Tag Archives: book

Sodom_and_Gomorrah

To Read (20th Century)

James Baldwin (US) |

Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, No Name in the Street, The Devil Finds Work  

Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)|

Historia universal de la infamia, Ficciones, El Aleph.

 R. K. Narayan (India)|

Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The English Teacher. See his works on mythology/religion (Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana) see list of works.

Graham Greene (England)|

The Comedians, The Heart of the Matter, A Burnt-Out Case, The Quiet American, The End of the AffairThe Ministry of Fear,  Our Man in Havana, Monsignor Quixote 

Robertson Davies (Canada)|

The Salterton Trilogy, The Cornish Trilogy, The “Toronto Trilogy”

Giorgio Bassani (Italia)|

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Mordechai Richler (Canada)|

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Barney’s Version, Solomon Gursky Was Here

Brian Moore (Northern Ireland/Canada)|

Judith Hearne, The Emperor of Ice-Cream, Black Robe 

Evelyn Waugh (England)|

Decline and Fall, A Handful of Dust, Brideshead Revisited, Sword of Honour

Nicolas Poussin, The Dance to The Music of Time, 1640. Wallace Collection, London. Via Wikimedia.

Anthony Powell (England)|

A Dance to the Music of Time

John Martin, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, 1852. Via Wikimedia.

Marcel Proust (France)|

In Search of Lost Time

Robert Musil (Austria)|

The Man Without Qualities

Joyce in Zurich, c. 1918. Via Wikiemdia.

James Joyce (Ireland)|

Ulysses, Finnegan’s Wake, Dubliners,  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Simone de Beauvoir (France)|

The Second SexShe Came to Stay, The Mandarins

Bertolt Brecht (Germany)|

Threepenny Novel, Drums in the NightThe Modern Theatre Is the Epic Theatre    

Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)|

Aké: The Years of Childhood, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Lion and the Jewel  

Jean Cocteau (France)|

Les Enfants Terribles, Les Parents Terribles, Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus 

Jacques Prévert (France)|

Les Enfants du Paradis, Paroles (wrote scenarios and dialogues for films. See list)

Toni Morrison (US)|

Beloved, Song of Solomon, Sula, The Bluest Eye

Italo Calvino (Italia)|

Invisible Cities, If on a winter’s night a travelerOur Ancestors trilogy, Cosmicomics

Leonardo Sciascia (Italia)|

Una storia semplice, The Day of the Owl, To Each His Own. See films: Open Doors (1990), Cadaveri Eccellenti (1976) and Il giorno della civetta

Cesare Pavese (Italia)|

The Moon and the Bonfires, see translated poems.

Natalia Ginzburg (Italia)|

L’inserzione, Family sayings (Lessico famigliare),  Caro Michele (film Caro Michele, 1976)

Georges Simenon (Belgium)|

Creator of detective Jules Maigret. Maigret and the Yellow Dog, Dirty Snow, Red Lights 

Milan Kundera (Czech)|

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke,The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Chinua Achebe (Nigeria) |

Things Fall Apart,No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, Anthills of the Savannah, An Image of Africa (lecture on Heart of Darkness) 

Muriel Spark (Scotland)|

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Mandelbaum Gate, The Driver’s Seat, Memento Mori

Philip Roth (US)|

The Ghost Writer,American Pastoral, Sabbath’s Theater

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Stanley Kubrick: Interviews, and BIFF Cinema Library

Found the Cinema Library at BIFF hill. shhhhh. no backpacks.

Stanley Kubrick Interviews by Gene D. Phillips.

“Kubrick is fiercely concerned with the accuracy of the small details that make up the background of his films, because he feels that helps the audience to believe what they see on screen.” viii

“Kubrick sometimes nursed ideas over long periods before he was able to bring them to fruition.” viii

“directing a film can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car at an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal that feeling.” p. xii

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

Clean Break by Lionel White

To Read at the library:

book of essays and interviews on Wes Anderson

World Cinema by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

John Ford

Planet Hong Kong by David Bordwell

Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford by Scott Eyman

The Passion of David Lynch

books on Stanley Kubrick

Interviews with Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Kubrick, Bertolucci, Michael Mann.

books on Kurosawa

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels screenplay

Mediated Sex: Pornography and Postmodern Culture.

Goodfellas script

books on Cinematography

Eyes Wide Shut screenplay

The Making of Blade Runner

Boogie Nights script

Dark City (book on film noir)

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Death of a Salesman

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. London, England: Penguin Classics, 2000. Print. [First ed. 1949.] 

WILLY: Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there’s nobody to live in it.” p. 10

“He like his brother, is lost, but in a different way, for he has never allowed himself to turn his face toward defeat and is thus more confused and hard-skinned, although seemingly more content.” p. 14

BIFF: … To sufferer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella. And still -that’s how you build a future.” p. 16

HAPPY: … “And it’s crazy. But then, it’s what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, and plenty of women. And still, goddammit, I’m lonely.” p. 17

HAPPY: “You honest I am, but it’s like this girl, see. I hate myself for it. Because I don;t want the girl, and, still, I take it and – I love it!” p. 19

WILLY: “What’s the mystery? The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it! Walked into a jungle, and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he’s rich! The world is an oyster, but you don’t crack it open on a mattress!” p. 32

WILLY: “A man who can’t handle tools is not a man. You’re disgusting.” p. 34

Charley “He is utterly certain of his destiny, and there is an aura of far places about him. He enters exactly as WILLY speaks.” p. 34

WILLY: I gave them hell, understand. But I got a couple of fearless characters there.
CHARLEY: Willy, the jails are full of fearless characters. p. 39

HAPPY: Sure you will. The trouble with you in business was you never tried to please people. p. 47

WILLY: And don’t say ‘Gee’. ‘Gee’ is a boy’s word. A man walking in for fifteen thousand dollars does not say ‘ Gee’! p. 51

WILLY: … It’s not what you say, it;s how you say it — because personality always wins the day. p. 51

[The light on WILLY is fading. The gas heater begins to glow through the kitchen wall, near the stairs, a blue flame beneath red coil.] p. 54

WILLY: God knows, Howard, I never asked a favour of any man. But I was with the firm when your father used to carry you in here in his arms. p. 62

WILLY: … when he died — and by the way he died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers in the smoker of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford, going into Boston — when he died, hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral. Things were sad on a lotta trains for months after that. p. 63

WILLY… and that’s the wonder, the wonder of this country, that a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked! p. 68

WILLY: Well, Bill Oliver — very big sporting-goods man — he wants Bigg very badly. Called him in from the West. Long distance, carte blanche, special deliveries. Your friends have their own private tennis court? p. 72

WILLY [confidentially, desperately]: You were his friend, his boyhood friend. There’s something I don’t understand about it. His life ended after that Ebbets Field game. From the age of seventeen nothing good ever happened to him.
BERNARD: He never trained himself for anything. p. 72

WILLY [as CHARLEY takes out his wallet]: The Supreme Court! And he didn;t even mention it!
CHARLEY [counting out money on the desk]: He don’t have to — he’s gonna do it. p. 75

CHARLEY: Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything? You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re salesman and you don’t know that. p. 76-77

CHARLEY: Why must everybody like you? Who liked J.P. Morgan? Was he impressive? In a Turkish bath he’d looked like a butcher. But with his pockets on he was very well liked. p. 77

BIFF [turning]: Exactly what is it that you want from me?
WILLY: I want you to know, on the train, in the mountains, in the valleys, wherever you go, that you cut down your life for spite! p. 103

BIFF: And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That’s whose fault is it! p. 104

BIFF: … What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I saw I know who I am! Why can’t I say that, Willy? p. 105

BEN: The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy. p. 106

BIFF: He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong.
HAPPY [almost ready to fight BIFF]: Don’t say that!
BIFF: He never knew who he was.
CHARLEY [stopping HAPPY’S movement and reply. To BIFF]: Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand; Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory. p. 110-111

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Fahrenheit 451 | 2

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Del Rey, 1991. (First Ed. 1953.)

“‘Words are like leaves and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.'” Alexander Pope. p. 106

“Read a few lines and off you go over the cliff. Bangm you’re ready to blow up the world, chop off heads, knock down women and children, destroy authority.” Beatty p. 106

“‘The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.'” (William Shakespeare | The Merchant of Venice) p. 106

****”Beatty never drove, but he was driving tonight, slamming the Salamander around corners, leaning forward high on the driver’s throne, his massive black slicker flapping out behind so that he seemed a great black bat flying above the engine, over the brass numbers, taking the full wind.” p. 109

“He turned and the Mechanical Hound was there.
It was half across the lawn, coming from the shadows, moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-gray smoke blown at him in silence.” p. 120

“lost in pocket of a man who was now nothing but a frame skeleton strung with asphalt tendons.” p. 123

“A great whirling whisper made him look to the sky.
The police helicopters were rising so far away that it seemed someone had blown the gray head off a dry dandelion flower.” p. 125

“He stopped for breath, on his way to the river, to peer through dimly lit windows of wakened houses, and saw the silhouettes of people inside watching their parlor walls and there on the walls the Mechanical Hound, a breath of neon vapor, spidered along, here and gone, here and gone!” p. 137

“He saw many hands held to its warmth, hands without arms, hidden in darkness. Above the hands, motionless faces that were only moved and tossed and flickered with firelight. He hadn’t known fire could look this way. He had never thought in his life that it could give as well as take.” p. 145-146

“But that’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.” p. 153

“‘Stuff you eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.” p. 157

“Perhaps the bombs were there, and the jets, ten miles, five miles, one mile up, for the merest instant, like grain thrown over the heavens by a great sowing hand, and the bombs drifting with dreadful swiftness, yet sudden slowness, down upon the morning city they had left behind.” p. 158

“The concussion knocked the air across and down the river, turned the men over like dominos in a line, blew the water in lifting sprays, and blew the dust and made the trees above them mourn with great wind passing away south.” p. 160

Afterword
“I didn’t know it, but I was literally writing a dime novel. In the spring of 1950 it cost me nine dollars and eighty cents in dimes to write and finish the first draft of The Fire Man which later because Fahrenheit 451.” p. 167

“Father had to choose between finishing a story or playing with the girls. I chose to play, of course, which endangered the family income. An office had to be found. We couldn’t afford one.” p. 167

“Thus I was twice drive; by children to leave home, and by a typewriter timing device to be a maniac at the keys. Time was indeed money. I finished the first draft in roughly nine days. At 25,000 words, it was half the novel it eventually would become.” p. 168

“I have scribbled poems about librarians, taken night trains with my favorite authors across the continental wilderness, staying up all night gabbling and drinking, drinking and chatting. I warned Melville, in one poem, to stay away from land (it never was his stuff!) and turned Bernard Shaw into a robot, so as to conveniently stow him aboard a rocket and wake him on the long journey to Alpha Centuri to hear his Prefaces piped off his tongue and into my delighted ear.” p. 168-169

“”It’s not owning books that’s a crime, Montag, it’s reading them!” p. 169-170.

“A last discovery. I write all of my novels and stories, as you have seen, in a great surge of delightful passion.” p. 173

Coda

On censoship and simplicity: “Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like–in the finale–Edgar Guest. Every word of more than three syllables had been razored.” p. 176

“The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” p. 176

“If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture.” p. 178

“Take philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet’s father’s ghost and what stays is dry bones. Laurence Stern said it once: Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading!” p. 178-179

“At sunset I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.
And no one can help me. Not even you.” p. 179

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

“Then, sometime in the late summer of 1953, Playboy came to me. They had no money; they were just starting out, and they asked me if I had something I would sell them for four hundred dollars, so they could get started. So I sold them Fahrenheit 451 for four hundred dollars, and they published it in the second, third, and fourth issues of the magazine.” p. 181

*****”I wrote for years, and I wasn’t paid. My live carried me through all those years. I sold newspapers on the street corner… you’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.” p. 183

“Reading is at the center of our lives. The library is our brain. Without the library, you have no civilization.” p. 184

“It’s not substance; it’s style. The whole problem of TV and movies today is summed up for meby the film Moulin Rouge. It came out a few years ago and won a lot of awards. It has 4,560 half-second clips in it. The camera never stops and hold still. So it clicks off your thinking; you can’t think when you have things bombarding you like that… We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.” p. 184

“I wrote the book because I love writing. All my stories are written in bursts of passion.” p. 185

“DR: Do you plot your stories in advance?
RB: NO, no, no. I live my stories.” p. 185

Are you the boss of your characters (tell them what to do)?
“You can’t do that. That’s bad writing. They must write you. They must control you. They plot me. I never control them. I let them have their lives.” p. 185

“I believe that if you do your work everyday, at the end of the week or at the end of the month or at the end of the year, you feel good about all the things you did. It’s based on reality, not a false concept of optimism. So if you behave well, if you write well every day, and act well, at the end of the year you’ll feel good about yourself.” p. 188

“I’ve been influenced by all kinds of Irish writers: George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde… or in England, Charles Dickens. Yes, I was influenced by the nineteenth century American writers who wrote metaphors: Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.” p. 188

On Federico Fellini “he lived with the following saying: “Don’t tell me what I’m doing; I don’t want to know.” He never looked at his films when he was making them. Never saw the dailies. Only when he finished shooting the film would he sit down with the projector and look at what he had done. I’m the same way. I don’t believe in watching myself.” p. 189

“DR: What books did you fall in love with as a boy?
RB: The Oz books. Tarzan and John Carter, Warlord of Mars, by Burroughs. Jules Verne, at a certain age. Edgar Allan Poe when I was nine. And H. G. Wells, who was very negative but very exciting, because when you’re sixteen years old, you’re paranoid, and H. G. Wells is a very paranoid writer. And a very necessary one.” p. 190

About the Author
“published some 500 short stories, novels, plays, and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales… For several years he wrote for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone and in 1953 did the screenplay for John Huston’s Moby Dick… collaborated on an animated film, Icarus Montgolfer Wright… When one of the Apollo astronaut teams landed on the moon, they named Dandelion Crater there to honor Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine. His novel Something Wicked This Way Comes was made into a major release feature film” p. About the Author

to read:

S Is for Space

Dandelion Wine

watch:

Something Wicked This Way Comes | Dir. Jack Clayton | (1983)

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Fahrenheit 451 | I

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Del Rey, 1991. (First Ed. 1953.)

“One time, as a child, in a power failure, his mother had found and lit a last candle and there had been a brief hour of rediscovery, of such illumination that space lost its vast dimensions and drew comfortably around them, and they, mother and son, alone, transformed, hoping that the power might not come on again too soon…” p. 7

“It was like coming into the cold marbled room of a mausoleum after the moon has set. Complete darkness, not a hint of the silver world outside, the windows tightly shut, the chamber a tomb world where no sound from the great city could penetrate.” p. 11

“He felt that the stars had been pulverized by the sound of the black jets and that in the morning the earth would be covered with their dust like a strange snow.” p. 14

“Montag’s hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. The men above were hurling shovelfuls of magazines into the dusty air. They fell like slaughtered birds and the woman stood below, like a small girl, among the bodies.” p. 37

Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley martyred by being burnt at the stake. John Foxe’s book of martyrs. 1563 edition. Via Wikimedia.

“”‘We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out,'” said Beatty…. “A man named Latimer said that to a man named Nicholas Ridley, as they were being burnt alive at Oxford, for heresy, on October 16, 1555.”” p. 40

“”I had a nice evening,” She said, in the bathroom.
“What doing?”
“The parlor.”
“What was going on?”
“Programs.”
“What programs?”
“Some of the best ever.”
“Who?”
“Oh, you know, the bunch.”” p. 49

“The parlor was exploding with sound.
“We burnt copies of Dante and Swift and Marcus Aurelius.”
“Wasn’t he European?”
“Something like that.” p. 50

“And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before.” p. 52

“Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.”
“Snap ending,” Mildred nodded.
“Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume.” p. 54

“Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digests-digests-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in midair, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” p. 55

“The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!” p. 57

“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.” p. 58

“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.” p. 58

“”Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book.”” p. 59

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the goverment is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible date, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving.” p. 61

“the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn’t want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think.” p. 63

“”‘We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.'”” p. 71

“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” p. 82-83

“That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” p. 83

“Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the two.” p. 84-85

“The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.” p. 86

“A minute later, Three White Cartoon Clowns chopped off each other’s limbs to the accompaniment of immense incoming tides of laughter. Two minutes more and the room whipped out of town to the jet cars wildly circling an arena, bashing and backing up and bashing each other again. Montag saw a number of bodies fly in the air.” p. 94

“Fat, too, and didn’t dress to hide it. No wonder the landslide was for Winston Noble. Even their names helped. Compare Winston Noble to Hubert Hoag for ten seconds and you can almost figure the results.” p. 97

“By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been gone to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.” p.104

to read:

Martian Chronicles (1950)

To watch: Fahrenheit 451 (1966) | Dir. François Truffaut |

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Eat Pray Love

Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. New York, N.Y.; Penguin, 2007. Print. (First ed. 2006)

“When the Crusaders drove East for the holy wars, they witnessed worshipers praying with these japa malas, admired the technique, and brought the idea home to Europe as rosary.” p. 1

“the number 108 is held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to nine, which is three threes.” p. 1-2

“This division means that there are 36 tales in each section, which appeals to me on a personal level because I am writing all this during my thirty-sixth year.” p. 2

Om Namah Shivaya

“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to thoroughly explore the countries themselves; this has been done. It was more that I wanted to thoroughly explore one aspect of myself set against the backdrop of each country,” p. 37

“Therefore, what we today call French is really a version of medieval Parisian. Portuguese is really Lisboan. Spanish is essentially Madrileño. These were capitalist victories; the strongest city ultimately determined the language of the whole country.” p. 57

“What this congress decided would henceforth be considered proper Italian was the personal language of the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri. When Dante published his Divine Comedy back in 1321, detailing a visionary progression through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, he’d shocked the literate world by not writing in Latin.” p. 58-59

“He wrote his masterpiece in what he called il dolce stil nuovo, the “sweet new style” of the vernacular, and he shaped that vernacular even as he was writing it, affecting it as personally as Shakespeare would someday affect Elizabethan English.” p. 59

terza rima

“Dante writes that God is not merely a blinding vision of glorious light, but that He is, most of all, l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle… ” p, 60

il bel far niente “the beauty of doing nothing” p. 80

“For me, though, a major obstacle in my pursuit of pleasure was my ingrained sense of Puritan guilt. Do I really deserve this pleasure? This is very American, too–the insecurity about whether we have earned our happiness.”p. 81

“Dai, dai, dai, Albertini, dai … va bene, va bene, ragazzo mio, perfetto, bravo, bravo… Dai! Dai! Via! Via! Nella porta! Eccola, eccola, eccola, mio bravo ragazzo, caro mio, eccola, eccola, ecco–AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!  VAFFANCULO!! FIGLIO DI MIGNOTTA!! STRONZO! CAFONE! TRADITORE! Madonna… Ah, Dio mio, perché, perché, perché, questo e stupido, e una vergogna, la vergogna… Che casino, che bordello… NON HAI UN CUORE, ALBERTINI! FAI FINTA! Guarda, non e successo niente.. Dai, dai, ah… Molto migliore, si si si, eccola, bello, bravo, anima mia, ah ottimo, eccola adesso … nella porta, nella porta, nell–VAFFANCULO!!!!!!!” p. 90-91

Plan Roms im Altertum. Via Wikimedia.

Augusteum

“The Augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve… Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.” p. 100

magari (maybe, if only, I wish)

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

“Parla come magni.” p. 115

“Virginia Woolf wrote, “Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword.” On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where “all is correct.” But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, “all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course.”” p. 126

The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” p. 127

“I drop out of my Italian-language school, having come to feel that it was interfering with my efforts to learn Italian, since it was keeping me stuck in the classroom instead of wandering around Italy, where I could practice with people in person.” p. 128

codega “a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets.” p. 135

“Or maybe I only want to go to Sicily because of what Goethe said: “Without seeing Sicily one cannot get a clear idea of what Italy is.”” p. 148

 

“Historians say that rhetoric was invented in Syracuse, and also (and this is just a minor thing) plot.” p. 150

The Italians (1964) by Luigi Barzini

“In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible.” p. 152

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” p. 154

arati prayer

“Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: “You bear God within you, poor wretched, and you know it not.”” p. 161

To Read: Epictetus

“”Our whole business therefore in this life,” wrote Saint Augustine, rather Yogically, “is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.”” p. 162

To Read: Saint Augustine

“the monk quoted to me from the Bhagavad Gita, the most sacred ancient text of Yoga: “Oh Khrisna, the mind is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.”” p. 174

Ham-sa mantra

Saint Teresa of Ávila by Peter Paul Rubens. Via Wikimedia.

Saint Teresa of Avila

“The most difficult challenge, the saint wrote in her memoirs, was to not stir up the intellect during meditation, for any thoughts of the mind–even the most fervent prayers–will extinguish the fire of God.” p. 190

kundalini shakti  

“You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.” p. 199

guru gita

“Zen masters always say that you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.” p. 226

Vipassana meditation

“”The world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world,” says an old Buddhist teaching.” p. 229

“Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention.” p. 235

“Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever.” p. 236

“”Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress.”” p. 244

(Instructions for Freedom) “3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.” p. 245

“7. Let your intentions be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.” p. 246

“the rules of transcendence insist that you will not advance even one inch closer to divinity as long as you cling to even one last seductive thread of blame.” p. 247

“To know God, you need only to renounce one thing–your sense of division from God.” p. 255

Sextus “”The wise man is always similar to himself.” p. 256

Sentences of Sextus

turiya state (pure consciousness)

 

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, begging for pennies from every passerby, unaware that his fortune was right under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But claim it,” p. 262

“”All know that the drop merges into the coean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop,” wrote the sage Kabir” p. 265

To Read: Kabir

“”Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine,” he said. “You want to stay near the core of the thing–right in the hub of the wheel–not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place,” p. 275

“In the dead of night the dogs howl about how misunderstood they are.” p. 312

“The word paradise, by the way, which comes to us from the Persian, means literally “a walled garden.”” p. 313

“The next piece of land was rejected because it was too close to a river, which, as everyone knows, is where ghosts live.” p. 411

“We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure… I’m lonely…I’m a failure… I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them.” p. 433

Saint Anthony once wrote about having gone into the desert on silent retreat and being assaulted by all manner of visions–devils and angels, both… you can only tell which is which by the way you feel after the creature has left your company.” p. 435

The Meeting of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, Master of the Osservanza, 15th century. Via Wikimedia.

To Read: Saint Anthony

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