Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quotes: Myths (6)

Myth, monster 1336 "Nevertheless, straddling from headland to headland, as his custom was, Talus attempted to strike a blow at the vessel, and, overreaching himself, tumbled at full length into the sea, which splashed high over his gigantic shape…there he lies yet." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth, monster 1375 "…until his mouth looked like a great red cavern, at the farther end of which were seen the legs of his last victim, whom he had hardly had time to swallow." “The Dragon’s Teeth” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth, Oracle at Delphi 1370 "This cavity [the cave of the oracle at Delphi], you must know, was looked upon as a sort of fountain of truth, which sometimes gushed out in audible words, although, for the most part, these words were such a riddle that they might just as well have stayed at the bottom of the hole." “The Dragon’s Teeth” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth, satyrs 1421 "…rude gang of satyrs, who had faces like monkeys, and horses’ tails behind them and who were generally dancing in a very boisterous manner…." “The Pomegranate-Seeds” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, scene 1468 "Upon my word, as the head [of the dragon] came waving and undulating through the air, and reaching almost within arm’s length of Prince Jason, it was a very hideous and uncomfortable sight." “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quotes: Myth (5)

Myth, harpies 1453 " …harpies, which had the faces of women, and the wings, bodies, and claws of vultures." “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, Labyrinth 1331 "That Daedalus was a very cunning workman; but of all his artful contrivances, this labyrinth is the most wondrous; were we to take but a few steps from the doorway, we might wander about, all our lifetime, and never find it again." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth, Lethe 1415 "The River Lethe…never in her life had she beheld so torpid, so black, so muddy-looking a stream; its waters reflected no images of anything that was on the banks; and it moved as sluggishly as if it had forgotten which way it ought to flow, and had rather stagnate than flow either one way or the other." “The Pomegranate-Seeds” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, Lethe 1416 "At all events the water [of the River Lethe] has one very excellent quality; for a single draught of it makes people forget every care and sorrow that has hitherto tormented them." “The Pomegranate-Seeds” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales. Is forgetfulness the effect of death? Wilder thought so in Our Town.

Myth, monster 1332 "…the cry of the Minotaur; and the sound was so fierce, so cruel, so ugly—so like a bull’s roar, and withal so like a human voice, and yet like neither of them…he felt it an insult to the moon and sky, and to our affectionate and simple Mother Earth, that such a monster should have the audacity to exist." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quotes: Myth

Myth, Circe 1404 "Wicked Circe, cried he [Ulysses] in a terrible voice…thou shalt die, vile witch, and do no more mischief in the world, by tempting human beings into the vices which make beasts of them." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth, Enchantment 1373 "The secret of it was, you must know, that the cow was an enchanted cow…they could not possibly help following her, though, all the time, they fancied themselves doing it of their own accord." “The Dragon’s Teeth” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, fauns 1420 " …she encountered fauns, who looked like sun-burnt country people, except that they had hairy ears, and little horns upon their foreheads, and the hinder legs of goats…a frolicsome kind of creature." “The Pomegranate-Seeds” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, giants 1452 "They are a band of enormous giants, all of whom have six arms apiece, and a club, a sword or some other weapon, in each of their hands…stepping a hundred yards at a stride…each of these monsters was able to carry on a whole war by himself; for, with one of his arms, he could fling immense stones, and wield a club with another, and a sword with a third, while the fourth was poking a long spear at the enemy, and the fifth and sixth were shooting him with a bow and arrow." “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, Golden Fleece 1445 "What would you do, brave Jason, asked [King Pelias] if there were a man in the world, by whom, as you had reason to believe, you were doomed to be ruined and slain-what would you do…if that man stood before you, and in your power…I would send such a man, said [Jason], in quest of the Golden Fleece." “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quotes: Myths (3)

Myth 321 "It’s one of our favorite American myths that broad plains necessarily make broad minds, and high mountains make high purpose." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Myth 426 "She had left a city which sat up nights to talk of universal transition; of European revolution, guild socialism, free verse…fancied that all the world was changing…found that it was not." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. People may have a thirst for knowledge, but they don't share the same taste in kinds of knowledge.

Myth, bulls 1466 "Indeed, it had heretofore been a great inconvenience to these poor animals [the fiery-breathing bulls], that, whenever they wished to eat a mouthful of grass, the fire out of their nostrils had shriveled it up before they could manage to crop it…but, now…they breathed the very sweetest of cow-breath!" “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth, Circe 1400 Quicksilver: "By her [Circe’s] magic arts, she changes every human being into the brute beast or fowl, whom he happens to resemble." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales. An interesting exercise. What kind of beast would I resemble?

Myth, Circe 1400 "The lions and wolves and tigers who will come running to meet you, in front of the palace, were formerly fierce and cruel men resembling in their dispositions the wild beasts, whose forms they now rightfully wear…if Circe had never done anything worse, I really should not think her so very much to blame." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales At least you'd know the kind of person you were dealing with.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quotes: Myth (2)

Myth 1281 "Pegasus was a snow-white steed, with beautiful silvery wings…was as wild, and as swift, and as buoyant in his flight through the air, as any eagle that ever soared into the clouds…he had never been…bridled by a master…whenever he was seen, up very high above people’s heads, with the sunshine on his silvery wings, you would have thought that he belonged to the sky." “The Chimera” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Myth 1285 "In those days, the only way for a young man to distinguish himself was by fighting battles, either with the enemies of his country, or with wicked giants, or with troublesome dragons, or with wild beasts, when he could find nothing more dangerous to encounter." “The Chimera” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Myth 1286 "To be sure, a great many people denied that there was any such horse with wings, and said that the stories about him were all poetry and nonsense." “The Chimera” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Myth 1290 " …Pegasus shot down like a thunder-bolt, as if he meant to dash both himself and his rider headlong against a rock...he went through about a thousand of the wildest caprioles that had ever been performed either by a bird or a horse...skimmed straight forward, and sideways, and backwards." “The Chimera” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Myth 760 "…'Excalibur motif' in which the plucking of a branch, or the extraction of a sword from a stone, is regarded as a test of prowess, entitling him who performs the feat to a special privilege, e.g., sovereignty." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quotes: Myth (1)

Myth 1138 "A great while ago, when the world was full of wonders…." “The Pygmies” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.

Myth 1397 "…each of the guests was struck aghast at beholding, instead of his comrades in human shape, one-and-twenty hogs sitting on the same number of golden thrones." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth 1397 " …what pendulous ears they had; what little red eyes, half buried in fat; and what long snouts, instead of Grecian noses." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth 1417 "…for, you are to understand, it is a fixed law, that, when persons are carried off to the land of magic, if they once taste any food there, they can never get back to their friends." “The Pomegranate-Seeds” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales

Myth 1245 "It was in this journey, if I mistake not, that he encountered a prodigious giant, who was so wonderfully contrived by nature, that, every time he touched the earth, he became ten times as strong as ever he had been before…Antaeus…it was a very difficult business to fight with such a fellow; for, as often as he got a knock-down blow, up he started again, stronger, fiercer, and abler to use his weapons, than if his enemy had let him alone…the harder, Hercules pounded the giant with his club, the farther he seemed from winning the victory." “The Three Golden Apples” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quotes: Music.

Music 807 "…thou band of melancholy music, made up of every sigh that the human heart, unsatisfied, has uttered." Hawthorne: "The Procession of Life." Music and sighs.

Music 300 "Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune." Kin Hubbard. 1915. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms. Definition of a "classic."

Music 189 "It was as if all the agreeable sensations possible to creatures of flesh and blood were heaped up on those black-and-white keys, and he were gloating over them and trickling them through his...fingers." Cather, My Ántonia. Impressions of a pianist.

Music 212 "I don’t care a rap for all this long-haired music…rather listen to a good jazz band any time than to some piece by Beethoven that hasn’t any more tune to it than a bunch of fighting cats, and you couldn’t whistle it to save your life." Lewis, Babbitt. Music critic.

Music 229 "And this was the other thing they shared, the sadness and clarity of time, time mourned in the music—how the sound, the shaped vibrations made by hammers striking wire strings made them feel an odd sorrow not for particular things but for time itself, the material feel of a year or an age…." DeLillo, Underworld. Musical Impressions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quote: Movies.

Movies 121 "But the fact is that at the motion pictures she discovered herself laughing as heartily as Kennicott at the humor of an actor who stuffed spaghetti down a woman’s evening frock…the celebrated cinema jester’s conceit of dropping toads into a soup-plate flung her into unwilling tittering…." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Always good for a laugh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quotes: Motherhood (2)

Mothers and children 31 …"Lady Middleton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old, by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to inquire his name and age, admire his beauty, and ask questions which his mother answered for him, while he hung about her and held down his head, to the great surprise of her ladyship, who wondered at his being so shy before company as he could make noise enough at home…took up to ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother, and in what particular he resembled either." Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Timeless.

Mothers and children 120 " …a fond mother…in pursuit of praise for her children, the most rapacious of human beings, is likewise the most credulous; her demands are exorbitant, but she will swallow anything; and the excessive affection and endurance of the Miss Steeles towards her offspring, were viewed therefore by Lady Middleton without the smallest surprise or distrust" Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Credulous worship of her children.

Mothers and children 121 “ 'And here is my sweet little Annamaria,' she added, tenderly caressing a little girl of three years old, who had not made a noise for the last two minutes; 'and she is always so gentle and quiet—never was there such a quiet little thing!' …unfortunately in bestowing these embraces, a pin in her ladyship’s headdress slightly scratching the child’s neck, produced from this pattern of gentleness such violent screams, as could hardly be outdone by any creature professedly noisy." Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Children are predictable. They always behave exactly as you don't want them to.

Mothers and sons 1314 "She [Theseus’s mother, Aethra] could not help being sorrowful at finding him already so impatient to begin his adventures in the world." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales. A boy's way.

Mothers and sons 1315 "But Aethra sighed and looked disquieted; for, no doubt, she began to be conscious that her son was no longer a child, and that in a little while hence, she must send him forth among the perils and troubles of the world." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales. The end of motherhood.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quotes: Motherhood (1)

Mother and children 1093 Mother: "…they make me almost as much a child as they themselves are!" Hawthorne: "The Snow Image." Same with teachers: they keep you young.

Motherhood 1090 "But, you must know, a mother listens with her heart, much more than with her ears…." Hawthorne: "The Snow Image"

Motherhood 334 "What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin." Henry Ward Beecher. 1887. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms. You never outgrow your childhood.

Motherhood 234 "The baby was coming; each morning she was nauseated, chilly, bedraggled, and certain that she would never again be attractive; each twilight she was afraid…did not feel exalted, but unkempt and furious." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Motherhood 234 Every matron hinted, “Now that you’re going to be a mother, dearie, you’ll get over all these ideas of yours and settle down.” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. However, for some women, motherhood is not enough.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quotes: Morning

Morning 980 "But there is an influence in the light of morning that tends to rectify whatever errors of fancy, or even of judgment, we may have incurred during the sun’s decline…." Hawthorne: “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

Morning 38 "...those fresh bright hours of the morning when temptations go to sleep and leave the ear open to the voice of the good angel, inviting to industry, sobriety and peace." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quotes: Morality

Morality 195 "We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side; one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach." Bertrand Russell. 1928. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Morality 198 "Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 percent of them are wrong." H. L. Mencken. Portable Curmudgeon.

Morality 250 "...the followers of the ‘golden rule’ may indulge in hopes of heaven, but they must reckon with the certainty that other people will be masters of the earth." T.H. Huxley. From Evolution and Ethics. 1894. Gross, ed. Essays.

Morality 251 "What would become of the garden if the gardener treated all the weeds and slugs and birds and trespassers as he would like to be treated...?" T.H. Huxley. From Evolution and Ethics. 1894. Gross, ed. Essays.

Morality 54 "In fact you're so earnest about morality…that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath." Lewis, Babbitt.

Morality 205 "I tell you there’s nothing to immorality; it don’t pay." Lewis, Babbitt.

Morality 270 Hearn: "It seems to me you just do the thing that seems best at the moment, and worry about the rest of it later…that’s bourgeois morality." Hearn. Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Morality 461 "He [Sir Thomas] had sacrificed the right to the expedient." Austen, Mansfield Park.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quote: Moralist

Moralist 199 "The infliction of cruelty with good conscience is a delight to moralists—that is why they invented Hell." Bertrand Russell. Portable Curmudgeon. The moralist delights in sending those with whom they disagree to Hell.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quote: Moral of a Story

Moral of a story 1207 "But you appear to be still capable of understanding that the commonest things, such as lie within everybody’s grasp, are more valuable than the riches which so many mortals sigh and struggle after." Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quotes: Mood (11)

Mood 393 "…the anesthesia of exhaustion." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 441 "In his mood everything familiar seemed unreal." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 501 "He had no will…was completely passive, blissfully tired, and it took him minutes to decide to ask for anything, or to bring his hand up to his forehead to chase an insect." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 502 "But it never occurred to him to quit [to die from his wound]…so many things he wanted to do." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quotes: Mood (10)

Mood 27 "…his mind empty, waiting for what events would bring." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 80 "He had the kind of merriment a man sometimes knows when events have ended in utter disaster." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 158 "The awareness and excitement he [Croft] had felt after he killed the prisoner had faded on the march to an empty sullen indifference to everything about him." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 160 "He [Red] felt a savage irritation at a combination of things too numerous and subtle for him to determine." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Mood 389 Red: "Listen boy, forget about it, you ain’t gonna get out of the Army, ain’t any of us gonna get out." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quotes: Mood (9)

Mood 425 "At last, she rejoiced, I’ve come to a fairer attitude toward the town…can love it now…perhaps, rather proud of herself for having acquired so much tolerance." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. "Tolerance."

Mood 477 "…the place had so much attitude, all tension and edge…." DeLillo, Underworld.

Mood 701 "…she could not feel the ordinary contentment of things the way she used to." DeLillo, Underworld.

Mood 711 "There were a thousand sameshit nights…nights that always ended down, disappointed some way…." DeLillo, Underworld.

Mood 15 "After a time Red had that feeling of sad compassion in which one seems to understand everything, all that men want and fail to get." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quotes: Mood (8)

Mood 384 "But she knew that she still had no plan in life, save always to go along the same streets, past the same people, to the same shops." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Boring routine.

Mood 393 "She felt oozing through the walls the spirit of small houses and righteous people." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Small town. Small thinking.

Mood 393 "There they were, the furnace sounds, unalterable, eternal: removing ashes, shoveling coal." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. "Furnace sounds."

Mood 418 "She felt that she was no longer analyzing and controlling forces, but swept on by them." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Not in control.

Mood 424 "I can laugh now and be serene…." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Serenity.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quotes: Mood (7)

Mood 242 "Carol herself would gladly have followed Mr. Ole Jenson and migrated even to another Main Street; flight from familiar tedium to new tedium would have for a time the outer look and promise of adventure." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. From one tedium to a new tedium.

Mood 256 "…vision of a tragic futility." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Futility

Mood 313 "Could this drabness of life keep up forever, then?" Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Drabness.

Mood 335 "She hated him for his composure." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Mood 356 "Everything crushes in on me so, all the gaping dull people, and I look for a way out." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Gaping dull people.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quotes: Mood. (6)

Mood 226 "That afternoon Beret was in childbed…the grim struggle marked Per Hansa for life; he had fought his way through many a hard fight, but they had all been as nothing compared with this…had ridden the frail keel of a capsized boat on the Lofoten seas, had seen the huge, combing waves snatch away his comrades one by one, and had rejoiced in the thought that the end would soon come for him also; but things of that sort had been mere child’s play…this was the uttermost darkness…neither beginning nor end—only an awful void in which he groped alone." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Black hole.

Mood 323 "He watched his wife covering the windows at night, and felt both sad and angry; but when he saw how everything was growing on the farm—meadows and fields, cattle and youngsters—then he was filled with an exultant joy that made him momentarily forget his wife’s condition." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Achievement.

Mood 334 "His utter impotence in the face of this tragedy threw him into an uncontrollable fury; he lost all restraint over himself." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Out of control.

Mood 8 "Every cell of her body was alive...." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Surging life.

Mood 183 "If that woman is on the side of the angels, then I have no choice: I must be on the side of the devil." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. Angels and Devils.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Quotes: Mood (5)

Mood p. 41 "Now it had taken possession of him again—that indomitable, conquering mood which seemed to give him the right of way wherever he went, whatever he did." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Confidence.

Mood 45 "As Per Hansa lay there dreaming of the future it seemed to him that hidden springs of energy, hitherto unsuspected even by himself, were welling up in his heart…felt as if his strength were inexhaustible." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Superman.

Mood 48 "…he had such a zest for everything and thought it all such fun that he could hardly bear to waste a moment in stupid sleep." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Raring to go.

Mood 197 "The days wore on…one exactly like the other." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.

Mood 208 "A day came when Per Hansa flared in a rage that frightened even himself; he struck out blindly and smashed whatever happened to lie within his reach." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Irrational rage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quotes: Mood (4)

Mood 249 "Marianne…prepared quietly and mechanically for every evening’s engagement, though without expecting the smallest amusement from any, and very often without knowing till the last moment, where it was to take her." Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Resignation.

Mood 307 "But a day spent in sitting shivering over the fire with a book in her hand, which she was unable to read, or lying, weary and languid, on a sofa…." Austen, Sense and Sensibility. In the dumps.

Mood 8 "If we never arrived anywhere it did not matter…did not say my prayers that night: here, I felt, what would be would be." Cather, My Ántonia. Resignation.

Mood 216 "I was moody and restless that winter and tired of the people I saw every day." Cather, My Ántonia. Claustrophobia?

Mood 28 "…suddenly it struck her that here something was about to go wrong…for several days she had sensed this same feeling; she could not seem to tear herself loose from the grip of it…." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth. Foreboding.