Tag Archives: books

Who Are You?

Excerpted from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, ©1865: She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest …

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Eff It After All

  “Come, let us go.  Let us leave this festering hellhole.  Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable.  Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”  Dirk Gently, in Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, ©1987 My friend Mary, who …

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Humdrum, Everyday Badness

 “(There) are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not …

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It Just Was

 Excerpted from A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton, ©2012: “You should get some sleep,” said the bear.  “I’ll keep going for a bit.  It’s a nice night.  Thought I’d row for a while longer and take a look at the moon.” “Look at the moon?” said the boy.  “Why?  It’s …

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It Would Have Been Sheepish

 “The vampire gave her the kind of smile only a vampire can give. It would have been sheepish, if sheep had different teeth.” ~Terry Pratchett in, Monstrous Regiment ©2003

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To Be

“We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be. To be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to …

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Rhythm and Length

   Excerpted from an article in The Nation about Joan Didion: In Blue Nights, her 2011 memoir about grief, family, and work, Didion said that when she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, worked on dialogue for their screenplays, they would mark the time a character spent speaking before coming up with the words themselves: …

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An Escape from Personal Responsibility

In this excerpt from Scoundrel Time ©1976 by Lillian Hellman, the author discusses the difference between a “radical” and an “ideologue”: The popular image of the radical is of the wild and irresponsible “bomb thrower.”  But most radicals I have met were extraordinarily civil.  They oppose the general degradation, not with a programmatic “solution,” but …

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Cosy Mathermatical Sense of Wellbeing

 Eve Babitz on writing and art (source): In the tenth grade I took a test and got the highest grade in the city in grammar. I had learned the kind of cosy mathematical sense of wellbeing you can derive from a parsed sentence. I liked the way a sentence looked all Royal Familyed up with …

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Quite a Few

“There are many things I don’t know, but quite a few I do.  I know you can’t be lost if you know where you are.  I know that life is full of precious and fragile things, and not all of them are pretty.  I know that the sun follows the moon and makes days, one …

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Me and Art

Excerpted from Art Buchwald’s autobiography Leaving Home: A Memoir, ©1993: But a funny thing can happen to you in a depression. If you don’t hurt yourself, you can gain tremendous insights and empathy, find inner strengths and hidden talents. It’s mysterious process, but if you can hold on, you become a wiser and better person. …

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Slackers

Excerpted from Lost Horizon by James Hilton, ©1933: “A rather grim story, Chang,” he commented at length. “It gives one the feeling that Time is like some balked monster, waiting outside the valley to pounce on the slackers who have managed to evade him longer than they should.” “Slackers?” queried Chang. His knowledge of English …

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