Thursday, August 26, 2010

Topic: Fools.


Quote A Day

Fools go in crowds. French Dictionary of Foreign Terms, p. 15. 

Comment: Or, individuals become fools in crowds. RayS.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Topic: Fathers


Quote A Day

The shoemaker’s son has no shoes. French. Dictionary of Foreign Terms, p. 12.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Topic: Satire


Quote A Day

Satire…essentially an art of over-simplification since it concentrates on a few if not only a single characteristic, is inevitably in danger of overlooking the complexity of human nature. Mark Schorer, Afterword. Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, p. 437. 

Comment: There's satire and there's satire. One is mean-spirited as for example the kind of vicious satire that spread meanness toward Abraham Lincoln, in many of the newspapers of his day and that led to his being viewed as either a monster or a baboon that eventually led to his assassination. Then there's the more gentle satire as in Barak Obama's elongated face and large ears used in caricatures in contemporary political cartoons  when making points about issues of the day. And then there's the satire like Swift's "A Modest Proposal" that makes its point directly. Of course, there's always a concern that some readers will interpret the satire literally. RayS.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Topic: Sanity


Quote A Day

…sanity, the human organism’s ability to distinguish illusion from reality. Toffler, Future Shock, p. 221. .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quotes: Society 9).



Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            77           "In twenty minutes the party was again elevated to the decorum of a prayer-meeting." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            81           "She wondered whether they could for five minutes be coaxed to talk about something besides the winter top of Knute Stamquist’s Ford, and what Al Tingley had said about his mother-in-law." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "Winter garments surpassed even personal gossip as the topic at parties... 'Put on your heavies yet?' ” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "The automobile and bridge-whist had not only made more evident the social divisions in Gopher Prairie but they had also enfeebled the love of activity...so rich looking to sit and drive--and so easy; skiing and sliding were 'stupid' and 'old fashioned.' ” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "In fact the village longed for the elegance of city recreations almost as much as the cities longed for village sports; and Gopher Prairie took as much pride in neglecting coasting as St. Paul--or New York--in going coasting." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quotes: Society (8).


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            47           “We’ll have to teach you; bridge is half the fun of life.” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            55           "Then a rattle, a daring hope in every eye, the swinging of a door, the smell of strong coffee, Dave Dyer’s mewing voice in a triumphant, 'The eats!' ...began to chatter ...had something to do ...could escape from themselves ...fell upon the food--chicken sandwiches, maple cake, drugstore ice cream ...when the food was gone they remained cheerful ...could go home, any time now, and go to bed." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            61           "Noon dinner and six o’clock supper at Mrs. Gurrey’s boarding house: ...unsmiling, methodically chewing guests like horses at a manger." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            66           "Evenings she went with her husband to the motion pictures and was boisterously greeted by every other couple; or, till it became too cold, they sat on the porch, bawling to passers-by in motors, or to neighbors who were raking the leaves...dust became golden in the low sun; the street was filled with the fragrance of burning leaves." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            66           "But she...wanted someone to whom she could say what she thought." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quotes: Society (7)


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            568         "To escape the consequences of his bestial and timid nature, man must erect a civil authority of terrifying completeness: a state based on naked, and wielding absolute power, with no other function than to wield power; whose effectiveness alone is its legitimacy; whose opinions are truth; whose orders are justice; resistance to which is a logical absurdity." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            355         "Mrs. Dashwood could think of no other questions, and Thomas [the servant] and the table-cloth, now alike needless, were soon afterwards dismissed." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Society            376         "They [Lucy and Robert] passed some months in great happiness at Dawlish; for she had many relations and old acquaintance to cut…." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Society            219         "...no other lights burning downtown after nine o’clock; on star-light nights I used to pace up and down those long, cold streets, scowling at the little, sleeping houses on either side, with their storm-windows and covered back porches." Cather, My √Āntonia

Society            45           "She was led about the circle: Her voice mechanically produced safe remarks: 'Oh, I’m sure I’m going to like it here ever so much,' and 'Yes, we did have the best time in Colorado--mountains,' and 'Yes I lived in St. Paul several years. Euclid P. Tinker? No, I don’t remember meeting him, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of him.' " Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quotes: Society (6)


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

 Society            477         "Our civilization is geared to mass-demand, statistically determinable, for commodities which everyone should either make, market, or consume." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            477         "Good citizens eat what others eat, wear what others wear, behave as others behave, read what others read, think as others think…system has its obvious economic advantages." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            478         "Maladjustment is due largely to conflicts between rationalization and human instinct." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            567         Thomas Hobbes: "Man does not move towards positive ends, but away from fear." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            567         Thomas Hobbes: "The cause that moveth a man to become subject to another is fear of not otherwise preserving himself." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quotes: Society (5)


Society            401         "I know someone who says that she never can think of anything to say to persons introduced to her at a party except ‘Do you like parties?’ " Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "A conversation will then ensue, and must be carried on until one or other of you either flags or breaks away, or until someone intervenes between you." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "You had better then take up a position in a solitary corner...and merely listen to the noise as to a concert, not endeavoring to form out of it sentences...the noise of a party will be found a very interesting noise, containing a great variety of different sounds." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            402         "It is, in short, the gregarious instinct, based on fear of solitude...hide within the crowd." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            402         "We are a haunted race, fleeing from silence...feeling safe only when surrounded by warm, comprehensible, chattering humanity like ourselves." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quotes: Society (4)


 Society            249         "It is needful only to look around us, to see that the greatest restrainer of the anti-social tendencies of men is fear, not of the law, but of the opinion of their fellows." T.H. Huxley. From Evolution and Ethics. 1894. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            353         "...public events impinge upon private lives more forcibly than in former days." Bertrand Russell. “On Being Modern-Minded.” 1950. Gross, ed. Essays. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            392         "Here [in the coal regions of Pennsylvania] was wealth beyond computation, almost beyond imagination--and here were human habitations so abominable that they would have disgraced a race of alley cats." H. L. Mencken. “The Libido for the Ugly.” 1928. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            400         "Seeing one another; meeting the others of our race; exchanging remarks; or merely observing in what particular garments they have elected to clothe themselves today; this is so nearly universal a custom that it has become dignified into an entertainment, and we issue to one another invitations to attend such gatherings." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "As a matter of fact, if you succeed in getting into a corner with a friend and talking, be sure you will be very soon torn asunder by an energetic hostess, whose motto is ‘Keep them moving.’ " Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quotes: Society (3)


Society            92           "It seems that in our social life, a minor echo of what occurs in love, the best way to get oneself sought after is to withhold oneself." Proust. 1923. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society            24          " He values himself only upon his title, which being only verbal gives him a wrong account of his natural capacity.... "Samuel Butler. “A Degenerate Noble: Or One That Is Proud of His Birth.” 1668. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            63           "...for the poor having been deceived into an opinion...that the rich are their betters, have been taught to honor, and of consequence to imitate the examples of those whom they ought to have despised; while the rich on the contrary are misled into a false contempt of what they ought to respect, and by this means lose all the advantage which they might draw from contemplating the exemplary lives of these their real betters." Henry Fielding. “The Poor and Their Betters.” 1752. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            136         "It is the age of machinery...the age, with its whole undivided might...teaches and practices the great art of adapting means to ends." Thomas Carlyle. From Signs of the Times. 1829. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            139         "Men are grown mechanical in head and in heart, as well as in hand...have lost faith in individual endeavor...". Thomas Carlyle. From Signs of the Times. 1829. Gross, ed. Essays.

Monday, August 9, 2010

.Quotes: Society (2)


 Society              81           "The moment you enter society, you draw the key from your heart and put it in your pocket; those who fail to do so are fools." Goethe. 1774. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              81           "As soon as we attract enough attention in the world to play a part in it, we are set rolling like a ball which will never again be at rest." Prince De Ligne. 1796. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              81           "Almost from the cradle to the grave one has an audience to whom one is playing up; the story of these audiences succeeding one another, their character and quality should be treated as an important part of a biography or autobiography." Bernard Berenson. 1939. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              82           "It is the fools and the knaves that make the wheels of the world turn." Marquess of Halifax. Late 17th century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society            85           "Be prosperous and gay, require our services—never, and we will be your friends….not what Society says, but it is the principle on which it acts." Lady Blessington. 1834. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quotes: Society (1)


 Society              855         "The majority of the guests, as is the custom with people thoroughly and profoundly sick at heart, were anxious to make their own woes the theme of discussion, and prove themselves most excellent in anguish." Hawthorne: "The Christmas Banquet"

Society              1106       "That puppet yonder, thought Mother Rigby, still with her eyes fixed on the scarecrow, is too good a piece of work to stand all summer in a corn-patch, frightening away the crows and blackbirds…capable of better things…what if I should let him take his chance among the other men of straw and empty fellows, who go bustling about the world?" Hawthorne: “Feathertop: A Moralized Legend”

Society              58           One of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to go about unlabeled." T. H. Huxley. 1893. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              61           "...no man’s dignity can be asserted without being impaired." Sir Henry Taylor. 1836. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              80           "No man can have society upon his own terms." Emerson. 1833. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quote: Socialism.


Socialism               xv           J. H. Hexter: "…the restriction of wants is 'an integral element in the pattern of [Sir Thomas] More’s social thought,' differentiating Utopia from the modern socialist economy, the aim of which is the optimum satisfaction of wants." Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia. [My wife defined socialism, Obama style, as robbing the middle class to give to the poor. Thanks to Barbara Stopper for that quote. RayS.]

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quote: Social Science

Social science     viii           At the dawn of the modern world, social science made its appearance in England not as the designated discipline of pedants seeking knowledge for its own sake but … for the elevation and emancipation of mankind, for the eradication of cruelty, exploitation, and illiteracy. Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (5)


 Social interaction          95           Miss Crawford: "…for there is nothing in the course of one’s duties so fatiguing as what we have been doing this morning—seeing a great house, dawdling from one room to another—straining one’s eyes and one’s attention—hearing what one does not understand—admiring what one doe not care for…is generally allowed to be the greatest bore in the world…." Austen, Mansfield Park.

Social interaction          120         Tom: "That is what I dislike…raises my spleen more than anything, to have the pretense of being asked, of being given a choice, and at the same time addressed in such a way as to oblige one to do the very thing—whatever it be…had not luckily thought of standing up [dancing] with you [Fanny], I could not have got out of it." Austen, Mansfield Park. [Dancing as an excuse for not doing what you are expected to do.]

Social interaction          180         "…and in the most interesting moment of his [Sir Thomas’s] passage to England, when the alarm of a French privateer was at the height, she [Mrs. Norris] burst through his recital with the proposal of soup." Austen, Mansfield Park. [An unwanted interruption. Gauche.]

Social interaction          278         Edmund: “I am worn out with civility.” Austen, Mansfield Park.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (4)


Social interaction          35           "Sir John was loud in his admiration at the end of every song, and as loud in his conversation with the others while every song lasted." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Social interaction          162         "…talked of headaches, low spirits, and over fatigues; and of everything to which she could decently attribute her sister’s behavior [for avoiding Col. Brandon]." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Social interaction          176         “ 'Pray, pray, be composed,' cried Elinor, 'and do not betray what you feel to everybody present.' " Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Social interaction          420         "Stanley had discovered that people liked him when he made confessions like that." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.

Social interaction          84           "After the business of arriving was over…." Austen, Mansfield Park.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (3)


 Social interaction          142         "A rebuff or cold look from those who are above us in rank may make us hate them, but a greeting or a smile soon reconciles us." La Bruyere. 1688. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction          209         "If we would please in society, we must be prepared to be taught many things we know already…." Chamfort. 1805. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction          211         "Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of other persons." Twain. Later 19th century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

14. Social interaction          213         "Every man becomes to a certain degree, what the people he generally converses with are." Lord Chesterfield. 1750. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction          213         "Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference." Cesare Pavese. 1935-50. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (2)


 Social interaction            139         "To be able to live among men and women we must allow everyone to exist with his given individuality." Schopenhauer. 1851. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            139         "If there were only two men in the world, how would they get on? They would help one another, harm one another, flatter one another…fight one another, make it up; they could neither live together nor do without one another." Voltaire. 1764. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            140         "In the presence of some people we inevitably depart from ourselves: we are inaccurate, say things we do not feel, and talk nonsense; when we get home we are conscious that we have made fools of ourselves; never go near these people." Mark Rutheford. 1910. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            141         "Personalize your sympathies; depersonalize your antipathies." W. R. Inge. 1931. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction          142        "Ignorance alone makes monsters or bugbears; our actual acquaintances are all very common-place people." Hazlitt. 1822. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (1)


Social interaction            76           "When men are easy in themselves, they let others remain so."" Lord Shaftesbury. 1711. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            78           "Everyone alters and is altered by everyone else." Gerald Brenan. 1978. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            78           "To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation." Lichtenberg. 1764-99. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            79           "The world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortunes…." Somerset Maugham. 1919. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Social interaction            79           "There is a certain distance at which each person we know is naturally placed from us…varies with each, and we must not attempt to alter it." Mark Rutherford. 1910. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quote: Social Hierarchy


Social hierarchy               287         "…there was annually celebrated in Babylon a festival called the Sacaea…began on the sixteenth day of the month Lous, and lasted for five days; during these five days masters and servants changed places, the servants giving the orders and the masters obeying them." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quotes: Social Gathering.


 Social gathering               63          " Every one of Mr. Macey’s audience had heard this story many times, but it was listened to as if it had been a favorite tune, and at certain points the puffing of the pipes was momentarily suspended, that the listeners might give their whole minds to the expected words." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Social gathering   111         "Whereupon cards followed, with Aunt Kimble’s annual failure to follow suit…." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quote: Social Custom


 Social custom  287         "A prisoner condemned to death was dressed in the king’s robes, seated on the king’s throne, allowed to issue whatever commands he pleased, to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, and to lie with the king’s concubines…at the end of the five days he was stripped of his royal robes, scourged, and hanged or impaled." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quotes: Social Class (2)


Social class       10          " Sir Thomas in anticipation of Fanny’s arrival: there will be some difficulty in our way…as to the distinction proper to be made between the girls as they grow up; how to preserve in the minds of my daughters the consciousness of what they are, without making them think too lowly of their cousin; and how, without depressing her spirits too far, to make her remember that she is not a Miss Bertram…they cannot be equals…rank, fortune, rights, and expectations, will always be different…a point of great delicacy." Austen, Mansfield Park.

Social class       147         “ 'I am not going to urge her,' –replied Mrs. Norris sharply, 'but I shall think her a very obstinate, ungrateful girl, if she does not do what her aunt and cousins wish her—very ungrateful indeed, considering who and what she is.' ” Austen, Mansfield Park.

Social class       221         Mrs. Norris to Fanny: "The nonsense and folly of people’s stepping out of their rank and trying to appear above themselves, makes me think it right to give you a hint, Fanny, now that you are going into company without any of us; and I do beseech and entreat you not to be putting yourself forward, and talking and giving your opinion as if you were one of your cousins…". Austen, Mansfield Park.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quotes: Social Class (1)


 Social class       26           "Raveloe lay low among the bushy trees and the rutted lanes, aloof from the currents of industrial energy and Puritan earnestness: the rich ate and drank freely, accepting gout and apoplexy as things that ran mysteriously in respectable families, and the poor thought the rich were entirely in the right of it to lead a jolly life." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Social class       36           "The lives of those rural forefathers, whom we are apt to think very prosaic figures--men whose only work was to ride round their land, getting heavier and heavier in their saddles, and who passed the rest of their days in the half-listless gratification of senses dulled by monotony...and then what was left to them, especially when they had become too heavy for the hunt, or for carrying a gun over the furrows, but to drink and get merry, or to drink and get angry, so that they might be independent of variety, and say over again with eager emphasis the things they had said already any time that twelvemonth." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Social class       86          " ...something in the presence of the old Squire distinguishable from that of the ordinary farmers in the parish, who were perhaps every whit as refined a he, but, having slouched their way through life with a consciousness of being in the vicinity of their 'betters,' wanted that self-possession and authoritativeness which belonged to a man who thought of his superiors as remote existences with whom he had personally little more to do than with America or the stars...had been used to parish homage all his life, used to the presupposition that his family, his tankards, and everything that was his, were the oldest and best...." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Social class       199         "…but we must remember that many of the impressions which Godfrey was likely to gather concerning the laboring people around him would favor the idea that deep affection can hardly go along with callus palms and scant means…." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Social class       218         Eppie: "I shouldn’t know what to think on or to wish for with fine things about me, as I haven’t been used to…it ‘ud be poor work for me to put on things and ride in a gig, and sit in a place at church, as ‘ud make them as I’m fond of think me unfitting company for ‘em." George Eliot, Silas Marner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

quotes: Snow (2).


Snow  21           "Snow, winter’s own cold, white blossoms…." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  43           "We can split atoms, send rockets to the moon, fly faster than sound, but we still can’t subdue a blizzard." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  341         December. "We can’t create a snowflake...the wonder of the evanescent flakes, so frail they vanish in one warm breath, so substantial they form ice sheets and glaciers." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  345         December. "If [snow] comes wet and clinging, it accents the clean, simple structure of every tree." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow               350         "Even such a simple thing as a snow flake or an ice crystal is, in a way, a fragment of universal truth...the infinite variety within a six-fold pattern...is beyond human achievement...the power in an ice crystal manifested in winter dwarfs the energy in a man-fractured atom." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quotes: Snow (1).


Snow  15           "Perhaps we need the snow to really see the colors." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  15           "The snow may not sharpen the eyes but it does sharpen the contrast and somehow cleanses the colors themselves." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  15           "…and it [snow] simplifies the world around us, hides the confusing clutter, the distractions." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  15           "With less to see [because of the snow], we see more and see it clearly…whoever admired the glistening black of a crow in July?" Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Snow  21           "We stand at the window and see the snow, the flakes of crystal perfection, feathering from the sky, and we remember all the winters of our lives." Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quotes: Smoking.


 Smoking            1057       "…puffing what seemed to be the same cigar that he had lighted twenty years before." Hawthorne: “Ethan Brand: A Chapter from an Abortive Romance”

Smoking            331         "The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco." Emerson. 1859. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Smoking            35          "He [Babbitt] stopped smoking at least once a month…went through with it like the solid citizen he was: admitted the evils of tobacco, courageously made resolves; laid out plans to check the vice, tapered off his allowance of cigars, and expounded the pleasures of virtuousness to every one he met…did everything, in fact, except stop smoking; two months before, by [making] out a schedule, noting down the hour and minute of each smoke, and ecstatically increasing the intervals between smokes, he had brought himself down to three cigars a day; then he had lost the schedule." Lewis, Babbitt.