Shabby Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 58 quotes )
The pebbled glass door panel is lettered in flaked black paint: "Philip Marlowe...Investigations." It is a reasonably shabby door at the end of a reasonably shabby corridor in the sort of building that was new about the year the all-tile bathroom became the basis of civilization. The door is locked, but next to it is another door with same legend which is not locked. Come on in--there's nobody here but me an a big bluebottle fly. But not if you're from Manhattan, Kansas.
And when you realize that their activities are shabby, that their vocations are petrified and no longer connected with life, why not then continue to look upon it all as a child would, as if you were looking at something unfamiliar, out of the depths of your own solitude, which is itself work and status and vocation? Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for a defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.
I thought it very touching to see these two women, coarse and shabby and beaten, so united; to see what they could be to one another; to see how they felt for one another, how the heart of each to each was softened by the hard trials of their lives. I think the best side of such people is almost hidden from us. What the poor are to the poor is little known, excepting to themselves and God.
Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door. His name, as I ought to have told you before, Is really Asparagus. That's such a fuss To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus. His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake, And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake. Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats — But no longer a terror to mice or to rats. For he isn't the Cat that he was in his prime; Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time. And whenever he joins his friends at their club (which takes place at the back of the neighbouring pub) He loves to regale them, if someone else pays, With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days. For he once was a Star of the highest degree — He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree. And he likes to relate his success on the Halls, Where the Gallery once gave him seven cat-calls. But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell, Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.
The scene is a writer's study, shabby, drafty but tax-deductible. The writer is reading the last hundred pages of his work in progress. For the past fifty or so, a kind of slow terror has been rising in his breast. All these pages had seemed necessary. They contain many good things. Ironies. Insights. And yet they seem to have a certain ineffable unsatisfactoriness. There is a word to describe this quality, the writer thinks, a horrible word. The B word. He begins to strike his forehead with a sweaty palm.
Human beings must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objectsof affection, I contrived to find a pleasure in loving and cherishing afaded graven image, shabby as a miniature scarecrow. It puzzles me nowto remember with what absurd sincerity I doated on this little toy, halffancying it alive and capable of sensation. I could not sleep unless it wasfolded in my night-gown; and when it lay there safe and warm, I wascomparatively happy, believing it to be happy likewise.
Light the Christmas candles for your children! Let them sing carols! But don't delude yourselves, don't content yourselves year after year with the shabby, pathetic, sentimental feeling you have when you celebrate your holidays! Demand more of yourselves! Love and joy and the mysterious thing we call "happiness" are not over here or over there, they are only "within yourselves.
And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!' And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you...
Mr L Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was a carbon-based life form descended from an ape. More specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the local council. Curiously enough, though he didn't know it, he was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics, and the only vestiges left in Mr L Prosser of his mighty ancestry were a pronounced stoutness about the tum and a predilection for little fur hats.
In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance. This affirmation lies in the way the author takes control of reality by retelling it in his own way, thus creating a new world. Every great work of art, I would declare pompously, is a celebration, an act of insubordination against the betrayals, horrors and infidelities of life. The perfection and beauty of form rebels against the ugliness and shabbiness of the subject matter.
But if she'd come then, she would never have properly appreciated it. She'd have seen the happy crowds and the Union Jacks and the bonfires, but she'd have no idea of what it meant to see the lights on after years of navigating in the dark, what it meant to look up at an approaching plane without fear, to hear church bells after years of air-raid sirens. She'd have had no idea of the years of rationing and shabby clothes and fear which lay behind the smiles and the cheering, no idea of what it had cost to bring this day to pass--the lives of all those soldiers and sailors and airmen and civilians.
Michael Heseltine, a wild-haired visionary, Klaus Kinski to Margaret's Thatcher's Werner Herzog, pushed Docklands across the Thames to the East Greenwich Peninsula. The Millennium Dome concept was a remake of 'Fitzcarraldo', a film in which suborned natives (expendable extras) drag a paddle steamer over a hill in order to force a short cut to more exploitable territory. The point being to bring Enrico Caruso, one of the gods of opera, to an upstream trading post. An insane achievement mirrored in the rebranding of the Dome, after its long and expensive limbo, as the O2 Arena, a popular showcase for cryogenic rock acts: Norma Desmond divas and the resurrected Michael Jackson, whose virtual rebirth, post-mortem, gave the shabby tent the status of a riverside cathedral.
For here again, we come to a dilemma. Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above. For it was this mixture in her of man and woman, one being uppermost and then the other, that often gave her conduct an unexpected turn. The curious of her own sex would argue how, for example, if Orlando was a woman, did she never take more than ten minutes to dress? And were not her clothes chosen rather at random, and sometimes worn rather shabby? And then they would say, still, she has none of the formality of a man, or a man’s love of power.
Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in faces—though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.
Trying to use words, and every attempt. Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure. Because one has only learnt to get the better of words. For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which. One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture. Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate. With shabby equipment always deteriorating. In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Look around you, Lessa of Pern, look around the Weyr with unveiled eyes. Old and hallowed is the Weyr? Yes, but shabby and worn – and disregarded. Yes, you were elated to sit in the Weyrwoman’s great chair at the Council Table, but the padding is thin and the fabric dusty. Humbled to think your hands rest where Moreta’s and Torene’s had rested? Well, the stone is ingrained with dirt and needs a good scrubbing. And your rump may rest where theirs did – but that’s not where you have your brains.