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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:45 pm
by iambiguous
D.H. Lawrence

There was nothing now but this empty treadmill of what Clifford called the integrated life, the long living together of two people, who are in the habit of being in the same house with one another. Nothingness! To accept the great nothingness of life seemed to be the one end of living. All the many busy and important little things that make up the grand sum-total of nothingness!

Go ahead, see if you can describe it better.

Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to about the same thing.

Nope, don't remember it that way at all.

It was like something lurking in the darkness within him...There it remained in the darkness, the great pain, tearing him at times, and then being silent.

Then a kind of swooshing back and forth.

She knew she would die like an early, colourless, scentless flower that the end of the winter puts forth mercilessly.

Now that's grim.

Art-speech is the only truth.

Unless, of course, that's a lie.

The bitch-goddess, as she is called, of Success, roamed, snarling and protective, round the half-humble, half-defiant Michaelis’ heels, and intimidated Clifford completely: for he wanted to prostitute himself to the bitchgoddess Success also, if only she would have him.

Fuck her has always been my own reaction.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:26 pm
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

“We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny.” Martin Heidegger

Well, maybe sometimes.

“Everyone is the other and no one is himself.” Martin Heidegger

Let's think -- really think -- about the implications of that.

“Nature has no history.” Martin Heidegger

Let's think -- really think -- about the implications of that.

“Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have." Jean-Paul Sartre

For some of course how grim is that.

“Life begins on the other side of despair.” Jean-Paul Sartre

You know, if you can get there.

"It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.” Gabriel García Márquez

Enough for him maybe.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:21 pm
by iambiguous
Svetlana Alexievich

No one had taught us what freedom means. We'd only ever learned how to die for freedom.

My guess: The State's rendition.

No one knows what’s in the other world. It’s better here. More familiar.

The devil we know best and all that crap.

According to Abkhazian custom, the time you spend with guests around the table doesn’t count toward your lifespan because you’re drinking wine and enjoying yourself.

Come on, he thought, what do they know?

“He’s going to die.” I understood later on that you can’t think that way. I cried in the bathroom. None of the mothers cry in the hospital rooms. They cry in the toilets, the baths. I come back cheerful: “Your cheeks are red. You’re getting better.” “Mom, take me out of the hospital. I’m going to die here. Everyone here dies.” Now where am I going to cry? In the bathroom? There’s a line for the bathroom—everyone like me is in that line.

They endure it. Though, for some, they pray to God.

He knew that in order to survive, you only needed three things: bread, onions, and soap.

Well, that and water.

At first, the question was, Who’s to blame? But then, when we learned more, we started thinking, What should we do?

And then: What are our options?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:49 pm
by iambiguous
Nathanael West

Her sureness was based on the power to limit experience arbitrarily.

In other words, her lies.

Art Is a Way Out. Do not let life overwhelm you. When the old paths are choked with the débris of failure, look for newer and fresher paths. Art is just such a path. Art is distilled from suffering.

Of course you still have to be good at it.

He felt as though his heart were a bomb, a complicated bomb that would result in a simple explosion, wrecking the world without rocking it.

Mine would rock it too.

You once said to me that I talk like a man in a book. I not only talk, but think and feel like one. I have spent my life in books; literature has deeply dyed my brain its own colour. This literary colouring is a protective one--like the brown of the rabbit or the checks of the quail--making it impossible for me to tell where literature ends and I begin.

Scripted in other words. A character.

But whether he was happy or not was hard to say. Probably he was neither, just as a plant is neither.

Probably not a good thing. But maybe it is.

I'm going to be a star some day, she announced as though daring him to contradict her.
I'm sure you...
It's my life. It's the only thing in the whole world that I want.
It's good to know what you want. I used to be a bookkeeper in a hotel,
If I'm not, I'll commit suicide.

Probably already has.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:23 pm
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” Jean-Paul Sartre

In any event, it's too late for him.

“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately." Seneca

And that narrows it down to...what exactly?

“Our greatest fears lie in anticipation.” Honoré de Balzac

I know that mine do.

“Questioning is the piety of thought.” Martin Heidegger

Answering is the piety of Nazis.

“We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny.” Martin Heidegger

Well, maybe sometimes.

“Everyone is the other and no one is himself.” Martin Heidegger

Let's think -- really think -- about the implications of that.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:26 pm
by iambiguous
Nora Ephron

So many of the conscious and unconscious ways men and women treat each other have to do with romantic and sexual fantasies that are deeply ingrained not just in society but in literature. The women's movement may manage to clean up the mess in society, but I don't know if it can clean up the mess in our minds.

Let's just say that it hasn't so far.

I must try this again, I thought; I must try again someday to sit still and not say a word. Maybe when I'm dead.

It's got to be a lot easier then.

You fall in love with someone, and part of what you love about him are the differences between you; and then you get married and the differences start to drive you crazy.

Five will get you ten he's thinking much the same thing.

It was exciting in its own self-absorbed way, which is very much the essence of journalism: you truly believe that you are living at the center of the universe and that the world out there is on tenterhooks waiting for the next copy of whatever publication you work at.

You know, if you're an objectivist. Though sure one suspects even if you're not.

You'd be amazed how little choice you have about loony bins.

By then though what difference does it make?

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.

Some women [like some men] more than others.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:16 pm
by iambiguous
Erica Jong

Someday every woman will have orgasms---ike every family has color TV---and we can all get on with the business of life.

Okay, so what are the latest stats?

Beware of the man who denounces woman writers; his penis is tiny and he cannot spell.

She means you, asshole.

I have lived my life according to this principle: If I'm afraid of it, then I must do it.

Or pencil it on the calendar somewhere.

And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

Nope, no way, not all the time.

We drove to the hotel and said goodbye. How hypocritical to go upstairs with a man you don't want to fuck, leave the one you do sitting there alone, and then, in a state of great excitement, fuck the one you don't want to fuck while pretending he's the one you do. That's called fidelity. That's called monogamy. That's called civilization and its discontents.

Or, sure, you might call it something else.

Fame means millions of people have the wrong idea of who you are.

Most of us though will take our chances with it.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:51 pm
by iambiguous
so sad today

everything happens for a stupid reason

Either that or a really stupid reason.

mood: abandoned building

Mine: abandoned building demolished.

she died as she lived: feeling like she was about to die

Not to worry, I'm working on it.

i am anxiety

And then one day: i AM anxiety

in a threesome with fear of death and fear of life

And they're on top.

ever just feel like you don't have a right to exist for your entire life

Clearly not rhetorical.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:16 am
by iambiguous
Elias Canetti

Relearn astonishment.

Unless of course you're a newbie.

All things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.

Or in what some call nightmares.

There are books, that one has for twenty years without reading them, that one always keeps at hand, that one takes along from city to city, from country to country, carefully packed, even when there is very little room, and perhaps one leafs through them while removing them from a trunk; yet one carefully refrains from reading even a complete sentence. Then after twenty years, there comes a moment when suddenly, as though under a high compulsion, one cannot help taking in such a book from beginning to end, at one sitting: it is like a revelation. Now one knows why one made such a fuss about it. It had to be with one for a long time; it had to travel; it had to occupy space; it had to be a burden; and now it has reached the goal of its voyage, now it reveals itself, now it illuminates the twenty bygone years it mutely lived with one. It could not say so much if it had not been there mutely the whole time, and what idiot would dare to assert that the same things had always been in it.

Do you get this?

I cannot become modest; too many things burn in me; the old solutions are falling apart; nothing has been done yet with the new ones. So I begin, everywhere at once, as if I had a century ahead of me.

I'll assume that he is joking if you will.

Understanding, as we understand it, is misunderstanding.

One of us, one of them.

I want to keep smashing myself until I am whole.

Point taken, however idiotic.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:36 pm
by iambiguous
Günter Grass

Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.

Mein Kampf?

Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peep-hole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.

Sounds more or less ominous to me.

You are vain and wicked---as a genius should be.

Any vain and wicked genuises here?

Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.

Takes years of practice for some.

...I remain restless and dissatisfied; what I knot with my right hand, I undo with my left, what my left hand creates, my right fist shatters.

Around me though that's perfectly normal.

After the collapse of socialism, capitalism remained without a rival. This unusual situation unleashed its greedy and -- above all -- its suicidal power. The belief is now that everything -- and everyone -- is fair game.

He means state capitalism of course.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:38 pm
by iambiguous
Neil Gaiman

Libraries are the thin red line between civilization and barbarism.

Has the last one closed yet?

All we have to believe is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted.

When they lie to us he means.

This little piggy went to Hades
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy ate raw and steaming human flesh
This little piggy violated virgins
And this little piggy clambered over a heap of dead bodies to get to the top

Try this one on your kids.

Can you believe it? Fifty miles from McDonald's. I didn't think there was anywhere in the world that was fifty miles from McDonald's.

There are three within walking distance of me. Seriously.

Back in my day, we had it all set up. You lined up when you died, and you'd answer for your evil deeds and your good deeds, and if your evil deeds outweighed a feather, we'd feed your soul and your heart to Ammet, the Eater of Souls
He must have eaten a lot of people.
Not as many as you'd think. It was a really heavy feather. We had it made special. You had better be pretty damn evil to tip the scales on that baby...

See? As with most things it all depends.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that all of the people, living, dead, and otherwise, in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real.

I'd still ask him to prove it.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:52 am
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

“History never really says goodbye. History says, 'See you later.’” Eduardo Galeano

You know, when it's not actually repeating itself.

“Nature has no history.” Martin Heidegger

In other words, nothing is ever actually written down. Still, let's think -- really think -- about the implications of that.

“The most important consequence of self-sufficiency is freedom.” Epicurus

You either learn that [and live that] or you don't.

“Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.” Epicurus

How logical is that?

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” Epicurus

Of course no one can actually do this.

“You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.” William Blake

On the other hand, enough [or more than enough] what?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:57 pm
by iambiguous
Edgar Allan Poe

If you are ever drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations.

More to the point, what prompted him to suggest this?

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture ---a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees – very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Based on a true story perhaps?

That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

One word: cremation.

I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found.

Let's narrow this truth down here.

To conceive the horror of my sensations is, I presume, utterly impossible; yet a curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of these awful regions predominates even over my despair, and will reconcile me to the most hideous aspect of death.

I used to be curious about that too.

Actually, I do have doubts, all the time. Any thinking person does. There are so many sides to every question.

In particular those beastly conflicting goods.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:24 pm
by iambiguous
Jeff VanderMeer

Renaissance artist Gregorio Comanini, has counseled the equivalent of “Live an ordinary, regular life so you can be irregular and brilliant in your creativity".

Tell us how that worked for you.

Yet, I also began to have the sense, fostered in part by the cross-contamination of research, that around the world enclaves that never knew one another—writers who could not have read each other—still had communicated across decades and across vast distances, had stared up at the same shared unfamiliar constellations in the night sky, heard the same unearthly music: a gorgeous choir of unique yet interlocking imaginations and visions and phantoms. At such times, you wonder as both a writer and an editor if you are creating narrative or merely serving as a conduit for what was already there.

That's just how the historical relationship between "I" and "we" and "them" works though, right?

Once, it was different. Once, people had homes and parents and went to schools. Cities existed within countries and those countries had leaders. Travel could be for adventure or recreation, not survival. But by the time I was grown up, the wider context was a sick joke. Incredible, how a slip could become a freefall and a freefall could become a hell where we lived on as ghosts in a haunted world.

Not sure what this means but who could doubt it?

You can’t trust how I’ll get somewhere, but you have to trust I know where I’m going. I always know where I’m going.

Come on, how can you even trust yourself here?

My loneliness began to be filled with ghosts. That is the worst thing about loneliness, how easily it becomes filled.

True story: I've never been lonely. And how sick is that?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:23 am
by iambiguous

Deep down I know I don’t exist but I’m too afraid to admit it.

Clearly a God thing.

Donald Trump deserves to be reunited with his parents.

So, how cruel is that?

The less you know, the more you think you do.

Double that [at least] here, right?

Summer is so weird! No school shootings, right?

See you in the Fall, God.

You were a bad idea.

He's just sore because Nietzsche killed him.

Children should be seen and not herded up like animals.

Let alone sent to the gas chambers.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:26 pm
by iambiguous
C.G. Jung

The mass State has no intention of promoting mutual understanding and the relationship of man to man; it strives, rather, for atomization, for the psychic isolation of the individual.

Think of the citizens here as, say, idiots.

If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude. I can only approach the task of understanding with a free and open mind, whereas knowledge of man, or insight into human character, presupposes all sorts of knowledge about mankind in general.

It's a miracle that most of us can make it through the day.

One cannot live from anything except what one is.

Or is this just a typo?

Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.

Thank god for Artistotle's golden mean, right?

Indeed, I do not forget that my voice is but one voice, my experience a mere drop in the sea, my knowledge no greater than the visual field in a microscope, my mind's eye a mirror that reflects a small corner of the world, and my ideas--a subjective confession.

Right, like he was no different than the rest of us.

The word "belief" is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it --- I don't need to believe it.

Do you believe this?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:40 pm
by iambiguous
Jan Mieszkowski

By the time you're 35, you should have forgotten which of your philosophy books you've read and which you haven't.

Not counting those you were assigned to read, right?

Greek ethics: Be true to yourself
French ethics: Be true to the other
German ethics: Be true to the true
American ethics: Be true to the fraud you call truth

That or the fake news.

Psychology: The past hurts
Sociology: The present hurts
Politics: The future will hurt
Philosophy: The past conditional perfect will have hurt if the future conditional perfect does as well

If only analytically.

Philosophy: We've got all the questions
Religion: We've got all the answers
Literature: We changed all the questions
Politics: We rejected all your answers

Or not of course.

Live your life as if it were
Descartes: a dream
Beckett: a joke
Nietzsche: a clumsy lie
Camus: definitely a death sentence

Definitely all of the above.

Your professor appeared to conceive of the seminar as
1) a psychoanalytic session
2) a Reddit thread
3) an opportunity to talk about themselves
4) a lawsuit waiting to happen

Remember back in the days when it was all just a paper chase?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:22 pm
by iambiguous
Edward St. Aubyn

Was he, after all, really a bad man doing a brilliant impersonation of an idiot? It was hard to tell. The connections between stupidity and malice were so tangled and so dense.

Same when we go in the other direction too.

I was thinking that a life is just the history of what we give our attention to, said Patrick. The rest is packaging.

For most [as often as not] the packaging of others.

His conscience, like a sunburnt scorpion, was stinging itself to death.

Of course we'll have to know the reasons why. Right now, I can't even imagine doing it myself

As Anne watched her, she could not help thinking of the age-old question every woman asks herself at some time or other: do I have to swallow it?

And, no, not just that stuff.

Snobbery is one of the things one should be most discriminating about.

You know, in case you actually have to justify it.

Thanks for putting that in terms I can easily grasp, said Malcolm, without showing the patronizing bitch the slightest sign of irony.

You'll either pull this off or you won't.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:55 pm
by iambiguous
Tom Stoppard

To say that it is without pace, point, focus, interest, drama, wit or originality is to say simply that it does not happen to be my cup of tea.

Could it really be as simple [and vexing] as that?

I must stop compromising my plays with this whiff of social application. They must be entirely untouched by any suspicion of usefulness.

Like most of the philosophy here, he thought.

What is an artist? For every thousand people there's nine hundred doing the work, ninety doing well, nine doing good, and one lucky bastard who's the artist.

Even though, sure, he may well be starving.

If we can’t arrange our own happiness, it’s a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.

On the other hand, as some might put it, "fuck them".

I agree with everything you say, but I would attack to the death your right to say it.

What am I missing here?

People do terrible things to each other, but it's worse in the places where everybody is kept in the dark.

But not much worse he suspected.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:33 pm
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

“He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.” Epicurus

Though not necessarily by choice.

“To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning." Hermann Hesse

How fucked is this? You know, usually.

"Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men." Plato

Well, given most men, is that really something to brag about?

"What distinguishes all love from lust is the fact that it bears an impress of eternity.” Søren Kierkegaard

Yeah, right. Unless of course you take that leap.

“The only intelligent tactical response to life’s horror is to laugh defiantly at it.” Søren Kierkegaard

Like life will even notice.

"People know what they want because they know what other people want.” Theodor W. Adorno

Wow, how grim is that?!

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:30 pm
by iambiguous
Svetlana Alexievich

They call the souls down from heaven. Those who had people die this year cry, and those whose people died earlier, don’t. They talk, they remember. Everyone prays. And those who don’t know how to pray, also pray.

After all, what have they really got to lose? Not counting those that do.

People came from all around on their cars and their bikes to have a look. We didn’t know that death could be so beautiful.

Really, not much isn't beautiful to someone.

According to Darwin’s theory, it’s not the strongest who survive, but those who are the best adapted to their environment. Average people are the ones who survive and carry on the human race.

Tell that to, among others, the Nietzscheans.

There’s no television. No movies. There’s one thing to do—look out the window. Well, and to pray, of course. There used to be Communism instead of God, but now there’s just God. So we pray.

Come on, Mr. Capitalist, tell them what you pray to.

Any animal is afraid of a human. If you don’t touch him, he’ll walk around you. Used to be, you’d be in the forest and you’d hear human voices, you’d run toward them. Now people hide from one another. God save me from meeting a person in the forest!

Men mostly.

Everyone found a justification for themselves, an explanation. I experimented on myself. And basically I found out that the frightening things in life happen quietly and naturally.

Trust me: Not always.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:05 pm
by iambiguous
Meg Wolitzer find out what another human being feels, a person who isn't you; to get a look under the hood, so to speak. A deep look inside. That's what writing is supposed to do.

Let's file this one under, "fat chance". At least I would.

...sometimes a mindfuck was a satisfying and productive fuck after all.

Most times though not.

No one ever told you that in moment of crisis, family was allowed to trump friendship.

Or: No one ever told you that in moment of crisis, friendship was allowed to trump family.
[no pun intended?]

I always thought talent was everything, but maybe it was always money. Or even class. Or if not class exactly, connections.

That's just the postmodern way of course.

When you located someone from the past online, it was like finding that person trapped behind glass in the permanent collection of a museum. You knew they were still there, and it seemed to you as if they would stay there forever.

He thought, "good". Not counting Sharon of course.

Like everyone we knew, we did what we could to protest the war. We signed, and we worked, and we brought our children with us to storefront offices to make calls and type letters. We used mimeographs, the purple ink getting all over us, the place smelling like a schoolroom, and we headed down to D.C. in a long, fossilized traffic jam of cars. The children cried in the backseat, and we pushed them on the Mall in strollers while they begged for juice, their faces blazing with heat, and Joe was among the writers who stood up and screamed into screechy, inadequate mikes.

The last four wars at least.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:02 pm
by iambiguous

Rage. Rage. Against the dining of the right.

Of course that includes the left too.

Let’s not forget the good news: "Scientists say humans are alone in the universe": ... ggests-yes

Now, let's get out there and prove it.

Well, friends, as they say: Soccer is a simple game. 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes. And at the end: we all grow old and die alone.

Hell, not much that isn't true regarding.

We regret to inform you that no: It’s not the end of the world.

You know, whatever that is.

The French will always win. In theory.

Let's run this by the existentialists.

Meanwhile the score in Turkey: 1. Until further notice, there is no opposing team.

Another BFF for Don Trump.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:19 pm
by iambiguous
Ambrose Bierce

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum -- "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.

Unless of course you count, "I think that you think that I think that they think that I think that you think that I might possibly exist."

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.

The least affectionate: a wet cat.

Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.

Of course that's everywhere here.

Hash, x. There is no definition for this word --- nobody knows what hash is.

On the contrary:
1] a dish of diced or chopped meat and often vegetables, as of leftover corned beef or veal and potatoes, sautéed in a frying pan or of meat, potatoes, and carrots cooked together in gravy.
2] a mess, jumble, or muddle
3] a reworking of old and familiar material

And that's not even counting all the fucking slang.

You are not permitted to kill a woman who has wronged you, but nothing forbids you to reflect that she is growing older every minute.

Does this sound sinister to you too?

You don't have to be stupid to be a Christian...but it probably helps.

Or, sure, only possibly.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:18 pm
by iambiguous
Anthony Powell

Brains and hard work are of very little avail, Jenkins, unless you know the right people.

Imagine then if this were always true.

I was relieved to find her attitude to myself suggested nothing more hostile than complete indifference.

We should all be so lucky. Here, for example.

There is always a real and an imaginary person you are in love with; sometimes you love one best, sometimes the other.

Tell them that.

His daughters had lived their early life in permanent disgrace for having, none of them, been born a boy.

The sheer gall of them!

But he also looked as if by then he knew what worry was, something certainly unknown to him in the past.

You know, around elementary school.

But, in a sense, nothing in life is planned—or everything is—because in the dance every step is ultimately the corollary of the step before; the consequence of being the kind of person one chances to be.

After all, few things are trickier than chance.