Post a random quote from a book you're reading

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BenderRodriguez
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26 Jul 2019, 1:39 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
And they say psychological insights started with Freud.....

Out of curiosity, who said that? I thought people like Shakespeare and William Blake or Dante were already known for that, not even mentioning Dostoevsky.

The ancient world also had some great ones but I imagine they're a lot less known these days...


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kraftiekortie
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26 Jul 2019, 1:43 pm

I've known people who say that Freud "started" psychology.

Obviously, all he did was "start" Psychoanalysis.



BenderRodriguez
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26 Jul 2019, 1:46 pm

Prometheus18 wrote:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who would want to read one.

Peter Hitchens - Abolition of Britain, 1999, quoting Mr Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death.


There has recently been a thread asking "what's so bad" about Huxley's Brave New World and I mentioned there finding it scarier than 1984. The way I would have expressed it would be that oppression will always exist, and people will always fight it, but you cannot fight against willing slavery.

Your quote is making the same point more eloquently.


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BenderRodriguez
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26 Jul 2019, 1:48 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I've known people who say that Freud "started" psychology.

Obviously, all he did was "start" Psychoanalysis.


Thank you, I misunderstood. As a discipline better known to the public, yes, of course!


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Prometheus18
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26 Jul 2019, 2:02 pm

Stalin could not help thinking that although people called him the wisest of the wise, they had still not given him his full due. Their enthusiasm, he felt, was superficial and they did not truly appreciate the extent of his genius. He had lately been obsessed with the idea of making one major contribution to learning, of leaving his indelible stamp on something else besides philosophy or history. He could not help feeling envious when he read those passages in The Dialectic of Nature about zero and minus one squared. But despite long sessions with Kiselyov's Algebra or Sokolov's Advanced Physics, he found nothing to inspire him. [...]

It would, of course, have made a bigger splash to have refuted that counter-revolutionary theory of Relativity, or wave mechanics, but he was so busy with affairs of state that there just hadn't been time.
[...]

He began to write: 'Whatever national language of the Soviet Union we may take - Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Uzbek, Kazakh, Georgian, Armenian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Tartar, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Turkmen... (hell, he was finding it more and more difficult to stop himself from reeling off great lists like this. It impressed the reader and made it harder for him to answer back)... it is obvious. ...' H'm. Here he had better put in something that was obvious.
But what was obvious? Nothing was obvious... It was all very hard going.
[...]

There was no one to advise him, he was alone in the world, like all great philosophers. If only Kant or Spinoza were still alive, or anyone of that calibre, even if they were bourgeois.





The midnight musings of a seventy year-old Josef Stalin in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle. I was roaring with laughter for ten minutes reading the above passage in a coffee shop the other day. The most scathing and hilarious analysis of Stalin's mediocrity and psychological pathologies ever written.



Prometheus18
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26 Jul 2019, 2:23 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Prometheus18 wrote:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who would want to read one.

Peter Hitchens - Abolition of Britain, 1999, quoting Mr Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death.


There has recently been a thread asking "what's so bad" about Huxley's Brave New World and I mentioned there finding it scarier than 1984. The way I would have expressed it would be that oppression will always exist, and people will always fight it, but you cannot fight against willing slavery.

Your quote is making the same point more eloquently.

I don't even bother opening silly, attention-seeking threads like those, but you're spot on in thinking that Huxley's was the more frightening and more durable dystopia. He was also a much better prophet. Hitchens has written about this a number of times. Orwell's great failure was in assuming that sensual pleasures are a threat to would-be modern-day tyrants, just because in more impoverished times they had previously been held to be so. Huxley's genius, conversely, was in realising how powerful the sensual pleasures were as tools of control in a world that was economically prosperous enough to provide them to all.



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26 Jul 2019, 2:24 pm

Elves are often considered flighty or frivolous, and this is the case when they do not believe a matter to be of import. They concern themselves with the natural beauty around them, dancing and frolicking, playing and singing unless necessity dictates otherwise. Because elves love nature, they are not fond of ships or mines, but of growing things and the lands under the sky. They do not make friends easily, but a friend or enemy is never forgotten. Their humor is clever, as are their songs and poetry. Elves are brave but never foolhardy. They feast, but eat sparingly, drink mead and wine, but seldom become drunk from excesses. While they find well-wrought jewelry a pleasure to behold, they are not overly interested in money or gain. Magic fascinates elves, however, and if they have a weakness it lies in this desire. If elves tend towards haughtiness and arrogance at times, they are not inclined to regard their friends and associates as anything other than equals.

-- Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Edition (Revised December 1979), page 16


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26 Jul 2019, 3:44 pm

The Tomb of Horrors: Somewhere under a lost and lonely hill of grim and foreboding aspect lies a labyrinthine crypt. It is filled with terrible traps and not a few strange and ferocious monsters to slay the unwary. It is filled with rich treasures both precious and magical, but in addition to the aforementioned guardians, there is said to be a demi-lich who still wards his final haunt. (Be warned that tales told have it that this being possesses powers which make him nearly undefeatable!) Accounts relate that it is quite unlikely that any adventurers will ever find the chamber where the demilich Acererak lingers, for the passages and rooms of the Tomb are fraught with terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections. Furthermore, the demi-lich has so well hidden his lair, that even those who avoid the pitfalls will not be likely to locate their true goal. So only large and well-prepared parties of the bravest and strongest should even consider the attempt, and if they do locate the Tomb, they must be prepared to fail. Any expedition must be composed of characters of high level and varied class. They must have magical protections and weapons, and equip themselves with every sort of device possible to insure their survival.

-- AD&D Adventure Module S1: Tomb of Horrors (copyright 1978, 1981, TSR, Inc.), page 4


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should only be judged or defined
by their actions and choices, and not by what we imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


BenderRodriguez
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01 Aug 2019, 5:22 pm

Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux,
Riche, mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux

(Baudelaire, Spleen)


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06 Sep 2019, 10:24 pm

How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.

Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov


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06 Sep 2019, 10:29 pm

'Forgive me, Azazello, for meeting you naked like this.'

Azazello begged her not to let it worry her, assuring Margarita that he had not only seen plenty of naked women in his time but even women who had been skinned alive.

.
Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov


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24 Sep 2019, 10:33 am

And did you find - as I did - how curious, as well as very natural, it was that we should be so shy with each other, when in a papery way we knew each other so much better? I feel I have always known you, and yet I search for polite phrases and conventional enquiries - you are more mysterious in your presence (as I suppose most of us may be) than you seem to be in ink and scribbled symbols.


AS Byatt, Possession, 1990.
I love the phrase "in a papery way" :heart:


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26 Sep 2019, 11:38 pm

Another Possession quote (thanks, Isabella).
I just adore the few lines given from this fictional poem by a fictional Victorian author:

“We two remake our world by naming it
Together, knowing what words mean for us
And for the other for whom current coin
Is cold speech--but we say, the tree, the pool,
And see the fire in the air, the sun, our sun,
Anybody's sun, the world's sun, but here, now
Particularly our sun....”


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01 Oct 2019, 9:20 pm

" If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack" James Jones - The Thin Red Line


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10 Oct 2019, 10:17 pm

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"


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Have a cat video! Have a good day! ^^


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15 Oct 2019, 10:56 am

Graham's Magazine, July 1848 in review of Wuthering Heights:

How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors, such as we might suppose a person, inspired by a mixture of brandy and gunpowder, might write for the edification of fifth-rate blackguards.


:skull: Be still, my heart ... :skull:


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