Reading out Loud #2

The second entry in a (very) occasional series of words that caught and held my attention, that are well worth sharing.

“Human relationships flourish and decay, quickly and silently, so that those concerned scarcely know how brittle, or how inflexible, the ties that bind them have become.”  – Anthony Powell – A Question of Upbringing

“He reached for his pocket, and found there, only reality” – Victor Hugo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarize it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

“Proof is what lies at the heart of maths, and is what marks it out from other sciences. Other sciences have hypotheses that are tested against experimental evidence until they fail, and are overtaken by new hypotheses. In maths, absolute proof is the goal, and once something is proved, it is proved forever, with no room for change.” – Simon Singh – Fermat’s Last Theorem

“It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three-quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.” – P. G. Wodehouse – The Girl in Blue

“The neighbourhood is a place of…intrigue and emotional espionage, where when two people stop to talk on the street their tongues are like the two halves of a scissor coming together, cutting reputations and good names to shreds.”  – Nadeem Aslam – Maps for Lost Lovers

“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”  – Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five

“The values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs.” – Jared Diamond – Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
 “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” – Bertrand Russell – A History of Western Philosophy
“Poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage.” – Charles Dickens – The Pickwick Papers

22 Replies to “Reading out Loud #2”

  1. I love the first couple and The Slaughterhouse Five one made me laugh. I used to keep a notebook of sentences that I’ve loved while reading. You’re making me want to do that again, but it really slows the reading down and I’m already a slow reader.


    1. Yes, that’s the problem, it is bad enough when I have to stop to make notes for the review I will write, pulls me out of the immersion but on the plus side it means you guys can just read straight through.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I, of course, am partial to the P. G. Wodehouse quote. Did you know that his last name in Old English means “madhouse”? Certainly I have giggled insanely at much of his comedy.


    1. I didn’t know that, that is a great fact, I love it and will repeat endlessly. He is a genius writer, I managed to bring one over with me so although I reviewed the series eons ago, I will read and review that one for certain this year.


  3. Wodehouse is not an entirely good guy, however. Some of his humor has its racist moments, and if I remember correctly (and it’s always possible that I don’t have this quite right), when he was interned as a prisoner in a German internment camp during WW II, he apparently put on skits and stuff to amuse the brass. Of course, that was often done during WW I and WW II between the officers of the two sides, as a method of cooperation, but given our stricter expectations of today, and even then of the Resistance, he didn’t particularly shine out as a beacon of light. I guess you have to just read him for his good moments. There are many.


    1. I have heard a few of snippets of his radio broadcasts and did find them amusing. I tend not to pay much attention to authors themselves and focus on their work more, even if their politics is skewed, if the work is worth a read I will usually read it. I will let Wodehouse off for making me snigger so much, as I started a Jeeves book last Friday, which is making me guffaw like the best of them, whoever they are.


    1. I do love hunting for images that encapsulate that feeling of seeing through the words of a book, into another place, another life. I think I stumbled on an endless series of blog posts, if I can just get around to doing a few more I will be set for a lazy few days off from writing haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A fabulous list and, like Clare, I love the images – I’d be very happy to see your ‘book-world-pictures’ idea come to fruition 🙂


  5. I’m not sure I could choose a favorite quote Ste J, but given our current environment in the US, Bertrand Russell’s quote resonates. 😉


    1. Having read and heard a lot of opinion, I think the general population would have had a terrible time with either candidate chosen. It was the same in Britain’s last election too, the two main parties of both countries are tired and the people know it.

      Liked by 2 people

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