Quote of the Day 020915

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at the tangle of thorns.

 

~ Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Quote of the Day 280815

Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of  my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished? The hard reality is, surely, that for the likes of you and me, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our services. What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and me at least try to make a small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that is in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.

~ The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

Quote of the Day 260815

I have run up and down upon the earth:
I grasped life’s pleasures roughly, by the hair,
exploiting everything I thought of worth.
What I delighted in, I seized,
relinquishing what no longer pleased,
storming through life – at first. With age, indeed,
I go more cautiously, and pay more heed.
I know enough of the world, enough of men,
to know that what’s beyond’s beyond our ken.
Why need Man bother with such mysteries?
What he experiences is what he is.

~ Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quote of the Day 180815

Lately, he thought a lot about the story Father had told them the night before the trip to Kabul, the old peasant Baba Ayub and the div. Abdullah would find himself on a spot where Pari had once stood, her absence like a smell pushing up from the earth beneath his feet, and his legs would buckle, and his heart would collapse in on itself, and he would long for a swig of the magic potion the div had given Baba Ayub so he too could forget.

But there was no forgetting. Pari hovered, unbidden at the edge of Abdullah’s vision everywhere he went. She was like the dust that clung to his shirt. She was in the silences that had become so frequent at the house, silences that welled up between their words, sometimes cold and hollow, sometimes pregnant with things that went unsaid, like a cloud filled with rain that never fell.

 

~ And The Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini

Quote of the Day 030815

But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,

Nor made to court an amorous looking glass;

I, that am rudely stamped and want love’s majesty

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,

Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time

Into this breathing world scarce half made up,

And that so lamely and unfashionable

That dogs bark at me as I halt by them

Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,

Have no delight to pass away the time,

Unless to see my shadow in the sun

And descant on mine own deformity.

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover

To entertain these fair well-spoken days,

I am determined to prove a villain

And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

 

~ Richard III, William Shakespeare

Quote of the Day 260715

Strongly do the Russian folk express themselves! and if they bestow a little word on someone, it will go with him and his posterity for generations, and he will drag it with him into the service, and into retirement, and to Petersburg, and to the ends of the earth. And no matter how clever you are in ennobling your nickname later, even getting little scriveners to derive it for hire from ancient princely stock, nothing will help: the nickname will caw itself away at the top of its crow’s voice and tell clearly where the bird has flow from. Aptly uttered is as good as written, an axe cannot destroy it.

~ Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol

Quote of the Day 200715

I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and head read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by bill posters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates.

~ A Farewell To Arms, Ernest Hemingway