July 02, 2004

Indulge me

In days gone by, I read a lot of books. Nowadays it's all I can do to read half a page before my I lose consciousness. Lifestyle? Trade-off. I get so jealous of my flatmates who charge through a book a week, swapping them, talking about them. Getting through an entire book while I can still remember how it started is a rarity nowadays; half finished and discarded, with increasingly random bookmarks, they litter the floor beside my bed.

But this time I did finish a book. It's one I found in a $1 bin at my favourite second hand store, Arty Bees on Courtenay Place. (Bizy Bees is cool too, but Arty Bees is much closer to my house). What was it? F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Tender is the Night." Now ever since I did a 400 level philosophy paper called 'The Fragility of Goodness' (now called 'Why Be Moral?') I've been in the habit of noting passages in novels that I read. I finished varsity a way back but I still like to do it, even though I hardly ever actually refer back. But now I have this new public forum where I get to say whatever I want! It's perfect. So here goes - just a handful of lines that resonated for me.. For a synopsis of the story, go here (but it will spoil the story a bit)...
From when they first get together: "They were both in the grey gentle world of a mild hangover of fatigue when the nerves relax in bunches like piano strings, and crackle suddenly like wicker chairs." p64 Aww... I'm such a romantic.

Then there's bits I wanted to translate from French.
"'Tu as vu le revolver? Il etait tres petit, vrai perle - un joule.''Mais assez puissant!' said the other porter sagely. 'Tu as vu sa chemise? Assez de sang pour se croire a la guerre.'" p74

"'You saw the revolver? It was very small, and beaded - a jewel.' 'But rather powerful!' said the other porter sagely. 'You saw his shirt? Enough blood as if it was a war.'"

"He knew, though, that the price of his intactness was incompleteness. 'The best I can wish you, my child,' so said the Fairy Blackstick in Thackeray's The Rose and the Ring, 'is a little misfortune.'" p101

"'Wouldn't it be fun if -' it had been; and then 'Won't it be fun when -' It was not so much fun." p149

"She felt the nameless fear which precedes all emotions, joyous or sorrowful, inevitably as a hum of thunder precedes a storm." p256

"Nicole was glad he had known so many women, so that the word inself meant nothing to him; she would be able to hold him so long as the person in her transcended the universals of her body." p257

Also, I like the way they say "tight" when they mean drunk.



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