Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote: Rejection.

Rejection 327 "She [Fanny] told him [Crawford] that she did not love him, could not love him, was sure she never should love him; that such a change was quite impossible, that the subject was most painful to her, that she must entreat him never to mention it again, to allow her to leave him at once, and let it be considered as concluded forever…when farther pressed, had added, that in her opinion their dispositions were so totally dissimilar, as to make mutual affection incompatible; and that they were unfitted for each other by nature, education, and habit." Austen, Mansfield Park. Now that is a rejection!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quote: Reincarnation.

Reincarnation 1273 "And as for those foolish people, said Quicksilver, with his mischievous smile, they are all transformed to fishes…needed but little change, for they were already a scaly set of rascals and the coldest-blooded beings in existence." “The Miraculous Pitcher” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls.

Note: This blog will resume on Monday, November 30, 2009. RayS.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quotes: Reform and Reformers

Reformer 577 "There is even a coldness in his [Martin Luther King’s] public character, an impenetrability and solidity often seen in those who have given their entire lives to ideas and causes." Elizabeth Hardwick. “The Apotheosis of Martin Luther King.” 1968. Gross, ed. Essays.

Reformer 579 " His [Martin Luther King’s] was a practical, not a frenzied exhortation…." Elizabeth Hardwick. “The Apotheosis of Martin Luther King.” 1968. Gross, ed. Essays.

Reformers 892 "The spirituous and fermented liquors being thus disposed of, the zeal of the reformers next induced them to replenish the fire with all the boxes of tea and bags of coffee in the world…and crops of tobacco." Hawthorne: "Earth's Holocaust"

Reformers 892 “ 'Well;--they’ve put my pipe out,' said an old gentleman, flinging it into the flames in a pet… 'everything rich and racy—all the spice of life—is to be condemned as useless; now that they have kindled the bonfire, if these nonsensical reformers would fling themselves into it, all would be well enough' … 'Be patient,' responded a staunch conservative;-- 'it will come to that in the end; they will first fling us in, and finally themselves.' " Hawthorne: "Earth's Holocaust"

Reformers 1102 "…it behooves men, and especially men of benevolence, to consider well what they are about, and, before acting on their philanthropic purposes, to be quite sure that they comprehend the nature and all the relations of the business in hand; what has been established as an element of good to one being, may prove absolute mischief to another." Hawthorne: "The Snow Image"

Reformers 197 "The passion for setting people right is in itself an afflictive disease." Marianne Moore. 1935. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quotes: Reform and Reformers (3)

Reform 331 "Young man, go East and grow up with the revolution…perhaps you may come back and tell Sam and Nat and me what to do with the land we’ve been clearing—if we’ll listen—if we don’t lynch you first." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 422 "Here’s the test for you: Do you come to ‘conquer the East’ as people say, or do you come to conquer yourself?" Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 423 "There’s one attack you can make on it, perhaps the only kind that accomplishes much anywhere: you can keep on looking at one thing after another in your home and church and bank, and ask why it is, and who first laid down the law that it had to be that way." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 423 "Easy, pleasant, lucrative homework for wives: asking people to define their jobs…the most dangerous doctrine I know." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 431 "…a hundred generations of Carols will aspire and go down in tragedy…the humdrum inevitable tragedy of struggle against inertia." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quotes: Reform and Reformers (2).

Reform 221 "Perhaps this evening would convert Gopher Prairie to conscious beauty." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 248 "And she comes rushing in and expects in one year to change the whole town into a lollypop paradise, with everybody stopping everything else to grow tulips and drink tea." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 261 "How you hate this place! How can you expect to do anything with it if you haven’t any sympathy?" Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 263 "You give up too easily…gave up on…the dramatic association—just because we didn’t graduate into Ibsen the very first thing; you want perfection all at once." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 276 "And we’ll continue in barbarism just as long as people as nearly intelligent as you continue to defend things as they are because they are." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quotes: Reform and Reformers (1).

Reform 887 "Once upon a time—but whether in time past or time to come, is a matter of little or no moment—this wide world had become so overburdened with an accumulation of worn-out trumpery, that the inhabitants determined to rid themselves of it by a general bonfire." Hawthorne: "Earth's Holocaust"

Reform 901 "Unless we set fire to the earth itself, and then leap boldly off into infinite space, I know not that we can carry reform to any further point." Hawthorne: "Earth's Holocaust"

Reform 195 "Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel." H. L. Mencken. Portable Curmudgeon.

Reform 97 Carol: "And you want to ‘reform’ people like that when dynamite is so cheap?" Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Reform 139 "You want to do something for the town; I don’t; I want the town to do something for itself." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote: Recluse.

1. Recluse 104 "In the midst of a few foreign acres teeming with more than two hundred people, he had succeeded in becoming a recluse; with a little ingenuity and vision, he had made it all but impossible for anyone in the squadron to talk to him which was just fine with everyone, he noticed, since no one wanted to talk to him anyway." Heller, Catch-22.

Comment: Pretty good definition of a recluse.You might as well be a recluse, because no one wants to talk to you, anyway. RayS.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quotes: Reasoning.

Reasoning 39 "Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly." Heller, Catch-22.

Reasoning 47 Catch-22: "If he flew them [missions] he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to." Heller, Catch-22.

Reasoning 82 "Clevinger was guilty, of course, or he would not have been accused." Heller, Catch-22.

Reasoning 416 "Catch 22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing." Heller, Catch-22.

Comment: I suppose we could use explaining these examples of reasoning as an IQ test. I think Catch-22 is one of the funniest novels ever written. RayS.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quotes: Reality.

Distinguishing between the virtual and the real.

Reality 235 "If consumers can no longer distinguish clearly between the real and the simulated…." Toffler, Future Shock.

Reality 236 "And what, then, happens when an economy in search of a new purpose, seriously begins to enter into the production of experiences for their own sake, experiences that blur the distinction between the vicarious and the non-vicarious, the simulated and the real?" Toffler, Future Shock.

Reality 347 "The unpredictability arising from novelty undermines his sense of reality." Toffler, Future Shock.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quotes: Reading (15).

Reading purpose 103 "Gotthold Ephraim Lessing…believed that 'books explain life.' " Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading response 93 "…something revealing about the creative nature of the act of reading lies in the fact that one reader can despair and another can laugh at exactly the same page." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading response 313 "Professor Jonathan Rose on the 'five common fallacies to reader response': …all literature is political…influence of a given text is directly proportional to its circulation… 'popular' culture has a much larger following than 'high' culture and therefore it more accurately reflects the attitudes of the masses…. 'high' culture tends to reinforce acceptance of the existing social and political order…the canon of 'great books' is defined solely by social elites." Manguel, A History of Reading. That quote will make you think!

Reading response 315 "…raises the question of how (and why) certain readers will preserve a reading long after most other readers have relinquished it to the past." Manguel, A History of Reading. Similar to why some people will watch a movie once and never want to see it again while others will watch the same movie over and over again.

Reading uses 63 Augustine (according to Petrarch): "Whenever you read a book and come across any wonderful phrases which you feel stir or delight your soul, don’t merely trust the power of your own intelligence, but force yourself to learn them by heart and make them familiar by meditating on them, so that whenever an urgent case of affliction arises, you’ll have the remedy ready as if it were written in your mind." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading, writing 286 " Sometimes even good Homer nods." Horace. Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms ...or is boring.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quotes: Reading (14).

Reading purpose 00 Gustave Flaubert: "Read in order to live." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading purpose 7 "We read to understand, or to begin to understand." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading purpose 71 "In every literate society, learning to read is something of an initiation, a ritualized passage out of a state of dependency and rudimentary communication." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading purpose 89 "One reads in order to ask questions," Kafka once told a friend. Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading purpose 93 "Altogether, Kafka wrote in 1904 to his friend Oskar Pollak, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us; if the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why bother reading it in the first place?" Manguel, A History of Reading.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quotes: Reading (13).

Reading process 37 " …it is only during the brief pause between [eye] movements that we actually 'read.' ” Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading process 38 "…imbue the text with something--emotion, physical sentience, intuition, knowledge, soul--that depends on who I am and how I became who I am." Manguel, A History of Reading. Individuals respond differently to what they read, depending on their personalities. RayS.

Reading process 38 Dr. Merlin C. Wittrock, in the 1980s: "…readers attend to the text…create images and verbal transformations to represent its meaning…generate meaning as they read by constructing relations between their knowledge, their memories of experience, and the written sentences, paragraphs and passages." Manguel, A History of Reading. Individuals respond differently to what they read, depending on their backgrounds. RayS.

Reading process 77 "First came the lectio, a grammatical analysis in which the syntactic elements of each sentence would be identified; this would lead to the littera or literal sense of the text…student acquired the sensus, the meaning of the text according to different established interpretations…process ended with an exegesis--the sententia--in which the opinions of approved commentators were discussed. Manguel, A History of Reading. A method of reading in sequential steps. Sounds as if individual readers were dependent on the interpretations and commentaries of others. Rays.

Reading process 267 " Like every reader, Rilke was also reading through his own experience." Manguel, A History of Reading. Readers construct meaning through their own experiences. RayS.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quotes: Reading (12)

Reading nature of 152 "One can transform a place by reading in it." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading nature of 173 "However readers make a book theirs, the end is that book and reader become one…we are what we read." Manguel, A History of Reading. Half truth. RayS.

Reading nature of 244 "The act of reading establishes an intimate, physical relationship in which all the senses have a part: the eyes drawing the words from the page, the ears echoing the sounds being read, the nose inhaling the familiar scent of paper, glue, ink, cardboard or leather, the touch caressing the rough or soft page, the smooth or hard binding; even the taste, at times, when the reader’s fingers are lifted to the tongue (which is how the murderer poisons his victims in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose)." Manguel, A History of Reading. About as thorough a description of reading as you will find. RayS.

Reading process 23 "…the act of reading itself…skips chapters, browses, selects, rereads, refuses to follow conventional order." Manguel, A History of Reading. The Reading process. RayS.

Reading process 34 "How does the act of apprehending letters relate to a process that involves not only sight and perception but inference, judgment, memory, recognition, knowledge, experience, practice?" Manguel, A History of Reading. The complexity of reading. RayS.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quotes: Reading (11).

Reading listening 348 "She caught every syllable with panting eagerness." Austen. [She was reading a letter.]

Reading medium 23 "…by the first makers of books, who found the methods of scroll-reading (like the methods we now use to read on our computers) too limiting and cumbersome, and offered us instead the possibility of flipping through pages and scribbling in margins." Manguel, A History of Reading. I don't like reading scrolls and, therefore, I find reading anything of any length on the computer to be uncomfortable.

Reading nature of 10 "The Canadian essayist Stan Persky once said to me that ‘for readers, there must be a million autobiographies,’ since we seem to find, in book after book, the traces of our lives." Manguel, A History of Reading. Books call up memories of our experiences.

Reading nature of 10 "Reading gave me an excuse for privacy." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading nature of 21 "Something in the relationship between a reader and a book is recognized as wise and fruitful, but it is also seen as disdainfully exclusive and excluding…." Manguel, A History of Reading. I have encountered the latter attitude from, of all people, my mother who taught me to read by reading to me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quotes: Reading (10).

Reading interpretation 86 "…implied that not one but a near infinity of readings was possible." [I think by "readings" he means "interpretations." RayS.] Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading interpretation 89 "Two different ways of reading the Bible developed among Jewish scholars in the sixteenth century…Sephardic schools of Spain and North Africa preferred to summarize the contents of a passage with little discussion of the details that composed it…the Ashkenazi schools based largely in France, Poland, and the Germanic countries analyzed every line and every word, searching for every possible sense." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading interpretation 93 "Kafka has been read literally, allegorically, politically, psychologically." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading interpretation 173 " …no reading can ever be definitive." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading learning how 71 "Medieval Jewish society: …biblical verses were written on peeled hard-boiled eggs and on honey cakes, which the child would eat after reading the verses out loud to the teacher." Manguel, A History of Reading. [The "reward" school of motivation.]

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quotes: Reading (9).

Reading and thinking 24 "They do not read; apparently they do not think." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street. [Reading is thinking. RayS.]

Reading and whole language 79 "…the 'global' method for teaching reading laid out two centuries later (in French, 1787) by Nicolas Adam in his A Trustworthy Method of Learning Any Language Whatsoever: 'When you show a child an object, a dress for instance, has it ever occurred to you to show him separately first the frills, then the sleeves, after that the front, the pockets, the buttons, etc?…of course not; you show him the whole and say to him: this is a dress…how children learn to speak from their nurses; why not do the same when teaching them to read…entertain them with whole words which they can understand and which they will retain with far more ease and pleasure than all the printed letters and syllables.' ” Manguel, A History of Reading. [Persuasive, but specious defense of what today is called "whole language." RayS. ]

Reading and whole language 79 "In our time, the blind learn to read…by “feeling” the entire word--which they know already--rather than deciphering it letter by letter." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading history 22 "Ultimately, perhaps, the history of reading is the history of each of its readers." Manguel, A History of Reading. [How do people read?]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quotes: Reading (8).

Reading aloud 123 "At the same time, the act of reading out loud to an attentive listener often forces the reader to become more punctilious, to read without skipping or going back to a previous passage…." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading aloud 256 "Writing to his wife, Catherine, about reading his second Christmas story, 'The Chimes,' he [Dickens] exulted, 'f you had seen Macready [one of Dickens’s friends] last night--undisguisedly sobbing, and crying on the sofa, as I read--you would have felt (as I did) what a thing it is to have power.' ” Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading and happiness 151 "I have sought for happiness everywhere, confessed Tomas À Kempis, early in the fifteenth century, but I have found it nowhere except in a little corner with a little book." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading and life 338 "He [William James] looked freshly at life and read books freshly." John Jay Chapman. “William James.” 1915. Gross, ed. Essays.

Reading and life 297 "…[his] glasses accuse him: here is a man who will not see the world directly, but relies instead on peering at the dead words on a printed page." Manguel, A History of Reading. [The words are not dead! They are ideas, ideas to be acted upon or at least reflected on. RayS.]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quotes: Reading (7).

.Reading 157 "…and the most highly skilled and intelligent members of society admit difficulty in keeping up with the deluge of new knowledge—even in extremely narrow fields." Toffler, Future Shock.

Reading 166 "In the United States today [1970] the median time spent by adults reading newspapers is fifty-two minutes per day." Toffler, Future Shock. [In 2009, the amount of time people spend reading newspapers has gone way down with the Internet and TV news taking over for newspaper reading. It is foreseeable that newspapers may become extinct. RayS.]

On Reading Aloud.

Reading aloud 19 "…reading out loud to him texts that I had read before on my own modified those earlier solitary readings…." Manguel, A History of Reading. [Reading aloud causes one to slow down and to comprehend more closely. RayS.]

Reading aloud 119 "The innkeeper [in Don Quixote]: During harvest time…during the festivities many of the laborers gather here, and there are always a few among them who can read, and one of them will pick up one of these books in his hands, and more than thirty strong we will collect around him, and listen to him with such delight that our white hairs turn young again." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading aloud 123 "Surrendering to the reader’s voice…removes our ability to establish a certain pace for the book, a tone, an intonation that is unique to each person." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quotes: Reading (6a).

Reading 74 "Writing in the mid-thirteenth century, the learned Spanish King Alfonso el Sabio… 'well and truly must the teachers show their learning to the students reading to them books and making them understand to the best of their abilities; and once they begin to read, they must continue the teaching until they have come to the end of the books they have started.' ” Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading 296 "Most readers…have at some time experienced the humiliation of being told that their occupation is reprehensible." ["Raymond, go out and play! Don't just sit around and read."] Manguel, A History of Reading.

Reading 19 "Doctors and executives alike complain that they cannot keep up with the latest developments in their fields." Toffler, Future Shock.

Reading 31 "Today [1970] the United States government alone generates 100,000 reports each year, plus 450,000 articles, books, and papers." Toffler, Future Shock. [Add to that all of the blogs and self-published books, 2009.]

Reading 31 "On a worldwide basis, scientific and technical literature mounts at a rate of 60,000,000 pages a year." Toffler, Future Shock.