The Cunning Man Quotes

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The Cunning Man (Toronto Trilogy, #2) The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies
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“I had become wiser, I tried to find out what irony really is, and discovered that some ancient writer on poetry had spoken of “Ironia, which we call the drye mock.” And I cannot think of a better term for it: The drye mock. Not sarcasm, which is like vinegar, or cynicism, which is so often the voice of disappointed idealism, but a delicate casting of cool and illuminating light on life, and thus an enlargement. The ironist is not bitter, he does not seek to undercut everything that seems worthy or serious, he scorns the cheap scoring-off of the wisecracker. He stands, so to speak, somewhat at one side, observes and speaks with a moderation which is occasionally embellished with a flash of controlled exaggeration. He speaks from a certain depth, and thus he is not of the same nature as the wit, who so often speaks from the tongue and no deeper. The wit’s desire is to be funny; the ironist is only funny as a secondary achievement.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“she swore in good mouth-filling oaths, but never smutty ones, and that was uncommon. She knew the prosody of profanity. . . . she knew the tune, as well as the words. She was not a raving beauty, but she had fine eyes and a Pre-Raphelite air of being too good for this world while at the same time exhibiting much of what this world desires in a woman, and I suppose I gaped at her and behaved clownishly.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“I came at last to a recognition of myself as, in part, a Tom Sawyer who wanted everything done according to the rules of romantic fiction, and complicated simple solutions with his absurd adolescent, book-born nonsense.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“Clarity is not a characteristic of the human spirit.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“Of course I long for her, but in honesty I must say that I would rather long for her than have her continuously present. Travel agents assure us that 'getting there is half the fun'; I might say with at least equal truth that longing is some of the best of loving.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“I don't think Emily was quite up to the demands of being everything to Chips. Love lays heavy burdens on the loved one, sometimes”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
tags: love
“The gods destroy the heroes with a sudden blow, but they grind us mediocrities for weary, weary years.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“Never neglect the charms of narrative for the human heart.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“What chance has a Saint Francis, if his Assisi is a multicultured, financial, unyieldingly secular northern city, whose lepers and other detrimentals are charges on the public purse?”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man
“All eras of history are an equal distance from eternity.”
Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man