File Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 143 quotes )
I do not like the killers, and the killing bravely and well crap. I do not like the bully boys, the Teddy Roosevelt’s, the Hemingways, the Roarks. They are merely slightly more sophisticated versions of the New Jersey file clerks who swarm into the Adirondacks in the fall, in red cap, beard stubble and taut hero’s grin, talking out of the side of their mouths, exuding fumes of bourbon, come to slay the ferocious white-tailed deer. It is the search for balls. A man should have one chance to bring something down. He should have his shot at something, a shining running something, and see it come a-tumbling down, all mucus and steaming blood stench and gouted excrement, the eyes going dull during the final muscle spasms. And if he is, in all parts and purposes, a man, he will file that away as a part of his process of growth and life and eventual death. And if he is perpetually, hopelessly a boy, he will lust to go do it again, with a bigger beast.
1. Society needs laws. While anarchy can often turn a humdrum weekend into something unforgettable, eventually the mob must be kept from stealing the conch and killing Piggy. And while it would be nice if that "something" was simple human decency, anybody who has witnessed the "50% Off Wedding Dress Sale" at Filene's Basement knows we need a backup plan—preferably in writing. On the other hand, too many laws can result in outright tyranny, particularly if one of those laws is "Kneel before Zod." Somewhere between these two extremes lies the legislative sweet-spot that produces just the right amount of laws for a well-adjusted society—more than zero, less than fascism.
So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I've learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled "file and forget," and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?
When I watch the living meet, And the moving pageant file. Warm and breathing through the street. Where I lodge a little while, If the heats of hate and lust. In the house of flesh are strong, Let me mind the house of dust. Where my sojourn shall be long. In the nation that is not. Nothing stands that stood before; There revenges are forgot, And the hater hates no more; Lovers lying two and two. Ask not whom they sleep beside, And the bridegroom all night through. Never turns him to the bride.
Being a woman is worse than being a farmer there is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturised, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature? with a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin Dennis Healey eyebrows face a graveyard of dead skin cells spots erupting long curly fingernails like Struwelpeter blind as bat and stupid runt of species as no contact lenses flabby body flobbering around. Ugh ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence?
Executive Mansion,Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.Dear Madam,--I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,A. Lincoln
Some people, I am told, have memories like computers, nothing to do but punch the button and wait for the print-out. Mine is more like a Japanese library of the old style, without a card file or an indexing system or any systematic shelf plan. Nobody knows where anything is except the old geezer in felt slippers who has been shuffling up and down those stacks for sixty-nine years. When you hand him a problem he doesn't come back with a cartful and dump it before you, a jackpot of instant retrieval. He finds one thing, which reminds him of another, which leads him off to the annex, which directs him to the east wing, which sends him back two tiers from where he started. Bit by bit he finds you what you want, but like his boss who seems to be under pressure to examine his life, he takes his time.
The situation Larch was thinking of was war, the so-called war in Europe; Larch, and many others, feared that the war wouldn’t stay there. (‘I’m sorry, Homer,’ Larch imagined having to tell the boy. ‘I don’t want you to worry, but you have a bad heart; it just wouldn’t stand up to a war.’) What Larch meant was that his own heart would never stand up to Homer Wells’s going to war. The love of Wilbur Larch for Homer Wells extended even to his tampering with history, a field wherein he was an admitted amateur, but it was nonetheless a field that he respected and also loved. (In an earlier entry in the file on Homer Wells – an entry that Dr. Larch removed, for it lent an incorrect tone of voice, or at least a tone of voice unusual for history – Dr. Larch had written: ‘I love nothing or no one as much as I love Homer Wells. Period.
You know, it's pretty easy reading this book to see why I was angry and confused for all those years. I lived my life being told different stories: some true, some lies and I still don't know which is which. Children are born innocent. At birth we are very much like a new hard drive - no viruses, no bad information, no crap that's been downloaded into it yet. It's what we feed into that hard drive, or in my case "head drive" that starts the corruption of the files.
I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, or how lonely the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you. There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks. Pass your eye down their files. Choose your man. And then you have but to hold up your hand to him and away you go together into dreamland
...the novel had reached its apogee with the marriage plot and had never recovered from its disappearance. In the days when success in life had depended on marriage, and marriage had depended on money, novelists had had a subject to write about. The great epics sang of war, the novel of marriage. Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel. And divorce had undone it completely. What would it matter whom Emma married if she could file for separation later? How would Isabel Archer’s marriage to Gilbert Osmond have been affected by the existence of a prenup? As far as Saunders was concerned, marriage didn’t mean much anymore, and neither did the novel. Where could you find the marriage plot nowadays? You couldn’t. You had to read historical fiction. You had to read non-Western novels involving traditional societies. Afghani novels, Indian novels. You had to go, literarily speaking, back in time.
The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get that aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po' boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week--yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat day and night, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors into your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars.
The true nature of bureaucracy may be nowhere more obvious to the observer than in a developing country, for only there will it still be made manifest by the full complement of documents, files, veneered desks and cabinets - which convey the strict and inverse relationship between productivity and paperwork.