Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 26 November 2007


Well, there's always Chekov. But having tried Maupassant you could try Balzac who wrote some short stories too - when are you off to Africa?

I couldn't agree more about Maupassant! It is not very interesting indeed, unless you have a strong passion for rural Normandy. If you don't read more, you won't miss a lot.
You should eventually have a go with - and upgrade to - Stendhal, Zola or Flaubert instead, if you want to stick to 19th century writers. But you might also be willing to try some 20th century authors.

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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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