57 minus 15: Quote, unquote…

Posted: 2 August 2021 in 57 minus, life, don't talk to me about life, quotes
Tags: ,

Housekeeping note: Between yesterday’s ‘excitement’ (middle of the night walk, fire engines in early morning), and a lousy night’s kip, my foot punishing me for the longer than usual walks, and feeling ratty as hell today, I’m pushing off the very personal post I’m writing until later in the week.

I like quotes, and I don’t mean the “blimey, that’s going to cost me a lot less than I expected” from the plumber.

No, I like quotations from people. I don’t particularly care who they’re from, although it’s not unusual that poeple noted for their wit or excellence in language often come up with observations I like.

So, here are some quotes I like. Nothing more than that. I just like them.

Let’s start with two of my all time favourite quotes. They’re both lines I wish I could use every day of my life, I like them that much. Sadly, I can’t…

“I feel that events have forced us to become enemies. What a pity we couldn’t have got to know each other under happier circumstances. Then we could have become enemies of our own free will.”
   — David Nobbs, from A Bit of a Do

“In his ninetieth year, he could afford to be agreeable to everybody, though he tried valiantly to resist the inclination.”
   — Alistair Cooke on Frank Lloyd Wright.

OK…. moving on.

Given my oft commented upon trouble sleeping, and less often mentioned trouble staying asleep, let’s start with some about sleep, or bed…

“There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.”
   — Ralph Waldorf Emerson

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
   — Ernest Hemingway

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”
   — Eleanor Roosevelt

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
   — Bob Dylan

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.”
   — Cary Grant

It’s funny; those two aren’t as contradictory as I one thought, you know…

And, one more… dedicated to so many of my friends… and to me.

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”
   — Ray Bradbury

Now some quotes I like just because I like them.

“No passion in the world is equal to the passion of one writer to alter another’s draft.”
   — H G Wells

“A man you’d follow anywhere, if only out of curiosity.”
   — Alan Coren on Boris Johnson

“A hard man to dislike, but it’s worth the effort.”
   — I first heard this from Barry Cryer, about journalist turned British politician Robert Kilroy-Silk, but I’ve since heard it from others, about others, said earlier.

“When children have their noses in books while the Universe is telling them to come out and play, we know something is going badly wrong.”
   — journalist Sue Nelson’s comment about a teacher who wasn’t allowed to take his class outside to witness an annular eclipse. I love this quote so much. “…when the Universe is telling them to come out and play.” The Universe; we live in it. We could all do with remembering what that means a bit more often.

“The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move eyeballs again… His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
   — Kingsley Amis on hangovers (in Lucky Jim). It’s been a while since I’ve had a bad hangover, but once experienced, never forgotten. Amis got it about right.

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”
   — H L Mencken. I mean, I could do a whole blog post on Mencken’s observations, but this one suffices for now.

“I must confess, I was born at an early age.”
   — Groucho Marx. Most of Marx’s best lines are, obviously gags. Occasionally, however, I like to think of him throwing one out merely to befuddle someone he’s grown tired of.

“A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”
   — Alistair Cooke. Another from Cooke, and one that’s informed and educated me.,

“I must’ve seen it in a USENET posting”; that’s sort of like hearsay evidence from Richard Nixon.”
   — Blair Houghton. I truly wonder what the equivalent would be from the orange poltroon, given how often he excused his falsehoods with ‘I don’t know, I just saw it on the internet…”

“Free children are not easily influenced; the absence of fear accounts for this phenomenon. Indeed, the absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child.”
   — A. S. Neill

“A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”
   — Robert Frost. And it’s impossible to mention this one without quoting from Ambrose Bierce’s definition of a jury The Devil’s Dictionary”: “A number of persons appointed by a court to assist the attorneys in preventing law from degenerating into justice.

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”
   — Mark Twain

And finally, three to end with, about what “literature” is.

The purpose of literature is to effect social change.
   — John Mortimer (as Rumpole)

Literature is news that stays news.
   — Ezra Pound

“Literature is something you want to read again.”
   — Budgie


See you tomorrow, with… the usual Tueaday something else.



Fifty-seven days. Fifty-seven posts. One fifty-seventh birthday.

I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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