"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

INTERVIEWER: Well, could we go back to that list and take one of the painters—Hieronymus Bosch, for instance? The nightmare symbolic quality of his work seems so far removed from your own. HEMINGWAY: I have the nightmares and know about the ones other people have. But you do not have to write them down. Anything you can omit that you know you still have in the writing and its quality will show. When a writer omits things he does not know, they show like holes in his writing.

[Omissions: Hemingway, Paris Review]

Posted by stronzo on 10.23.2010

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Whenever father and son came in contact with each other, they resembled two ventilators that had been turned on facing each other; and the result was a most unpleasant draft.

[Filial relations: Andrey Bely, St. Petersburg]

Posted by stronzo on 09.21.2010

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She quickly discovered that the world is divided into people who know how to be comfortable by themselves on a bar chair and people who do not.

[Bars: Jonathan Franzen, Freedom]

Posted by stronzo on 09.17.2010

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Modern art, like modern science, can establish complementary relations with discredited fictional systems: as Newtonian mechanics is to quantum mechanics, so King Lear is to Endgame.

[Parallels: Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending]

Posted by stronzo on 05.17.2010

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Mr. Yudhoyono has also raised eyebrows, not only by becoming Indonesia's first leader to record music while in office, but also by showing an extreme sensitivity to criticism. Early this month, Mr. Yudhoyono banned the presence of water buffaloes in public demonstration after protesters likened him to the beast.

[World leaders: Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 02.15.2010

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Even Petrarch's self, if judged with due severity/ Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.

[Amatory Poets: Lord Byron, Don Juan]

Posted by stronzo on 01.26.2010

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"Mr. Willoughby, I advise you at present to return to Combe. I am not at leisure to remain with you longer. Whatever your business may be with me, it will be better recollected and explained to-morrow." "I understand you," he replied, with an expressive smile, and a voice perfectly calm. "Yes, I am very drunk. -- A pint of porter with my cold beef at Marlborough was enough to overset me."

[Lightweights: Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility]

Posted by stronzo on 01.09.2010

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Poetry, despite its publicists, is not a struggle against repression but is itself a kind of repression.

[Poetry Publicists: Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence]

Posted by stronzo on 01.09.2010

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On photographer Platon's comment that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "a very childlike man....He giggles like a boy. I didn't want to paint a caricature of him: tough and mean. I wanted to show this irony that there's an innocence about his eyes": These pictures are exercises in a stylized neutrality, a willful indifference to everything we know about their subjects. There is not an "innocence" about Ahmadinejad's eyes, or ears, or nose. He is, in his every detail, guilty. He represses his society and subjugates its women and shoots its young people and steals its elections and threatens to incinerate another country. Fuck his giggle.

[World leaders: Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic]

Posted by stronzo on 01.08.2010

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Man is the only animals that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

[Laughing animal: William Hazlitt, On Comedy]

Posted by stronzo on 01.07.2010

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In life, hangovers usually cleave to a genre which literature finds hard to do and rarely attempt: tragicomedy. Murphys and Metamorphoses, Third Policemans, Handful of Dusts…

[Hangovers: Martin Amis, The Informaton]

Posted by stronzo on 01.07.2010

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L'appetit vient en mangeant...On the whole, throughout life as a whole, the appetites which do not arise until we have resolved to eat, which we cannot comprehend until we have eaten, are the noblest – marital, aesthetic, religious.

[Appetites: Glenway Wescott, The Pilgrim Hawk]

Posted by stronzo on 01.07.2010

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Sex in this series is like a sandbox. Its presence here is as unreal as its absence was on network television forty years ago.

[Sex and the City: Lee Siegel, The New Republic]

Posted by stronzo on 01.05.2010

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Humankind is still fooling around with hypocrisy. They don’t realize that it’s too late even for that.

[Hyprocisy: Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King]

Posted by stronzo on 12.26.2009

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His face was smooth and oval and pale and he had very brown, anxious eyes that made you think of a doctor's eyes when he is doing something to you that hurts.

[Faces: Eric Ambler, A Coffin For Dimitrios]

Posted by stronzo on 12.26.2009

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