We will start with Mark Twain. He seems to have been eminently quotable. I have been thinking that I should go tour his house again. Last time I went I was in high school and we won't think about how many years ago that was. He lived in Hartford, CT which is only about an hour from where I live. Besides, it would make a great blog post.
Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
This suggestion fascinates me. First of all, he is right. Of course. After all, he is Mark Twain. Second of all, imagine living in a world were your editor deletes the word 'damn.' I think I want to go back to that world. Twain also said;
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
This is true. I live in a small town and many people don't go very far from it. I don't necessarily think that is a healthy way to live. I want badly for my kids to know there is a whole world out there with other ways of doing things and other ways of thinking. That 'other' is not a bad word. That differences can be what make people interesting. That we don't need to fear differences even if we don't agree with them.
I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
Me too, Mr. Twain. Me too.
A book is made from a tree It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millenia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time--proof that humans can work magic.
Carl Sagan said that. Isn't it wonderful? I keep reading it over and over because it is such a perfect description of the wonders to be had from books.
And then Dorothy Parker said
Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.
She also said,
It turns out that, at social gatherings, as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, I rank somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate.
And we will end with a few from P. G. Wodehouse because he makes me laugh out loud. I'll try to restrain myself and only give you a few quotes.
She looked like she had been poured into her clothes and forgotten to say 'when.'
A melanchly-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life's gas-pipe with a lighted candle.
She was definitely the sort of girl who puts her hands over a husband's eyes, as he is crawling into breakfast with a morning head, and says "Guess who!"
He manages to create a complete mental image of a character with just a few words. Incredible. If you haven't read him, do so. He is a master of comedic language.
Do you have a favorite quote?