“Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one, and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left.” ~ Persuasion by Jane Austen
The fool wonders, the wise man asks. ~ Count Alarcos: A Tragedy by Benjamin Disraeli
Mrs. Bittacy rustled ominously, holding her peace meanwhile. She feared long words she did not understand. Beelzebub lay hid among too many syllables. ~ The Man Whom the Trees Loved by Algernon Blackwood
Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings. ~ Villette by Charlotte Bronte
We all know that Samuel Clemens wrote under the name of Mark Twain and that George Eliot was really Marian Evans. But did you ever wonder about the back-story? In Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms Carmela Ciuraru examines this issue. The book looks at the lives of of authors who used pen names. In addition to Twain and Eliot, there are chapters on the Bronte sisters, Lewis Carroll, O. Henry, George Orwell and others.
Exploring the fascinating stories of more than a dozen authorial impostors across several centuries and cultures, Carmela Ciuraru plumbs the creative process and the darker, often crippling aspects of fame. Part detective story, part exposé, part literary history, Nom de Plume is an absorbing psychological meditation on identity and creativity.
They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods. ~ Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
“Friendship, I fancy, means one heart between two.” ~ Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith
Her love was entire as a child’s, and though warm as summer it was fresh as spring. ~ Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. ~ A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Continual complexity makes it impossible for any of us to know anything outside our own personal field-I can’t follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there’s too many fields.” ~ The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick
“There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” ~ Macbeth by William Shakespeare
That’s not the only reference to Shakespeare in this season. The plot of Elaan of Troyius will be familiar to people who know of The Taming of the Shrew. Whom Gods Destroy features a character that quotes from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.
In Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings Craig Brown chronicles the encounters of famous people. What makes the book so interesting, aside from the fact that it’s all true, is the way the stories are linked. In one section Person A will meet Person B. In the next, Person B will have a chance encounter with Person C.
The book starts and ends with Adolf Hitler. In between are people like Madonna, Nancy Reagan, Salvador Dali, Sigmund Freud and a slew of others. I was happy to note that there are numerous writers included in the book. Some of the authors included are Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells.
Hello Goodbye Hello is a daisy chain of 101 fascinating true encounters, a book that has been hailed by reviewers in London as “howlingly funny” (The Spectator), “original and a complete delight” (The Sunday Times), and “rich and hugely enjoyable” (The Guardian). Or, as the London Evening Standard put it, “the truth and nothing but the plain, bonkers, howling truth . . . It is partly a huge karmic parlour game, partly a dance to the music of chaos—and only the genius of Craig Brown could have produced it.”
How well do you know your Sherlock Holmes stories? A quiz at our partner site, The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, will separate the true Sherlockians from the casual mystery reader. The quiz features the first lines from 10 stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Your task, should you decide to accept it, is to match the first line of the story to the story title. Do you dare to take The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Quiz?
She prized the frank, the open-hearted, the eager character beyond all others. Warmth and enthusiasm did captivate her still. She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped. ~ Persuasion by Jane Austen
Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves. ~ Ulysses by James Joyce
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy holiday season!
Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. ~ A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens