Linen Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 30 quotes )
My weakness consists in not having a discriminating eye for the incidental --- for the externals, --- no eye for the hod of the rag-picker or the fine linen of the next mean. Next man---that's it. I have met so many men." he pursued, with momentary sadness--- "met them too with a certain, certain impact, let us say; like this fellow, for instance--- and in each case all I could see was merely a human being. A confounded democratic quality of vision which may be better than total blindness, but has been of no advantage to me-- I can assure you. Men expect one to take into account their fine linen. But I never could get up any enthusiasm about these things. Oh! It's a failing; and then comes a soft evening; a lot of men too indolent for whist-- and a story...." [p.44]
Always this same morbid interest in other people and their doings, their privacies, their dirty linen, always this air of alertness for personal happenings, personalities, personalities, personalities. Always this subtle criticism and appraisal of other people, this analysis of other people’s motives. If anatomy presupposes a corpse, then psychology presupposes a world of corpses. Personalities, which means personal criticism and analysis, presuppose a whole world laboratory of human psyches waiting to be vivisected. If you cut a thing up, of course it will smell. Hence, nothing raises such an infernal stink, at last, as human psychology.
Why is it that we want so badly to memorialise ourselves? Even while we're still alive. we wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. we put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on washroom walls. It's all the same impulse. what do we hope from it? Applause, envy, respect? Or simply attention, of any kind we can get? At the very least we want a witness. we can't stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio turning down.
Most people, of course, spend their lives caring about the wrong things. The worry about South Africa or Nicaragua. They spend so much time finding themselves that they lose their taxicabs. They don't see that what kind of napkin you get at a delicatessen is a matter of much significance in the world today. That's why they don't get linen
His OFELLUS in the Art of Living in London, I have heard him relate, was an Irish painter, whom he knew at Birmingham, and who had practiced his own precepts of economy for several years in the British capital. He assured Johnson, who, I suppose, was then meditating to try his fortune in London, but was apprehensive of the expence, 'that thirty pounds a year was enough to enable a man to live there without being contemptible. He allowed ten pounds for cloaths and linen. He said a man might live in a garret at eighteen-pence a week; few people would inquire where he lodged; and if they did, it was easy to say, "Sir, I am to be found at such a place." By spending three-pence in a coffee-house, he might be for some hours every day in very good company; he might dine for six-pence, breakfast on bread and milk for a penny, and do without supper. On clean-shirt day he went abroad, and paid visits.
Parent power is not a sign of democracy, it is a sign of barbarism. We are to regard education as a service industry, like a laundry, parents are the customers, teachers the washers, children the dirty linen. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. And what in the name of boiling hell do parents know about education? How many educated people are there in the world? I could name seventeen or eighteen.
And in that line now was a whiskered old man, with a linen cap and a crooked nose, who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven: that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.
The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away, and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder. To put it in a nutshell, leaving the novelist to smooth out the crumpled silk and all its implications, he was a nobleman afflicted with a love of literature. Many people of his time, still more of his rank, escaped the infection and were thus free to run or ride or make love at their own sweet will. But some were early infected by a germ said to be bred of the pollen of the asphodel and to be blown out of Greece and Italy, which was of so deadly a nature that it would shake the hand as it was raised to strike, and cloud the eye as it sought its prey, and make the tongue stammer as it declared its love. It was the fatal nature of this disease to substitute a phantom for reality, so that Orlando, to whom fortune had given every gift--plate, linen, houses, men-servants, carpets, beds in profusion--had only to open a book for the whole vast accumulation to turn to mist. The nine acres of stone which were his house vanished; one hundred and fifty indoor servants disappeared; his eighty riding horses became invisible; it would take too long to count the carpets, sofas, trappings, china, plate, cruets, chafing dishes and other movables often of beaten gold, which evaporated like so much sea mist under the miasma. So it was, and Orlando would sit by himself, reading, a naked man.
Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we're still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. We put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on washroom walls. It's all the same impulse. What do we hope from it? Applause, envy, respect? Or simply attention, of any kind we can get? At the very least we want a witness. We can't stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down.
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river? Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air - An armful of white blossoms, A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies, Biting the air with its black beak? Did you hear it, fluting and whistling A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall Knifing down the black ledges? And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds - A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river? And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for? And have you changed your life?
It was true that Al had asked her to move the jars and magazines, and there was probably a word for the way she'd stepped around those jars and magazines for the last eleven days, often nearly stumbling on them; maybe a psychiatric word with many syllables or maybe a simple word like "spite." But it seemed to her that he'd asked her to do more than "one thing" while he was gone. He'd also asked her to make the boys three meals a day, and clothe them and read to them and nurse them in sickness, and scrub the kitchen floor and wash the sheets and iron his shirts, and do it all without a husband's kisses or kind words. If she tried to get credit for these labors of hers, however, Al simply asked her whose labors had paid for the house and food and linens? Never mind that his work so satisfied him that he didn't need her love, while her chores so bored her that she needed his love doubly. In any rational accounting, his work canceled her work.
The habits of Franciscan nuns still shrouded all but their faces, and so each of the new nun's features were emphasized, read forty times over in astonishment. Outlined in a stiff white frame of starched linen, Sister's eyes, nose, and mouth leapt out, a mask from a dream, a great raw-boned jackal's muzzle.
Miss West is never idle. Below, in the big after-room, she does her own laundering. Nor will she let the steward touch her father's fine linen. In the main cabin she has installed a sewing-machine. All hand-stitching, and embroidering, and fancy work she does in the deck-chair beside me. She avers that she loves the sea and the atmosphere of sea-life, yet, verily, she has brought her home-things and land-things along with her--even to her pretty china for afternoon tea.
I wish we could spend July be the sea, browning ourselves and feeling water-weighted hair flow behind us from a dive. I wish our gravest concerns were the summer gnats. I wish we were hungry for hot dogs and dopes, and it would be nice to smell the starch of summer linens and the faint odor of talc in blistering summer bath houses... We could lie in long citoneuse beams of the five o'clock sun on the plage at Juan-les-Pins and hear the sound of the drum and piano being scooped out to sea by the waves.