‘A feminist: (masculinely)…’

I did, once upon a time, read Ulysses by James Joyce. And I did, once upon a Mediterranean cruise, enjoy parts of it along with some quotes I saved. Seeings it is Bloomsday, June 16, the singular day on which all 265,000 words and 18 episodes of the novel canonically take place, I can hardly… Continue reading ‘A feminist: (masculinely)…’

‘Enough courage to take chances’

A man's courage is like a horse that refuses a fence; you have to take him by the head and cram him at it again. If you don't, he will funk worse next time. I hadn't enough courage to be able to take chances with it, though I was afraid of many things, the thing… Continue reading ‘Enough courage to take chances’

‘Passing thought’

To all humankind besides, Tess was only a passing thought. Even to friends she was no more than a frequently passing thought. Tess of the D’Urbervilles Ever wondered what other people think about you? Or who thinks about you? Or how often? It’s not really a profitable use of time, but it’s natural to wonder… Continue reading ‘Passing thought’

‘Far too consistent’

Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently.The Way of All Flesh From The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler I recently saw a post about consistency being key that really resonated with me because I tend to have trouble with… Continue reading ‘Far too consistent’

‘Imperturbably polite protest’

Mr. Grewgious in the meantime sat upright, with no expression in his face, and a hard kind of imperturbably polite protest all over him: as though he would have said, in reply to some invitation to discourse; ‘I couldn’t originate the faintest approach to an observation on any subject whatever, I thank you.’The Mystery of… Continue reading ‘Imperturbably polite protest’

‘Driven on by some demon’

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither… Continue reading ‘Driven on by some demon’

“Like starting a stone”

“I feel very strongly about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgment. You start a question, and it’s like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would… Continue reading “Like starting a stone”

“The importance of his public ends”

“[T]he besetting sin of a philanthropist, it appears to me, is apt to be a moral obliquity. His sense of honor ceases to be the sense of other honorable men. At some point of his course...he is tempted to palter with the right, and can scarcely forbear persuading himself that the importance of his public… Continue reading “The importance of his public ends”

‘Blowing in the wind’

Dying was nothing and he had no picture of it nor fear of it in his mind. But living was a field of grain blowing in the wind on the side of a hill. Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with… Continue reading ‘Blowing in the wind’

‘Even the best of us’

We are all, even the best of us, egotists and self-deceivers, and without a little comfortable make-believe to clothe us we should freeze in the outer winds. Richard Hannay in The Three Hostages The Three Hostages by John Buchan, Starbooks Classics, 2013, ebook. This reminds me of the Emperor’s new clothes. While usually the Emperor… Continue reading ‘Even the best of us’