Sunday, June 16, 2013

My take on famous book quotes

Hi, I have selected some book quotes for you today, but I have annotated them to make them easier to understand.

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I would be way too shy, and feel too silly asking. Did Ralph Waldo do this really? I get this weird vibe here that Ralph Waldo had not yet met any person who qualified, almost like, "If there is a man of rare intellect I sure haven't met him, but in case he's out there, you know, hypothetically speaking, I would ask." Of course, in another direction, it always seemed to me Emerson was super smart, so perhaps he just liked people to ask him what he was reading and was cleverly fishing. I bet it worked, and he regretted it.

I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.      –Woodrow Wilson

Totally why I didn't vote for him! Well, at least Taft didn't win.

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.  –P.J. O’Rourke

So maybe not quotes about books?

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.          –Haruki Murakami

But what about this quote:

      No two persons ever read the same book.   –Edmund Wilson

I'm all confused.

There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don’t see them.       –Elie Wiesel

He was explaining his short books I guess. More power to him. Originally my comment here was thousands of lines long until I reduced it to just these three immaculate sentences.

The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.  –Northrop Frye

That is until I invented a book with a built in kitchen timer! Yes, check it out at my new clerkmanifesto store page (coming soon!) .

Are we not like two volumes of one book?                –Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Twins! Oh, no, not twins, a romantic, I see. And I love this...  —Ne cherchez pas à vous enfuir, ni à sortir de mes genoux; car vous êtes devant Dieu quand vous priez avec moi.

and this of course, which most of you will have memorized

«Oh! bonjour! dit l'enfant, qui se souvenait d'elle;
Je t'ai vue à l'automne; oh! bonjour, hirondelle.
Viens! tu portais bonheur à ma maison, et moi
Je voudrais du bonheur. Veux-tu m'en donner, toi?
Jouons.—Je le voudrais, répond la voyageuse,
Car je respire à peine, et je me sens joyeuse.
Mais j'ai beaucoup d'amis qui doutent du printemps;
Ils rêveraient ma mort si je tardais long-temps.
Non, je ne puis jouer. Pour finir leur souffrance,
J'emporte un brin de mousse en signe d'espérance.
Nous allons relever nos palais dégarnis:
L'herbe croît, c'est l'instant des amours et des nids.
J'ai tout vu. Maintenant, fidèle messagère,
Je vais chercher mes soeurs, là-bas, sur le chemin.
«Ainsi que nous, enfant, la vie est passagère,
Il faut en profiler. Je me sauve.... A demain!»

Keep reading books, but remember that a book is only a book, and you should learn to think for yourself.     –Maxim Gorky

Or, failing that, use famous peoples' quotes.

A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands. so the librarian protects the books not only against mankind but also against nature and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion.   –Umberto Eco

Okay, fun is fun, but this is just fanciful. A. These Librarians weed books like maniacs. B.  Really, just say "her" with the librarians if you have to choose, and C. These book things are super tough, not fragile, you should see how I toss...  oh, wait, he's probably talking about libraries in Italy with 600 year old books. Yeah, uh, hmm, well, our books from the late 1960's still hold up pretty well.

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.      –Marcel Proust

Wait, when he says "we" does he mean him? Or me and him? Because if it's me and him I am pretty sure the summer days I spent catching lizards when I was seven were slightly more fully lived than the book days.

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.            –George Bernard Shaw

 What, am I supposed to be snarky about this? I can't. It's just so sensible. Every time a kid leaves our library with a garfield or berenstain bears book my stomach is queasy.

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.        –Abraham Lincoln

So why didn't you just give us the original source for this, huh? Not so sure now, are you Mr. fancy President?

One always has a better book in one’s mind than one can manage to get onto paper. –Michael Cunningham

He must mean better blog post in mind. What century is this guy from?

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.      –C.S. Lewis

You should totally talk to George Bernard Shaw. I think you guys would really like each other.

A good book has no ending.          –R.D. Cumming

And neither does a good blog post...

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