wouldn't be able to get you to say three words tonight.' 'You lose,' the president supposedly responded."
"The last word on the matter should perhaps be left with Avrich. 'It is frustrating to ponder,' he wrote in 1991, 'that there are still people alive -- the widow of Sacco among them -- who might, if they chose, reveal at least part of the truth.' None ever did. They are all dead now."
"Have you ever read the Ghost Hunter's Guide by Hector Plasma? No? Well, of course you haven't. I just made it up."
"There are only three living specim"Have you ever read the Ghost Hunter's Guide by Hector Plasma? No? Well, of course you haven't. I just made it up."
"There are only three living specimens of young girls in our area: me and two thirteen-year-olds who are so cross-eyed that they seem to be sharing a single eye."
"But the technician was the devil himself, bent on temptation. In fact, I noticed that he had a tail. I grabbed at it. It was a tape measure."
" 'Free?' exclaimed Mamma. It's the only word in the language that she cannot resist. For years, we have been trying to keep her from finding out that dying is free of charge; she would probably kill herself on the spot."
"And it was suddenly all clear. All those gentlemen and ladies and boys and girls sitting at tables in that cafe -- they were right, unquestionably right. As they talked, they became more and more certain of how right they were. And their certainty about being right was built on ridicule, devastation, and scorn for other people. The more they talked, the more they were right, the more their rightness demanded its tribute of words, threats, and gestures. As that tribute piled up, all the others, those who were in the wrong, became increasingly alone and unhappy. I looked out the window, across the street, and I saw other people sitting in other cafes: they were right, too. This immense, single-minded rightness had split the world into two camps: those who had right on their sides (which is to say, everyone), and the others (which is to say, again, everyone)."...more