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Added by PulpRoman on 1 Jan 2020 07:39
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Book Diary 2020

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Bush at War - Bob Woodward_II

A month from now Americans will be watching football and the World Series. But the government would have to carry on the war indefinitely.

History ascribes to the victor qualities that may or may not actually have been there. And similarly to the defeated.

The hunger for even a morsel of new information was made more acute by the pressures of the 24-hour news cycle.

A stack of money on the table was still the universal language.

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Saint Francis of Assisi - G.K. Chesterton

Anyhow it was no good to preach natural religion to people to whom nature had grown as unnatural as any religion.

For sex cannot be admitted to a mere equality among elementary emotions or experiences like eating or sleeping. The moment sex ceases to be a servant it becomes a tyrant.

Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything.

He devoured fasting as a man devours food. He plunged after
poverty as men have dug madly for gold.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
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People who added this item 92 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote
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People who added this item 40 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
This Side Of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald

You know I'm old in some ways-in others-well, I'm just a little girl. I like sunshine and pretty things and cheerfulness-and I dread responsibility. I don't want to think about pots and kitchens and brooms. I want to worry whether my legs will get slick and brown when I swim in the summer.

His entity dropped out of her plane and he longed only to touch her dress with almost the realization that Joseph must have had of Mary's eternal significance.

Fifty years after Waterloo, Napoleon was as much a hero to English school children as Wellingtion. How do we know our grandchildren won't idolize Von Hindenburg the same way?

Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses.
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People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
King Lear - William Shakespeare

The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
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The Wedding of Zein - Tayeb Salih
Palm trees, my boy, like humans experience joy and suffering.

Zein became an emissary for Love, transporting its sweet fragrance from place to place.

The luscious dates that early ripen, steal my sleep and my thoughts quicken.
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Family Happiness - Leo Tolstoy

We were walking along an avenue, and it seemed to me, whenever I looked ahead, that we could go no farther in the same direction, that the world of the possible ended there, and that the whole scene must remain fixed forever in it's beauty.

When I came back from church that day, my heart was so swelling with happiness that I was afraid of life, afraid of any feeling that might break in on that happiness.

I suffered most from the feeling custom was daily petrifying our lives into one fixed shape, that our minds were losing their freedom and becoming enslaved to the steady passionless course of time.

He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace.
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0

Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.

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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Pan - Knut Hamsun
When I got outside, I looked up at the window. No one was watching me.

I heard her name, heard what she had said and done, and it was no longer of any great importance to me; it was as if he spoke of some distant, irrelevant thing. So quickly one can forget, I thought to myself, and wondered at it.

The sea foamed gently against the rocks and wrapped me in a veil of murmuring; far up on the egg-cliffs, all the birds of the coast were flying and screaming. But the sea wrapped me round on all sides as in an embrace. Blessed be life and earth and sky, blessed be my enemies; in this hour I will be gracious to my bittersweet enemy, and bind the latchet of his shoe.
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The Essential Rilke - Rainer Maria Rilke

A poor translation...
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This play is an absolute RIOT!

In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.

Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which is never advisable.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.

I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.

Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?

You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.

To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
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When you make men slaves you deprive them of half their virtue, you set them in your own conduct an example of fraud, rapine and cruelty, and compel them to live with you in a state of war; and yet you complain that they are not honest or faithful! You stupefy them with stripes, and think it necessary to keep them in a state of ignorance; and yet you assert that they are incapable of learning; that their minds are such a barren soil or moor...

For I will not suppose that the dealers in slaves are born worse than other men - No; it is the fatality of this mistaken avarice, that it corrupts the milk of human kindness and turns it into gall. And had the pursuits of those men been different, they might have been as generous,as tender hearted and just, as they are unfeeling, rapacious and cruel.
Not so interesting actually and the novel Cambridge basically rips off 80% of this autobiography.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
The Gambler - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

That, of course, was the proper moment for me to have departed, but there arose in me a strange sensation as of a challenge to Fate--as of a wish to deal her a blow on the cheek, and to put out my tongue at her. Accordingly I set down the largest stake allowed by the rules--namely, 4000 gulden--and lost. Fired by this mishap, I pulled out all the money left to me, staked it all on the same venture, and--again lost! Then I rose from the table, feeling as though I were stupefied.

Yes, I detested her; there were moments (more especially at the close of our talks together) when I would gladly have given half my life to have strangled her! I swear that, had there, at such moments, been a sharp knife ready to my hand, I would have seized that knife with pleasure, and plunged it into her breast. Yet I also swear that if, on the Shlangenberg, she had REALLY said to me, "Leap into that abyss," I should have leapt into it, and with equal pleasure. Yes, this I knew well. One way or the other, the thing must soon be ended. She, too, knew it in some curious way; the thought that I was fully conscious of her inaccessibility, and of the impossibility of my ever realising my dreams, afforded her, I am certain, the keenest possible pleasure.

If the spirit has passed through a great many sensations, possibly it can no longer be sated with them, but grows more excited, and demands more sensations, and stronger and stronger ones, until at length it falls exhausted.

How greedily I gazed upon the gaming-table, with its scattered louis d'or, ten-gulden pieces, and thalers; upon the streams of gold as they issued from the croupier's hands, and piled themselves up into heaps of gold scintillating as fire; upon the ell--long rolls of silver lying around the croupier. Even at a distance of two rooms I could hear the chink of that money--so much so that I nearly fell into convulsions.

Also, do you know that it is not safe for us to take walks together? Often I have a feeling that I should like to strike you, to disfigure you, to strangle you. Are you certain that it will never come to that? You are driving me to frenzy. Am I afraid of a scandal, or of your anger? Why should I fear your anger? I love without hope, and know that hereafter I shall love you a thousand times more. If ever I should kill you I should have to kill myself too. But I shall put off doing so as long as possible, for I wish to continue enjoying the unbearable pain which your coldness gives me.
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White Nights - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Because it begins to seem to me at such times that I am incapable of beginning a life in real life, because it has seemed to me that I have lost all touch, all instinct for the actual, the real; because at last I have cursed myself; because after my fantastic nights I have moments of returning sobriety, which are awful! Meanwhile, you hear the whirl and roar of the crowd in the vortex of life around you; you hear, you see, men living in reality; you see that life for them is not forbidden, that their life does not float away like a dream, like a vision; that their life is being eternally renewed, eternally youthful, and not one hour of it is the same as another; while fancy is so spiritless, monotonous to vulgarity and easily scared, the slave of shadows, of the idea, the slave of the first cloud that shrouds the sun... One feels that this inexhaustible fancy is weary at last and worn out with continual exercise, because one is growing into manhood, outgrowing one's old ideals: they are being shattered into fragments, into dust; if there is no other life one must build one up from the fragments. And meanwhile the soul longs and craves for something else! And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams, as though seeking a spark among the embers, to fan them into flame, to warm his chilled heart by the rekindled fire, and to rouse up in it again all that was so sweet, that touched his heart, that set his blood boiling, drew tears from his eyes, and so luxuriously deceived him.
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Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

For nothing is more unbearable, once one has it, than freedom. I suppose this was why I asked her to marry me: to give myself something to be moored to.
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A Raisin In the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry

Now—you say after me, in my mother’s house there is still God.

That’s it. There you are. Man say to his woman I got me a dream. His woman say, eat your eggs. Man say I got to take hold of this here world, baby! And a woman will say eat your eggs and go to work. Man say I got to change my life, I’m choking to death, baby! And his woman say your eggs is getting cold!

Don’t you see there isn’t any real progress, Asagai, there is only one large circle that we march in, around and around, each of us with our own little picture in front of us—our own little mirage that we think is the future.

Something eating you up like a crazy man. Something more than me not giving you this money. The past few years I been watching it happen to you. You get all nervous acting and kind of wild in the eyes— I said sit there now, I’m talking to you!...Seem like you getting to a place where you always tied up in some kind of knot about something. But if anybody ask you ’bout it you just yell at ’em and bust out the house and go out and drink somewheres. Walter Lee, people can’t live with that. Ruth’s a good, patient girl in her way—but you getting to be too much. Boy, don’t make the mistake of driving that girl away from you.

Mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, “Yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the Drive, sir?” Mama, that ain’t no kind of job...that ain’t nothing at all. Mama, I don’t know if I can make you understand...Sometimes it’s like I can see the future stretched out in front of me—just plain as day. The future, Mama. Hanging over there at the edge of my days. Just waiting for me—a big, looming blank space—full of nothing. Just waiting for me. But it don’t have to be. Mama—sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool, quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking bout things...sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars sometimes I see guys don’t look much older than me—

See—that’s the old stuff. You and that boy that was here today. You all want everybody to carry a flag and a spear and sing some marching songs, huh? You wanna spend your life looking into things and trying to find the right and the wrong part, huh? Yeah. You know what’s going to happen to that boy someday —he’ll find himself sitting in a dungeon, locked in forever—and the takers will have the key! Forget it, baby! There ain’t no causes there ain’t nothing but taking in this world, and he who takes most is smartest and it don’t make a damn bit of difference how.

What’s the matter with you all! I didn’t make this world! It was give to me this way! Hell, yes, I want me some yachts someday! Yes, I want to hang some real pearls ’round my wife’s neck.Ain’t she supposed to wear no pearls? Somebody tell me—tell me, who decides which women is suppose to wear pearls in this world. I tell you I am a man—and I think my wife should wear some pearls in this world!
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Essential Bukowski: Poetry - Charles Bukowski
A Love Poem For All The Women I Have Known
all the women
all their kisses the
different ways they love and
talk and need.

their ears they all have
ears and
throats and dresses
and shoes and
automobiles and x-

the women are very
warm they remind me of
buttered toast with the butter

there is a look in the
eye: they have been
taken they have been
fooled. I don’t know quite what to
do for

I am
a fair cook a good
but I never learned to
dance–I was busy
then with larger things.

but I’ve enjoyed their different
smoking cigarettes
staring at the
ceilings. I was neither vicious or
unfair. only
a student.

I know they all have these
feet and barefoot they go across the floor as
I watch their bashful buttocks in the
dark. I know that they like me, some even
love me
but I love very

some give me oranges and pills;
others talk quietly of
childhood and fathers and
landscapes; some are almost
crazy but none of them are without
meaning; some love
well, others not
so; the best at sex are not always the
best in other
ways; each has limits as I have
limits and we learn
each other

all the women all the
women all the
the rugs the
photos the
curtains, it’s
something like a church only
at times there’s

those ears those
arms those
elbows those eyes
looking the fondness and
the waiting I have been
held I have been
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 0
Renascence and Other Poems - Edna St. Vincent Millay

Afternoon On A Hill
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

Ashes of Life
Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will, — and would that night were here!
But ah! — to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
Would that it were day again! — with twilight near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through, —
There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me, — and the neighbors knock and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, —
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house.

Strange how few,
After all's said and done, the things that are
Of moment.
Few indeed! When I can make
Of ten small words a rope to hang the world!
I had you and I have you now no more...

How easily could God, if He so willed,
Set back the world a little turn or two!
Correct its griefs, and bring its joys again!
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Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal.

One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand very well the potential reach of the "ultimate weapon," and only hope that those who seek a more free and just world will not gain the same understanding and put it effectively to use.
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A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
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People who added this item 259 Average listal rating (125 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.

You have to be with other people, he thought. In order to live at all. I mean before they came here I could stand it... But now it has changed. You can't go back, he thought. You can't go from people to nonpeople.
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The Communist Manifesto (Signet Classics) - Friedrich Engels,Karl Marx

Drinking game: Take a shot every-time the word bourgeoisie appears in the manifesto lol.

And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state that it has to feed him instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie; in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.
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No Longer at Ease - Chinua Achebe

A real tragedy takes place in a corner, in an untidy spot, to quote W. H. Auden. The rest of the world is unaware of it. Like that man in a Handful of Dust who reads Dickens to Mr.Todd. There is no release for him. When the story ends he is still reading.

The impatient idealist says: 'Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.' But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. The most horrible sight in the world cannot put out the eye. The death of a mother is not like a palm tree bearing fruit at the end of its leaf, no matter how much we want to make it so. And that is not the only illusion we have...
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White Bee
White bee, you buzz in my soul, drunk with honey,
and your flight winds in slow spirals of smoke.
I am the one without hope, the word without echoes,
he who lost everything and he who had everything.
Last hawser, in you creaks my last longing.
In my barren land you are the final rose.
Ah you who are silent!
Let your deep eyes close. There the night flutters.
Ah your body, a frightened statue, naked.
You have deep eyes in which the night flails.
Cool arms of flowers and a lap of rose.
Your breasts seem like white snails.
A butterfly of shadow has come to sleep in your belly.
Ah you who are silent!
Here is the solitude from which you are absent.
It is raining. The sea wind is hunting stray gulls.
The water walks barefoot in the wet streets.
From that tree the leaves complain as though they were sick.
White bee, even when you are gone you buzz in my soul
You live again in time, slender and silent.
Ah you who are silent!
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

I was born free as Caesar. So were you.
We both have fed as well, and we can both
Endure the winter’s cold as well as he.
For once upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Caesar said to me, “Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood
And swim to yonder point?” Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plungèd in
And bade him follow. So indeed he did.
The torrent roared, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Caesar cried, “Help me, Cassius, or I sink!”
I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Caesar. And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
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People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Fear can make you do more wrong than hate or jealousy. If you’re afraid you don’t commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back. You shouldn’t be alone. It’s killing you; it’s undermining you. All the time, every day, you should be somewhere with people.
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Love Songs - Sara Teasdale
V. In A Burying Ground
This is the spot where I will lie
When life has had enough of me,
These are the grasses that will blow
Above me like a living sea.

These gay old lilies will not shrink
To draw their life from death of mine,
And I will give my body's fire
To make blue flowers on this vine.

"O Soul," I said, "have you no tears?
Was not the body dear to you?"
I heard my soul say carelessly,
"The myrtle flowers will grow more blue.
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People who added this item 619 Average listal rating (345 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
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The Machine Stops - E. M. Forster

A must read really, the whole book could be quoted.

The Quotes
And in time there will come a generation that has got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation seraphically free from taint of personality, which will see the French Revolution not as it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine.

We created the Machine, to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now. It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has paralyzed our bodies and our wills, and now it compels us to worship it. The Machine develops - but not on our lies. The Machine proceeds - but not to our goal. We only exist as the blood corpuscles that course through its arteries, and if it could work without us, it would let us die.

In the dawn of the world our weakly must be exposed on Mount Taygetus, in its twilight our strong will suffer euthanasia, that the Machine may progress, that the Machine may progress, that the Machine may progress eternally.

You, who have just crossed the Roof of the World, will not want to hear an account of the little hills that I saw — low, colorless hills. But to me they were living and the turf that covered them was a skin, under which their muscles rippled, and I felt that those hills had called with incalculable force to men in the past, and that men had loved them. Now they sleep — perhaps for ever. They commune with humanity in dreams.

No one confessed the Machine was out of hand. Year by year it was served with increased efficiency and decreased intelligence. The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbor, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole. Those master brains had perished.
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The Dead - James Joyce

A vague terror seized Gabriel at the answer as if, at that hour when he had hoped to triumph, some impalpable and vindictive being was coming against him, gathering forces against him in its vague world.

The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.
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The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right - I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hotshots, then what's a game about it?

That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.

What he was doing, he was giving her a feel under the table, and at the same time telling her all about some guy in his dorm that had eaten a whole bottle of aspirin and nearly committed suicide. His date kept saying to him, "How horrible . . . Don't, darling. Please, don't. Not here." Imagine giving somebody a feel and telling them about a guy committing suicide at the same time! They killed me.

If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet. Something always happens. For instance, if you're at a girl's house, her parents always come home at the wrong time--or you're afraid they will. Or if you're in the back seat of somebody's car, there's always somebody's date in the front seat--some girl, I mean--that always wants to know what's going on all over the whole goddam car.
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Persuasion - Jane Austen
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Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Fatality makes us invisible.

Angela Vicario only dared hint at the inconvenience of a lack of love, but her mother demolished it with a single phrase: "Love can be learned too."

"It's to spare those poor boys from the horrible duty that's fallen on them." Because she'd sensed it. She was certain that the Vicario brothers were not as eager to carry out the sentence as to find someone who would do them the favour of stopping them. But Colonel Aponte was at peace with his soul.

But most of those who could have done something to prevent the crime and did not consoled themselves with the pretext that affairs of honour are sacred monopolies, giving access only to those who are part of the drama.

The people were breaking up and heading toward the square the same way they were. It was a thick crowd, but Scoldastica Cisneros thought she noticed that the two friends were walking in the centre of it without any difficulty, inside an empty circle, because everyone knew that Santiago Nasar was about to die and they didn't dare touch him.

Clotilde Armenta then appeared behind Pablo Vicario and shouted to Cristo Bedoya to hurry up, because in that faggot town only a man like him could prevent the tragedy.
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People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
The Fall - Albert Camus
I have a good, hearty laugh and an energetic handshake, and those are trump cards.

Something must happen—and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!

But it’s not easy, for friendship is absent-minded or at least unavailing. It is incapable of achieving what it wants. Maybe, after all, it doesn’t want it enough? Maybe we don’t love life enough? Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth!

That’s the way man is, cher monsieur. He has two faces: he can’t love without self-love. Notice your neighbors if perchance a death takes place in the building. They were asleep in their little routine and suddenly, for example, the concierge dies. At once they awake, bestir themselves, get the details,commiserate. A newly dead man and the show begins at last. They need tragedy, don’t you know; it’s their little transcendence, their apéritif.

To tell the truth, the contrary would have been surprising. You think you are dying to punish your wife and actually you are freeing her. It’s better not to see that. Besides the fact that you might hear the reasons they give for your action. As far as I am concerned, I can hear them now: “He killed himself because he couldn’t bear ...” Ah, cher ami, how poor in invention men are!
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Poems 1817 - John Keats

To Hope
When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my "mind's eye" flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray,
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof!

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbidfancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed---
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!

Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!

And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;
Brightening the half veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head!
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I'm on a run of bad and underwhelming books. April truly is the cruelest month.
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The Cossacks - L.N. Tolstoy

Another one.
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The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
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Oh God, if I'm anything by a clinical name, I'm a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

There see, to me at least a dozen answers to these questions, and all of them, however dimly valid enough. I think though, that I can dispense with them, and just reiterate that the year was 1942, that I was twenty-three, newly drafted, newly advised in the efficacy if keeping close to the herd-and, above all, I felt lonely. One simply jumped into loaded cars, as I see it, and stayed seated in them.
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The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Now and then the fable of the horse recurs to me. Weary of liberty, he suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and was ridden to death for his pains.

My days are as happy as those reserved by God for his elect; and, whatever be my fate hereafter, I can never say that I have not tasted joy,—the purest joy of life.

Nature has formed nothing that does not consume itself, and every object near it: so that, surrounded by earth and air, and all the active powers, I wander on my way with aching heart; and the universe is to me a fearful monster, for ever devouring its own offspring.

Such, Wilhelm, is our fate. I do not murmur at it: the flowers of life are but visionary. How many pass away, and leave no trace behind—how few yield any fruit—and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen! And yet there are flowers enough! and is it not strange, my friend, that we should suffer the little that does really ripen, to rot, decay, and perish unenjoyed? Farewell! This is a glorious summer. I often climb into the trees in Charlotte's orchard, and shake down the pears that hang on the highest branches. She stands below, and catches them as they fall.
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Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way, and the path to privilege and prestige; dissidence carries personal costs that may be severe, even in a society that lacks such means of control as death squads, psychiatric prisons, or extermination camps. The very structure of the media is designed to induce conformity to established doctrine. In a three-minute stretch between commercials, or in seven hundred words, it is impossible to present unfamiliar thoughts or surprising conclusions with the argument and evidence required to afford them some credibility. Regurgitation of welcome pieties faces no such problem.

Hypocrisy, Milton wrote, is “the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone.” To ensure that “neither Man nor Angel can discern” the evil is, nonetheless, a demanding vocation. Pascal had discussed it a few years earlier while recording “how the casuists reconcile the contrarieties between their opinions and the decisions of the popes, the councils, and the Scripture.” “One of the methods in which we reconcile these contradictions,” his casuist interlocutor explains, “is by the interpretation of some phrase.” Thus, if the Gospel says, “Give alms of your superfluity,” and the task is “to discharge the wealthiest from the obligation of alms-giving,” “the matter is easily put to rights by giving such an interpretation to the word superfluity that it will seldom or never happen that any one is troubled with such an article.” Learned scholars demonstrate that “what men of the world lay up to improve their circumstances, or those of their relatives, cannot be termed superfluity; and accordingly, such a thing as superfluity is seldom to be found among men of the world, not even excepting kings”—nowadays, we call it tax reform. We may, then, adhere faithfully to the preachings of the Gospel that “the rich are bound to give alms of their superfluity,… [though] it will seldom or never happen to be obligatory in practice.” “There you see the utility of interpretations,” he concludes.
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A bit of a tough read, most of it is written from an anthropological basis and the rest can be withered down to the fantastic. Hurston is a good writer, which helped in allowing me to finish but most of it was a trudge. (Almost two weeks) If you’re interested in Haiti and Jamaica in the 30’s this is a decent book;yet, being from the latter the book does have the tone of an outsider trying to make sense of these Caribbean countries. More racial and overtly feminist than her most popular There Eyes Were Watching God, in the market place of ideas (Yes, I’m on a Chomsky binge bih) this can be seen as a progression or regression, I’ll go with the latter which produced not a few groans on my part.
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The Great Divorce - C. S. Lewis
It's scarcity that enables a society to exist.

Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?"

"Friend, I am not suggesting at all. You see, I know now. Let us be frank. Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful. At College, you know, we just started automatically writing the kind of essays that got good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur? When did we put up one moment's real resistance to the loss of our faith?

Of course. Having allowed oneself to drift, unresisting, unpraying, accepting every half-conscious solicitation from our desires, we reached a point where we no longer believed the Faith. Just in the same way, a jealous man, drifting and unresisting, reaches a point at which he believes lies about
his best friend: a drunkard reaches a point at which (for the moment) he actually believes that another glass will do him no harm. The beliefs are sincere in the sense that they do occur as psychological events in the man's mind. If that's what you mean by sincerity they are sincere, and so were ours. But errors which are sincere in that sense are not innocent.

Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say 'Let me but have this and I'll take the consequences': little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say, 'We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,' and the Lost, 'We were always in Hell.' And both will speak truly."

Has some brilliant moments and a few dull ones, would recommend.
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I hate being stuck in a bad book, even if it's just twenty pages left, it might as well be a thousand...

13.10.20 - How the hell did I manage to read so much this year?! I got a kindle last Christmas, a retiring lit teacher was giving away tons of books, you’ve never seen a fight until you’ve seen bibliophiles fighting over and then peacefully trading books. It’s 2020 I was physically unable to watch as much movies as I would have wanted, c'est la vie mon ami.

Lately I’ve just been tossing bad books. I can’t be bothered to waste my time reading dull crap. If it’s not worthwhile in an hour, it’s not worthwhile.

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Bibliophilia (105 lists)
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