"If you want to know more particularly how Mary looked, ten to one you will see a face like hers in the crowded street to-morrow, if you are there on the watch: she will not be among those daughters of Zion who are haughty, and walk with stretched-out necks and wanton eyes, mincing as they go: let all those pass, and fix your eyes on some small plump brownish person of firm but quiet carriage, who looks about her, but does not suppose that anybody is looking at her. If she has a broad face and square brow, well-marked eyebrows and curly dark hair, a certain expression of amusement in her glance which her mouth keeps the secret of, and for the rest features entirely insignificant – take that ordinary but not disagreeable person for a portrait of Mary Garth."
— Middlemarch, George Eliot.
"We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts – not to hurt others."
— Middlemarch, George Eliot.
"The value of books is proportionate to what may be called their plasticity - their quality of being all things to all men, of being diversely moulded by the impact of fresh forms of thought. Where, from one cause of the other, this reciprocal adaptability is lacking, there can be no real intercourse between book and reader. In this sense it may be said that there is no abstract standard of values in literature: the greatest books ever written are worth to each reader only what he can get out of them. The best books are those from which the best readers have been able to extract the greatest amount of thought of the highest quality; but it is generally from these books that the poor reader gets least."
— Edith Wharton.
"Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write."
— Harper Lee (1964 interview).
literature meme (origin): 5/8
short stories series. a series of unfortunate events, lemony snicket.
"The world is a harum-scarum place."
"Harum?" Sunny asked.
"It’s complicated and confusing," Olivia explained. "They say that long ago, it was simple and quiet, but that might be a legend." (from The Carnivorous Carnival)
Mort by Terry Pratchett.
Book Review by the-library-and-step-on-it.
At last, my very first Discworld novel! After years and years of tiptoeing around Terry Pratchett I have finally decided to take the plunge and unsurprisingly, he did not disappoint.
My theory is that if you were to put Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams into a blender, the Discworld series would come pouring out (…that sounded a lot better in my head, my apologies). As my followers may have noticed, this book is insanely quotable. There is a joke in every other line to the point where you’re just silently smiling and chuckling to yourself throughout the whole thing. On top of that, Pratchett takes every unwritten rule of fiction, crumples it up, and tosses it over his shoulder whilest cheerfully cracking a Dumbo joke. As a result, you never know where the story is going to go and every once in a while something so absurd happens that it gives you narrative whiplash.
But my favourite thing about this book is how inventive it is in its setting: the locations, the religions, the sheer logic of the Discworld, it’s just incredible. It baffles me that Pratchett has managed to keep this series going for so long and I’m curious to see if the books are all as imaginative as this one. The only reason this volume didn’t get five stars was the rushed and frankly not at all statisfying ending. Such a shame.
Still, consider me hooked. After all, a writer who manages to get me a little emotional over the fact that Death stops speaking in all-caps and starts flipping burgers in a back-alley diner must be doing something right.
Find more reviews here.
"Night rolled onwards across the Disc. It was always there, of course, lurking in shadows and holes and cellars, but as the slow light of day drifted after the sun the pools and lakes of night spread out, met and merged. Light on the Discworld moves slowly because of the vast magical field.
Light on the Discworld isn’t like light elsewhere. It’s grown up a bit, it’s been around, it doesn’t feel the need to rush everywhere. It knows that however fast it goes darkness always gets there first, so it takes it easy."
— Mort, Terry Pratchett.
"It will shortly become apparent that another reason for [the elephant’s] growing friskiness is the fact that, in the pre-ceremony confusion, its trunk found the ceremonial chalice conataining a gallon of strong wine and drained the lot. Strange hot ideas are beginning to bubble in front of its crusted eyes, of uprooted baobabs, mating fights with other bulls, glorious stampedes through native villages and other half-remembered pleasures. Soon it will start to see pink people."
Mort, Terry Pratchett.
GOD DAMN IT PRATCHETT.
"At a time like this his hands automatically patted his pockets, and found nothing but half a bag of jelly babies, melted into a sticky mass, and an apple core. Neither offered much consolation.
[…] ‘It’s a bit small,’ said Keli, critically.
‘It’s a lot bigger inside,’ said Mort, […]."
Mort, Terry Pratchett.
…Just me? Okay.