Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quotes from the Commonplace Book

I'm not sure I haven't posted some of this before, but I was going through the notebook I keep in my car to jot down ideas, and I decided it was time to share some of the quotes I have scribbled in there. These come from audio books that I was listening to as I drove.

From one of the Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian: "'I can get you a chaplain,' said the commandant, turning the knife in the wound."

From The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: "If one's lot is cast among fools, it is necessary to study folly."

From Bleak House by Charles Dickens: "I soon discovered my mistake and found him to be train-bearer and organ-blower to a whole procession of people."

From a single paragraph in The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, the words "dumbledore" and "hagrid."

From The Return of the Native by Hardy: "She had pagan eyes, full of nocturnal mysteries."

From the same book: "To be yearning for the difficult, to be weary of that offered; to care for the remote, to dislike the near... This is the true mark of the man of sentiment."

From Daniel Deronda by George Eliot: "A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections."

I have a note attributing the following to the same book: "Love has a way of saying, 'Never mind.'" However, I cannot now find this quote in the text of the book. Instead, I find this interesting quote from the same author's Adam Bede: "Love has a way of cheating itself consciously, like a child who plays at solitary hide-and-seek; it is pleased with assurances that it all the while disbelieves."

From Daniel Deronda, again: "Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker."

From The Well-Beloved by Hardy: "...this was what he had become now, in the mockery of new Days."

From Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: "...good penetrating x-rayish phrases..."

From the same, the definition of a philosopher as deduced from the writings of Shakespeare: "A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth."

Another definition of philosophy cited in the same book: "Finding bad reasons for things that people believe for other bad reasons."

Again from the same: "You can't have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices."

And finally, from the same book: "...the right to be unhappy." (All right, J. K. Rowling fans! Who remembers where a bit of Brave New World sneaks into Harry Potter?)

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