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Saturday, 23 June 2007


What a treat to find your blog. Yesterday, out of the blue I had decided to read Rasselas again. (After 30 years!) Thoughts of Rasselas and Gautama have been falling off my brain's bookshelf and spilling onto my consciousness. Now I am on a roll and your blog is on my favorites list. Rachel

Goodness -- Johnson and Burke in one post! Yes, I have read Rasselas and enjoyed it, taught it, even, with not great success. As for Burke -- I am a Wollstonecraft person and so my view of Burke is a bit skewed. Undoubtedly a great man but a rather peculiar view of women...

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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