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Old 01-21-2019, 08:12 AM   #3901
stuartjmz
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Sharing this because it made me laugh. Horrifically, I am not 100% sure the author doesn't actually believe it. From the blurb for Lawrence James Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India

Quote:
it sheds new light on Mountbatten and the events of 1946-47 which ended an exercise in benign autocracy and an experiment in altruism.
(e.a because CHUTZPAH!)
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #3902
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David Quammen on his role as a natural history columnist:

"His monthly mandate is to demonstrate that evolutionary biology, theoretical ecology, and the incisive contemplation of nature can provide piquant entertainment for people in dental waiting rooms."
- David Quammen, The Dope on Eggs: Anisogamy, Science Journalism, and Other Food for Thought - Outside, February 1988
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:00 AM   #3903
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If I were a good businessman, and cared a tittle for my unborn great-grandchildren, which I do not, I would gather all the junk and the wrecked automobiles, comb the city dumps, and pile these gleanings in mountains and spray the whole thing with that stuff the Navy uses to mothball ships. At the end of a hundred years my descendants would be permitted to open this treasure trove and would be the antique kings of the world. If the battered, cracked, and broken stuff our ancestors tried to get rid of now brings so much money, think what a 1954 Oldsmobile, or a 1960 Toastmaster will bring—and a vintage Waring Mixer—Lord, the possibilities are endless! Things we have to pay to have hauled away could bring fortunes.
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley in Search of America

It's as if he foresaw eBay!
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:11 PM   #3904
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I couldn't make up my mind which pieces to quote from this book so offering two:

Quote:
Human beings are curators. Each polishes his or her own favoured memories, arranging them in order to create a narrative that pleases. Some events are repaired and buffed for display; others are deemed unworthy and cast aside, shelved below ground in the overflowing storeroom of the mind. There, with any luck, they are promptly forgotten. The process is not dishonest: it is the only way that people can live with themselves and the weight of their experiences.
Quote:
It wasn’t that he didn’t feel things – many’s the time I saw him weep – but he dealt with his disappointment, with his hardship and grief; he picked himself up and went on, every time. And not like a mad person who refuses to recognise adversity, but like someone who accepts that life is inherently unfair. That the only truly fair thing about it is the randomness of its unfairness.
Kate Morton, The Clockmaker's Daughter (2018).
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:28 AM   #3905
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“a wide, passionate mouth—a shape so wonderful that even in that strenuous moment sixteen generations of feudal privilege stirred in Lord Peter’s blood.”
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“Only thing you can do for the wife of a brute like that is to keep away from her. Hope there won’t be murder done”
Clouds of Witness Dorothy Sayers


The "done thing" is to tell oneself "it's of its time", but one of the problems I have with phrases like this is that my reaction to them pulls me out of the story. The first was repellent - I literally said out loud, "Seriously? Ugh!" The second, more passively unpleasant.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:48 PM   #3906
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Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
Clouds of Witness Dorothy Sayers


The "done thing" is to tell oneself "it's of its time", but one of the problems I have with phrases like this is that my reaction to them pulls me out of the story. The first was repellent - I literally said out loud, "Seriously? Ugh!" The second, more passively unpleasant.
Really? As a female, it pleases me. Part of that, of course, is that I've read the whole series and I know how Lord Peter *treats* Harriet, with honor and dignity, and allows her to make up her own mind.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:21 PM   #3907
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Originally Posted by badgoodDeb View Post
Really? As a female, it pleases me. Part of that, of course, is that I've read the whole series and I know how Lord Peter *treats* Harriet, with honor and dignity, and allows her to make up her own mind.
The idea of droit de seigneur pleases you, the promotion of passive inaction toward domestic violence, or both? I might have been able to give it an "of it's time" pass had the line been written in the 1820s, but in the 1920s it seems anachronistic in addition to repellent.

Meanwhile, the latest "Seriously?!" moment, courtesy of Mr Parker:
Quote:
Of course, one couldn't think properly in Paris—it was so uncomfortable and the houses were central heated"
When I started reading Wimsey, someone here said I was in for a treat, and that Sayers works' had aged better than Allingham's or Marsh's. So far no sign of that. Admittedly, this is only the second book, but so far there has been nothing in either book to suggest the author was writing this tongue-in-cheek, sadly.

Last edited by stuartjmz; 02-18-2019 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:04 AM   #3908
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From "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North -

"Born some time in the mid-1920s, at her oldest she had lived to see planes fly into the World Trade Center. 'I remember thinking,' she would say, 'how frustrating it was that I wouldn’t live long enough to see what happened next.' But she interrogated the kalachakra of the Club, the younger members, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, who shook their heads sadly and said, 'You’re not missing anything.'"
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:07 AM   #3909
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"For those who have never heard it (New Orleans Yats), you must begin by imagining all of Brooklyn on Quaaludes." ~Bunny Matthews, as noted by Carmichael and Becker in the Oxford University Press Journal
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:11 AM   #3910
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Originally Posted by covingtoncat73 View Post
"For those who have never heard it (New Orleans Yats), you must begin by imagining all of Brooklyn on Quaaludes." ~Bunny Matthews, as noted by Carmichael and Becker in the Oxford University Press Journal
That sounds like something Joan Didion would write.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:29 PM   #3911
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Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
The idea of droit de seigneur pleases you, the promotion of passive inaction toward domestic violence, or both? I might have been able to give it an "of it's time" pass had the line been written in the 1820s, but in the 1920s it seems anachronistic in addition to repellent.
No, the idea that his blood was stirred pleases me. He never acts on or even offers any violence nor *actual* droit de seigneur.

Nevermind, if you are determined not to like those books, then you aren't required to keep reading them. I read "Gaudy Night" first (where she makes up her mind) which may have colored my reading of the rest.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:06 AM   #3912
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From "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North -

"Perhaps, I suggested, the fate of the universe could briefly take second place to the thorny issue of graduating with honours? He blew loudly between his lips, a liquid sound of contempt. “That,” he exclaimed, “is precisely what’s wrong with academics.”"
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:45 AM   #3913
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He knew well there is no hatred like that of the half-caste for his brother-in-law.
Kim - Rudyard Kipling



As a descendant of one of those contemned half-castes, I rankled a bit as this. Then I wondered if his use of "brother-in-law" was another nod to the Urdu which was (literally) his first language. If so, the cleverness and aptness of the wordplay makes the slur on my heritage quite OK
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #3914
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That sounds like something Joan Didion would write.
I loved her description of living in Charles Manson-era Hollywood:
"the neighborhood was peopled mainly by rock-and-roll bands, therapy groups, very old women wheeled down the street by practical nurses in soiled uniforms, and by my husband, my daughter and me"
- Joan Didion, The White Album
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:21 AM   #3915
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I've been meaning to put this up since I read the book last year:
Quote:
AUTHOR's NOTE:

[...] This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.

Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.

I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
-- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (2012)
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