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 Post subject: Random literary quotes
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:04 am 
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I'm wondering if people would be interested in a thread for posting whatever fragments of writing capture their fancy for the moment. I promise I will show restrain with posting Pratchett quotes. ;)

To start, from The Master and Margarita, the urban fantasy classic by Mikhail Bulgakov, whose birthday is on May 15th.

Quote:
“I challenge you to a duel!” screamed the cat, sailing over their heads on the swinging chandelier.”

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:38 am 
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Said the CAT? *puts on reading list*

Continuing the theme of cats:

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In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)


- Amelia Peabody in Deeds of the Disturber, Elizabeth Peters

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Inanna wrote:
Said the CAT? *puts on reading list*

The car is actually a demon from Hell. But that's only to be expected. ;)

Seriously, it's an amazing book, exploring the choices of a creative individual in an oppressive environment. Well worth reading if you don't mind elements of supernatural horror. Bulgakov was GOOD at horror.

Quote:
Continuing the theme of cats:

Quote:
In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)


- Amelia Peabody in Deeds of the Disturber, Elizabeth Peters


I love the Emerson cats! Also love the use of "profane" in that sentence.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 1:59 am 
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I have the decidedly low-tech (for a computer programmer) habit of sticking post-it notes to pages when I'm reading and encounter something that strikes me as especially poignant, prescient, or piquant (not to mention pretentious). And I've read a lot of classic literature over the last two years, so I've got a pretty deep well to draw from. Here's one selected at random from The Brothers Karamazov (since it was at the top of the stack):

Quote:
Of that new, "virtuous" life (it absolutely had to be "virtuous"), [Dmitry] would dream and daydream constantly, obsessively. He craved that renewal and regeneration. The foul quagmire in which he was sinking of his own volition made him sick and, like so many others under such circumstances, he believed in the magic of a change of place--just to get away from this spot, to be surrounded by different people, to be in a different situation, where everything would be new and different!


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 11:25 am 
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not something I would recommend
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[Spoiler alert - it wasn't.]

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:08 am 
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I just discovered Scottish crime writer Val McDermid. I came across the following passage in "Insidious Intent", which looks suspiciously like it could have been written by me:

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(background: Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and DC Karim Hussein are headed to the home of a recent murder victim)

Karim turned into the grounds of a boxy 1960s block that had probably replaced a pair of substantial semis. He hesitated, stating at a sign that read, PRIVATE. RESIDENTS PARKING ONLY.

"Ignore it," Paula said. "Just find a space."

"What if they clamp it?"

"They won't. I can always nick them for failing the correct use of the apostrophe."

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:04 am 
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Lol!

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'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude (as Merry)


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:55 pm 
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“Don't try to stop yourself from feeling. You'll hate who you become.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:39 pm 
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Quote:
"Well, all I can say is we've never had any trouble in this village 'til we had so-called rock stars living here." Her mouth pursed, revealing a nest of wrinkles she'd have been mortified to see in a mirror.


Val McDermid, "Dead Beat"

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:22 am 
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Roy Jenkins was a British MP with a colourful career of his own, but who is best remembered today for his engagingly written biographies of past prime ministers. His biography of Churchill is still one of the best-regarded around. On my travels recently I downloaded onto my kindle and read his biography of William Gladstone. Gladstone is obviously a much-less interesting figure than Churchill, but I was still amused by Jenkins’ style:

Quote:
None of these temptations, however, was conductive to finding Gladstone a wife. This he set about without guilt but also without guile. His first target was Caroline Farquhar, the sister of an Eton friend and the daughter of a Surrey Baronet of considerable and somewhat older wealth than the Gladstones. The family did not therefore regard Gladstone as a particularly good match, but nor would they have been likely to be resistant had miss Farquhar, who was considered by Gladstone and others to be a ‘beauty’, been responsive.

She was exactly the reverse. Gladstone persuaded himself that her religious position was satisfactory, but may well have over-estimated the aphrodisiacal effect of telling her this. He also mistakenly believed appeals to her father and brother would advance his suit. He had no idea how to interest her. She had no insight to the qualities behind his awkwardness. Her main contemporary comment (a little unreliably recorded in Farquhar family lore) was the exclamation, when she saw Gladstone walking across her family’s park at Polesden Lacey with a case in his hand: “Mama, I simply cannot marry a man who carries his bag like that”.


Quote:
He started on 31 August [1893] which was a few days after the third and most farcical of his three accidents of that summer. After an afternoon drive with his wife he “walked and came unawares in the quietest corner of the park on a dangerous cow which knocked me down and might have done serious damage”. There are slightly more dramatic versions, including Magnus’ statement that he had to lie down, feigning to be dead, until the cow’s attention was distracted and he could escape first behind a tree and then back to the Castle. The malfeasant beast was apparently not part of a dairy herd but a wild heifer which had intruded into the park and was subsequently shot. It was compensated by the tributes of having its head permanently displayed at the Glynne Arms in Hawarden village, and of evoking an elaborate wreath dispatched with the card inscribed “to the patriotic cow which sacrificed its life in an attempt to save Ireland from Home Rule”. Gladstone, although he had walked home and sat down calmly at dinner, suffered a few weeks of mild ill-effect, which was not surprising at nearly eighty-three.


Quote:
Then in June 1893 two British men-of-war, Camperdown and Victoria, collided with vast loss of life. The combination of circumstances produced a naval panic, which was carefully fanned by the Times and some other newspapers. It cannot be said it was wholly logical. It was not obvious, for instance, that the answer to the problem of British ships running into each other was to have more of them.


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