Out of Africa by Karen Blixen
Always Coming Home by Ursula le Guin
Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
...and the oft mistitled Muller's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer.
To one hurrying through by steam there was a certain exhilaration in this spacious vacancy, this greatness of the air, this discovery of the whole arch of heaven, this straight, unbroken, prison-line of the horizon.
Her parting words were ingeniously honest: 'I am sure' said she 'we all ought to be very much obliged to you.' I cannot pretend that she put me at my ease; but I had a certain respect for such a genuine dislike. A poor nature would have slipped, in the course of these familiarities, into a sort of worthless toleration for me.
We struck at last into a wide white highroad, carpeted with noiseless dust. The night had come; the moon had been shining for a long while upon the opposite mountain, when on turning a corner my donkey and I issued ourselves into her light. I had emptied out my brandy at Florac, for I could bear the stuff no longer, and replaced it with some generous and scented Volnay; and now I drank to the moon's sacred majesty upon the road.
An impotent peopleSick with inbreedingWorrying the carcase of an old song.
(he was) a skilled window-dresser in the emporium of his own personality
some people are born with a sense of how to clothe themselves, others acquire it, others look as if their clothes had been thrust upon them.
'I can generally manage to attend to more than one thing at a time' said Serena, rashly; 'I think I must have a sort of double brain.'
'Much better to economise and have one really good one,' observed Lady Caroline.
Somewhere in the west country of England Comus had an uncle who lived in a rose-smothered rectory and taught a wholesome gentle-hearted creed that expressed itself in the spirit of “Little lamb, who made thee?” and faithfully reflected the beautiful homely Christ-child sentiment of Saxon Europe. What a far away, unreal fairy story it all seemed here in this West African land, where the bodies of men were of as little account as the bubbles that floated on the oily froth of the great flowing river, and where it required a stretch of wild profitless imagination to credit them with undying souls.
Although its prose ranges from good to fabulously good — is lyrical in the true sense, every observation and description bursting with feeling, meaning, subjectivity — and although its plotting is unobtrusively masterly, the book operates at a pitch of psychological violence that makes “Revolutionary Road” look like “Everybody Loves Raymond."
In her younger days Francesca had been known as the beautiful Miss Greech; at forty, although much of the original beauty remained, she was just dear Francesca Bassington. No one would have dreamed of calling her sweet, but a good many people who scarcely knew her were punctilious about putting in the ‘dear’.Her enemies, in their honester moments, would have admitted that she was svelte and knew how to dress, but they would have agreed with her friends in asserting that she had no soul. When one’s friends and enemies agree on any particular point they are usually wrong. Francesca herself, if pressed in an unguarded moment to describe her soul, would probably have described her drawing-room. Not that she would have considered that the one had stamped the impress of its character on the other, so that close scrutiny might reveal its outstanding features, and even suggest its hidden places, but because she might have dimly recognised that her drawing-room was her soul.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
This morning, while listening to France Inter on the radio, I was surprised to
discover that I am not who I thought I was. Up until then I had ascribed the
reasons for my cultural ecleticism to my condition as a proletarian autodidact.
I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start
that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your
childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adult.