Provincial Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 44 quotes )
It's all very well for me to tell myself there are no provincial cities any more and perhaps there never were any: all places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isolation is felt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place. I, in fact, recognize myself here without a here or an elsewhere, recognized as an outsider by the nonoutsiders at least as clearly as I recognize the nonoutsiders and envy them.
I was hungry when I left Pyongyang. I wasn't hungry just for a bookshop that sold books that weren't about Fat Man and Little Boy. I wasn't ravenous just for a newspaper that had no pictures of F.M. and L.B. I wasn't starving just for a TV program or a piece of music or theater or cinema that wasn't cultist and hero-worshiping. I was hungry. I got off the North Korean plane in Shenyang, one of the provincial capitals of Manchuria, and the airport buffet looked like a cornucopia. I fell on the food, only to find that I couldn't do it justice, because my stomach had shrunk. And as a foreign tourist in North Korea, under the care of vigilant minders who wanted me to see only the best, I had enjoyed the finest fare available.
That is always the way with stay-and-homes. If they like something in their own village they take it for a thing universal and eternal, though perhaps it was never heard of five miles away; if they dislike something they say it is a local, backward, provincial convention, though, in fact, it may be the law of nations.
... Living in a foreign country is one of those things that everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges and transforming you into a citizen of the world. What I find appealing in life abroad was the inevitable sense of helplessness it would inspire. Equally exciting would be the work involved in overcoming that helplessness. There would be a goal involved, and I like having goals.
There comes a time when one must be strong with rationalists, for they can reduce anything whatever to dust, if they happen not to like the look of it, or if it threatens their deep-buried negativism. I mean of course rationalists like you, who take some little provincial world of their own as the whole of the universe and the seat of all knowledge.
The hard core of morality and even of religion seems to me to be just what makes good comedy possible...Where there is no norm, nothing can be ridiculous, except for a brief moment of unbalanced provincialism in which we may laugh at the merely unfamiliar. Unless there is something about which the author is never ironical, there can be no true irony in the work.
As for the Republicans -- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.
From a long view of the history of mankind, seen from, say, ten thousand years from now, there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade.
With his head thrust forward like a ram, Baryba pushed his way through to the front. For some reason this was necessary, he felt with all his guts that it was necessary. He clenched his iron jaws. Something bestial stirred in him, something he hungered for, some murderous instinct. To be with everybody, to howl like everybody, to hit the one that everybody else was hitting. ("A Provincial Tale")
N-no-o, all that excitement, it wouldn't reach us,' Timosha spoke gloomily. 'We're like the sunken city of Kitezh, living at the bottom of the lake. We do not hear a thing, and the water over us is muddy and sleepy. And on the surface, way above - why, everything's in flames, and the alarms are ringing.' ?A Provincial Tal?)
Funny business, a woman's career. The things you drop on your way up the ladder-- so you can move faster-- you forget you'll need them when you go back to being a woman. That's one career all females have in common whether we like it or not. Being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter what other careers we've had or wanted. And in the last analysis nothing is any good unless you can look up just before dinner-- or turn around in bed-- and there he is. Without that you're not a woman. You're someone with a French provincial office-- or a book full of clippings. But you're not a woman. Slow curtain. The end. (from "All About Eve")
To do such a thing would be to transcend magic. And I beheld, unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man—the mystery, the power, the freedom. Drawbacks I saw none. You have only to think! And I, a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, might suddenly become—this.
Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among the tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?
One evening at a remote provincial college through which I happened to be jogging on a protracted lecture tour, I suggested a little qui?-ten definitions of a reader, and from these ten the students had to choose four definitions that would combine to make a good reader. I have mislaid the list, but as far as I remember the definitions went something like this. Select four answers to the question what should a reader be to be a good reader: 1. The reader should belong to a book club. 2. The reader should identify himself or herself with the hero or heroine. 3. The reader should concentrate on the social-economic angle. 4. The reader should prefer a story with action and dialogue to one with none. 5. The reader should have seen the book in a movie. 6. The reader should be a budding author. 7. The reader should have imagination. 8. The reader should have memory. 9. The reader should have a dictionary. 10. The reader should have some artistic sense.The students leaned heavily on emotional identification, action, and the social-economic or historical angle. Of course, as you have guessed, the good reader is one who has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sens?-which sense I propose to develop in myself and in others whenever I have the chance.
I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices. It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.
She had not the faintest notion of the mysteries of harmony, and this was connected with her being wretchedly untidy . Her slovenliness showed in the very way she walked, for she had a knack of treading her left shoe down at heel. It made me shudder to glance into her chest of drawers where there writhed higgledy-piggledy a farrago of rags, ribbons, bits of silk, her passport, a wilted tulip, some pieces of moth-eaten fur, sundry anachronism (gaiters for example, as worn by girls years ago) and suchlike impossible rubbish. Quite often, too, there would dribbled into the cosmos of my beautifully arranged things some tiny and very dirty lace handkerchief or a solitary stocking, torn. Stockings seemed positively to burn on those brisk calves of hers. Not a jot did she understand of household matters. Her receptions were dreadful. There would always be, in a little dish, broken bars of chocolate as offered in poor provincial families. I sometimes used to ask myself, what on earth did I love her for?