Saturday, July 11, 2009

quotes and reading

As per a previously mentioned pleasure in posting lists (and apparently, trying to throw the "p" sound in a sentence as many times as possible), here's a list of random quotes, poems, readings, etc. that have made me think or smile or in which just basic fun with language is being had.

The sun is always at the same place.
But look, it falls an oblique angle
Over the volcanic island's black sand
And death wraps itself
Into the multicolored dress
Of the most beautiful girl
And still walks around with a photograph
Stapled to its chest
Warning how the world looks
Frozen in its glassy silence.
In the end God takes care of everything
And of all things that he granted us
The most valuable is forgetfulness:
To find each morning
The sun at the same place.
~Carmen Firan

"Germans are flummoxed by humor, the Swiss have no concept of fun, the Spanish think there is nothing at all ridiculous about eating dinner at midnight, and the Italians should never, ever have been let in on the invention of the motorcar."
"But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses."
~Bill Bryson in "Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe"
"The mantel's chastely severe outline was ingloriously veiled behind some pert drapery drawn rakishly askew like the sashes of the Amazonian ballet."
~O. Henry in short story "The Furnished Room"
"A light cigarette is like a regular one with a pinhole in it. With Kools, it's the difference between being kicked by a donkey and being kicked by a donkey that has socks on."
~David Sedaris in "Letting Go" article in The New Yorker
"In winter the waves are so ferocious that they can hurl rocks over the seawalls of nearby towns. Meanwhile, up on the cliff, you can lean your whole weight against the salty wind in perfect security, if you can stand the blur of tears."
"This makes us visible to France even when France is not visible to us, which is perhaps why we find the French mysterious and they find us immodest."
~Louis de Bernieres in "Legends of the Fall: the short way down an English cliff" article in Harper's Magazine

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