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Words & Writing > Favorite quotations?

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message 51: by David (new)

David (sfdavide) | 49 comments "If you could say it in words there would be no need to paint" Edward Hopper

message 52: by Steve (new)

Steve (Capodistria) I do like that one, David. Very much.

message 53: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Me, too, especially as I enjoy Hopper's art a lot.

message 54: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 8779 comments Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle
Looks just like a diamond ring.

John Prine

message 55: by Janet (last edited Oct 21, 2008 07:58PM) (new)

Janet Leszl | 1163 comments I enjoy so many of the quotations I've read here.
This is not a literary quote, but:

"Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful" - Warren Buffett

I know he said that in reference to his investing philosophy, but perhaps there is a deeper life leason as well. It expresses the need to hesitate in following crowd mentality and have courage to take chances; leap from the edge of a cliff speading our own wings to find potential in what conventional wisdom misses.

message 56: by Philip (last edited Dec 06, 2008 08:17AM) (new)

Philip | 1271 comments I thought I'd warm up this thread a bit with this quote from Gilead, which I'm savoring for this month's discussion - reading, retreating, re-reading. Anyway:

I've developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from, except, of course, that some very tedious gentlemen have written books. This is not a new insight, but the truth of it is something you have to experience to fully grasp.

Thank God for them all, of course, and for that strange interval, which was most of my life, when I read out of loneliness, and when bad company was much better than no company. You can love a bad book for its haplessness or pomposity or gall, if you have that starveling appetite for things human, which I devoutly hope you will never have...

(p. 39 of the 2004 hardback Farrar edition I have from the library)

message 57: by Andy (new)

Andy haplessness or pomposity or gall...

Robinson sure is fond of those triads separated by "and's" and "or's".

I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm curious as to why the narrator would hope the son doesn't have that appetite for things human. Maybe the better question is what does the author mean by "appetite for things human?"

message 58: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments Starving for company? Anyway, I didn't mean to jump the gun on discussing the book, I just thought the comment on reading might amuse this group ...

message 59: by Andy (new)

Andy Righto. I HAVE been hoping for a "pre-discussion", I will admit. I suppose I can wait until the fifteenth.

message 60: by Gail (new)

Gail | 295 comments Thanks for that quote, Philip. Somehow I missed it as memorable when I first read it. In return, I offer one of my favorites, although it's a bit long:

"In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven't Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you...And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of Books That If You Had More Than one life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered, the Books Ditto When They Come Out In Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too."
Italo Clavino: If On a Winter's Night a Traveler.

A perfect description of any of my forays through a bookshop.

message 61: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Or the way I'm beginning to feel about my explorations and adds hereabouts. Not that I'm actually complaining -- or thinking of giving up this on-line "candy" store atmosphere!

Enjoying the quotes here, by the way.

message 62: by Mary (new)

Mary (maryarussell) Susanna wrote: ""South Carolina is too small for a republic, and too large for a mental asylum."

James Pettigru, 1856"

What a wonderful quote! It strikes me as applicable to some other small states as well. It also reminds me of J.F.K's comment on Washington, DC: it is a city of southern efficiency and northern hospitality.

message 63: by David (new)

David (sfdavide) | 49 comments "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly"

Robert F Kennedy

message 64: by Burgendya (new)

Burgendya | 49 comments " A great leader's courage to furfill his vision comes from passion, not position."

-John Maxwell

message 65: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Feb 04, 2009 11:54AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 194 comments Mary - it is still often very true today, down here in South Carolina! We often have a very interesting way of looking at things.

message 66: by Tango (new)

Tango | 67 comments 'elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog'

Margaret, in Richard III. What a wonderful insult!

message 67: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments Oh my, that is powerful, Tango!

message 68: by Tom (new)

Tom | 237 comments In honor of Blake Bailey's new bio of John Cheever:

"Then it is dark. It is a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains."
from "The Country Husband"

"No one is interested in a character like Brimmer because the facts are indecent and obscene. But come then out of the museums, gardens, and ruins where obscene facts are as numerous as daisies in Nantucket."
from "Brimmer"

message 69: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments A few sentences from the first chapter of Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, which I'm currently reading for the Classics Corner discussion:

But people can't, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, anymore than their parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life. (p. 5)

For I am — or I was — one of those people who pride themselves on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the master of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not decisions at all — a real decision makes one humble, one knows that one is at the mercy of more things than cam be named — but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. (p. 20)

message 70: by Yulia (new)

Yulia | 1613 comments Philip, those same two passages struck me and made me write them down to consider later. The second made me question what lies I unwittingly tell myself out of fear or ignorance of myself.

message 71: by Janet (new)

Janet Leszl | 1163 comments After reading those deeply thoughtful quotations I feel silly posting this. It’s too good not to though.
My husband was watching an old special on AMC on Chuck Jones the animator last night, who shared a favorite quote he credited as being from Groucho Marx.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend...

Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."

message 72: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments Thanks for the laugh, Janet! And a joke about reading too ... :)

message 73: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments A line from John Updike's collection The Afterlife and Other Stories:

... families teach us how love exists in a realm above liking and disliking, coexisting with indifference, rivalry, and even antipathy."

message 74: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments The arresting opening sentences from Steve Toltz's remarkable first novel A Fraction of the Whole:

You never hear about a sportsman losing his sense of smell in a tragic accident, and for good reason; in order for the universe to teach excruciating lessons that we are unable to apply in later life, the sportsman must lose his legs, the philosopher his mind, the painter his eyes, the musician his ears, the chef his tongue. My lesson? I have lost my freedom, and found myself in this strange prison, where the trickiest adjustment, other than getting used to not having anything in my pockets and being treated like a dog that pissed in a sacred temple, is the boredom.

Made more significant for me perhaps since one near and dear to me, a marvelous cook, has lost her ability the last two months to either taste or smell what she prepares.

message 75: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 5217 comments Thank you, Philip. Great opening paragraph.

message 76: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments I'm not sure that I would recommend the book to everybody, actually, it is just as frustrating as it is worthwhile. It's quite long, for one thing, and sometimes the characters are maddening, and there are perhaps too many coincidences you have to accept. Very much the book of a young man in many ways. But there are also many moments of insight, humor, and aphoristic insight.

message 77: by w.f.t. (new)

w.f.t. | 86 comments From "Swann's Way."

"But then, even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is created by the thoughts of other people."



message 78: by Dottie (last edited May 04, 2009 10:05AM) (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Ah, yes, a bit of Proustian thought once again. That was one I really liked when I first encountered it, too. I'm being tempted to pick up a volume and meander through it but time is tight at the moment. Good to see you posting, Dash.

message 79: by w.f.t. (last edited May 03, 2009 07:34PM) (new)

w.f.t. | 86 comments Yes, Dottie, I'm at last reading again. Somehow, I've ended up with 4 volumes of "Swann's Way"(all Modern Library), so no matter where I go in the house, or at work, I can pick up where I left off.

Message 56 by Phillip and 60 by Gail, made me think of this one by the character Swann, in "Swann's Way,":

"The fault I find with our journalism is that it forces us to take an interest in some fresh triviality or other every day, whereas only three or four books in a lifetime give us anything that is of real importance."



message 80: by Tom (new)

Tom | 237 comments “Courage is the product of rehearsal, as cowardice is of recollection; neither comes on call upon occasions of surprise.” the late, great Murray Kempton, a journalistic soul mate of Ms Ivins.

message 81: by Merry (new)

Merry (m75248) | 30 comments "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you."
-A. A. Milne

message 82: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Oh, Tom, that's really good -- I'll have to look for Kempton if Ivins is a reference point.

Merry -- I love that one -- good, old Winnie-ther-ya, know?

message 83: by Ed (last edited May 16, 2009 04:57PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) What is the Meaning of Life?

Life is a series of memorable events one after another.

message 84: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 8779 comments Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

-----John Lennon

message 85: by Merry (new)

Merry (m75248) | 30 comments

Merry -- I love that one -- good, old Winnie-ther-ya, know?"

I love Pooh Bear - what a simple life he led (leads)!
So Dottie do you remember TTFN?

message 86: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Merry wrote: "

Merry -- I love that one -- good, old Winnie-ther-ya, know?"

I love Pooh Bear - what a simple life he led (leads)!
So Dottie do you remember TTFN?"

Should but I think it's slid out one of the holes in the sieve -- remind me, please.

message 87: by Merry (new)

Merry (m75248) | 30 comments Dottie wrote: "Merry wrote: "

Merry -- I love that one -- good, old Winnie-ther-ya, know?"

I love Pooh Bear - what a simple life he led (leads)!
So Dottie do you remember TTFN?"

Dottie, that would be "ta ta for now"! Let me wish you a happy birthday on this thread, I believe you are a May B-Day - hope you have/had a good one - TTFN!

message 88: by Tom (new)

Tom | 237 comments Dottie, Kempton's best work is collected in "Rebellions, Perversities, and Main Events," (the title alone should give you a clue of his view of the world). Enjoy! Kempton was a good bit older than Ivins, but their careers did overlap, and I imagine they would have found much to admire in each other's work.

Dottie wrote: "Oh, Tom, that's really good -- I'll have to look for Kempton if Ivins is a reference point.

Merry -- I love that one -- good, old Winnie-ther-ya, know?"

message 89: by Al (new)

Al (AllysonSmith) | 1101 comments I'm so intrigued by this line from a book I am currently reading and really enjoying Love and Obstacles: ". . .I could remember that I used to love them, but I could not remember why, and I was terrified." (p.31)

message 90: by Philip (last edited Aug 09, 2009 06:32PM) (new)

Philip | 1271 comments Two passages from Mark Sarvas's Harry Revised, a new book I'm enjoying very much early on:

[edit: the Goodreads link to the book is incorrect - not a Rowlings bio!]

And now--in all too familiar Harry fashion--time stretches out, elongating like a thread, or like one of those diagrams of a ray that he remembers from geometry class. He never got rays, what they were for or why he should care about them, but he liked that they started from a fixed point at one end and went on to infinity at the other. It had the best of both worlds, he thought--permanence and eternal movement. (p. 11)

He has hurled a brick through her trust, and although he may spend the rest of his life collecting every last shard, massaging the creaky, fractured pane back into a whole, it will always be warped, irregular, distorting the views on both sides. (p. 47)

message 91: by Jason (new)

Jason (JasonCT) | 34 comments ", like sheer silk, too often hides eczema."
Camus, The Fall

message 92: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 6807 comments Oh, I like that, Jason.

message 93: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 5217 comments Me too, nonstylish person that I am. Thank you, Jason.

message 94: by w.f.t. (new)

w.f.t. | 86 comments William Hazlitt, from his essay, "On The Aristocracy of Letters,"

"The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote."

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 194 comments Fabulous, that one.

message 96: by Andrea (new)

Andrea She stood there in my doorway,
Smoothing out her dress,
She said, This life is a thump-ripe melon
So sweet and such a mess

From the Ballad of Rexroth's Daughter as sung by Joan Baez

message 97: by Elizabeth (last edited Sep 12, 2009 05:12PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Mum2Two) | 108 comments I have so many favourite quotes;

The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

message 98: by Philip (new)

Philip | 1271 comments Love these quotes, people, thanks! Now I want to hear Joan B. sing those lines.

message 99: by Andrea (new)

Andrea It's on her album "Bowery Songs" that came out about four years ago, I think. Probably she had been singing it way before that, though.

message 100: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 1444 comments Amen, Sylvia and Steve -- and a tip of the hat to Kinky. I MUST find my picture of me with Mr. Friedman, his hat and his cigar when I get home and use it for my profile for a while!

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