Your favourite quotations?

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des lewis
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 08:28 am:   

The two that keep going round in my mind are currently:

"Transfigurations never repeat themselves. One need not be frightened
of growing old; to the last, there will always be something new."
Elizabeth Bowen

"From the cosmic point of view, to have opinions or preferences at all
is to be ill."
Lawrence Durrell

BTW, both these quotes derive from my reading and I picked them out
from the text, rather than found them as ready-made quotations (from
quotation sites etc.)
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Alex Boomer
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 02:47 pm:   

"When you find yourself to be on the side of the majority; it is time to reform." -- Mark Twain

"We are all here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is." -- Kurt Vonnegut's uncle.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is a flamethrower." -- Terry Pratchet
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des lewis
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 07:26 am:   

Below are the quotations I chose to appear in print alongside the stories within various issues of 'Nemonymous':


“The oblivion which is my only refuge from the unnamed and the unnameable.” – HP Lovecraft, ‘The Hound’.

“Names should be charms – I used to hope that, by saying some of them often enough, I might evoke reality.” – Patrick White, ‘Voss’.

“Writing will cease to be eventually. The future should found bureaus, where everyone at a certain age submits, anonymously, a truthful biography, it could become material for a real science of man, if such a thing should prove necessary.” – August Strindberg (specially chosen & translated for Nemo by Henrik Johnsson (where are you now, Henrik?)).

“He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare / At whatever time the deed took place – Macavity wasn’t there!” – TS Eliot.

“Whoever I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know…” – Samuel Beckett.

“In an instant I seemed to rise from the ground. But I had no bodily, no visible, audible or palpable presence.” – Edgar Allan Poe (Tale Of The Ragged Mountains).

“Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.” – Philip Larkin.

“'It’s giving girls names like that,' said Buggins, ‘that 9 times out of 10 makes ‘em go wrong. It unsettles ‘em. If ever I was to have a girl, if I ever was to have a dozen girls, I’d call ‘em all Jane.” – HG Wells (Kipps)

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” – Virginia Woolf (A Room Of One’s Own).

“Nobody ever tells me anything.” – John Galsworthy (The Forsyte Saga).

“Anyone who isn’t confused here doesn’t really understand what’s going on.” – Anonymous.


“…then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.”
John Keats.

“I’ll be your mirror.” – Lou Reed.

“We burn daylight.” – William Shakespeare.

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” – HP Lovecraft.

“One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.” – Elizabeth Bowen.

“…clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character…” – Louisa M Alcott.

“So, to that question: ‘Who has ever fathomed the depths of the abyss?’ two men, among all men, have the right to reply: Captain Nemo and I.” – Jules Verne.


"The nemo is an evolutionary force, as necessary as the ego. The ego is certainty, what I am; the nemo is potentiality, what I am not. But instead of utilizing the nemo as we would utilize any other force, we allow ourselves to be terrified by it, as primitive man was terrified by lightning. We run screaming from this mysterious shape in the middle of our town, even though the real terror is not in itself, but in our terror at it."
-- John Fowles 1964 (from 'The Necessity of Nemo' in 'The Aristos')

"Glass Onion." – The Beatles.


“'Secret Way!' said Anne, her eyes shining. ‘Oh, I hope it’s that! Secret Way! How exciting. What sort of secret way would it be, Julian?’
‘How do I know, Anne, silly?’ said Julian. ‘I don’t even know that the words are meant to mean “Secret Way.” It’s really a guess on my part.’”
-- Enid Blyton (Five Go Adventuring Again).

“There was a pleasant anonymity sitting down at a corner table alone in the little restaurant, ordering vitello alla Marsala and half a bottle of Merlot. He took his time, enjoying his food but eating in a kind of haze, a sense of unreality still with him, while the conversation of his nearest neighbours had the same soothing effect as background music.”
-- Daphne du Maurier (Don’t Look Now), a quote chosen for Nemo by Margaret B Simon.

“Memo Nemo Omen” – the author of 4’33”
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des lewis
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 01:37 pm:   

Does anyone keep a Commonplace Book, ie. recording favourite bits from books as you read them?

A few of mine below.


"From the cosmic point of view, to have opinions or preferences at all is to be ill; for by harbouring them one dams up the flow of the ineluctable force which, like a river, bears us down to the ocean of everything's unknowing. Reality is a running noose, one is brought up short with a jerk by death. It would have been wiser to co-operate wih the inevitable and learn to profit by this unhappy state of things - by realising and accommodating death! But we don't, we allow the ego to foul its own nest. Therefore we have insecurity, stress, the midnight-fruit of insomnia, with a whole culture crying itself to sleep. How to repair this state of affairs except through art, through gifts which render to us language manumitted by emotion, poetry twisted into the service of direct insight?"
from 'The Avignon Quincunx' by Lawrence Durrell ('Constance' 1982)

"Wrzesmian wasn't too popular. The works of this strange man, saturated with rampant fantasy and imbued with strong individualism, gave a most unfavourable impression by inverting accepted aesthetic-literary theories and by mocking established pseudo-truths. His output was eventually acknowledged as the product of a sick imagination, the bizarre work of an eccentric, maybe even a madman. Wrzesmian was an inconvenience for a variety of reasons and he disturbed unnecessarily, stirring peaceful waters. Thus his premature eclipse was received with a secret sigh of relief."

"My pictures are visionary and symbolical, and, from first to last, have seemed to be painted by someone other than myself. [...] I am thus entirely self-taught, or taught by that other within me. I am aware that my pictures lack serious technique(if there is a technique that can be distinguished from inspiration and invention). I should have given up painting them some time ago, were it not that a certain number of people seemed to find something remarkable in them, and have thus identified me with them, and made me feel mildly important."

"She was so earnest, saying, 'It's so scary, how a scene with actual people just goes on and on? Like on a bus? What's to stop it?' And, that wistful little-girl look in her face. 'D'you ever think how hard it is to figure what people mean when probably they don't mean anything? Not like a script. Or that the point of something happening is when probably there's no point, it just "happened"? Like the weather?' [...] ... like they were two kids together in this predicament maybe fifteen years old somehow waking up married. In that instant her body seemed to him not a woman's beautiful voluptuous body but a responsibility they jointly shared, like a giant baby."
From ‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates

He shaded his eyes. 'You look like a statue, up there against the sky! Whatever I do or say, or don't do or say, do forgive me, Eva! More, everything's gone to my head: this place, you - drink in the afternoon, I should think, too? -- Where are the strawberries?'
From 'Eva Trout' by Elizabeth Bowen

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