Another quotation from Jane (via Chris Ambidge), this time from Northanger Abbey (1817):
From Chris Ambidge, this quotation from a Jane Austen letter of September 18th, 1796:
Chris reports hot weather in Toronto, noting that he’s confronted with lecture halls jammed with lots of people, each emitting 100 watts, and adding that 8 1/2 adults give off as much heat as a toaster. So he’s feeling rather inelegant.
From a re-run of the Law & Order episode “Shangri-La” (2002), Assistant D.A. Jack McCoy (played by Sam Waterston) to Associate D.A. Serena Southerlyn (played by Elisabeth Röhm):
Never get Freudian with a man with a pickle.
(McCoy is of course eating a pickle during their office conversation.)
This is what I took down as the scene went by, and what many others report. But some have it as the weightier:
Never get Freudian with a man holding a pickle.
Either way, an entertaining and memorable quotation.
Today’s Calvin and Hobbes, with a classical allusion:
Seize the day!
Talk Like a Pirate Day isn’t until September 19th, but George Takei posted this entertaining piratical moment (passed on to me by Victor Steinbok) recently, and I don’t want to wait two months to post it here:
That would be Alexander Pope (“To err is human; to forgive, divine”, from An Essay on Criticism) crossed with stereotypical pirate talk (“Arr, me hearties!”).
A postcard from Chris Ambidge, with a lovely quotation from a May 31, 1811 letter of Jane Austen’s:
Letting her correspondent down gently: rather than asserting baldly that the mulberry trees are not alive (or even more baldy, that they are dead), Austen merely appears to be reporting her mental state about the matter, her fears. Nevertheless, afraid with a complement clause is often used to convey the content of the complement clause; the hedging with afraid in such cases is a matter of politeness, rather than truth value. Which understanding is intended is something you have to work out from the context.
Though there is some uncertainty in the date (June 6th is the date on the death certificate), today is the day on my calendar for remembering the death of my husband-equivalent, Jacques Transue, who died ten years ago after twelve years of terrible decline from radiation-caused dementia. There’s a lot I could say about Jacques, our life together, and the appalling course of his death — a posting of mine on aphasia links to a brief medical history here and to notes on Jacques’s linguistic abilities from 1998-2002 here, and has some telling of the last things he was able to say — but here’s a story about his final days.
The miracle of those last days was that, through a complex history that isn’t relevant here, my grand-daughter Opal was conceived then. When Jacques’s family heard the news that our daughter Elizabeth was pregnant, they were delighted; his sister-in-law Virginia said at the time, with pleasure, “In the midst of death we are in life”.
In the latest (3/11/13) New Yorker, in a brief review of A Good Day to Die Hard — will it never stop? — this:
The action is in Russia, as John McClane (Bruce Willis) decamps to Moscow in search of hs errant son Jack (Jai Courtney), who turns out to be working for the C.I.A. Father and child have never truly bonded, so this is a chance to rediscover their love and trust by engaging in traffic-mashing car chases and widespread homicide.
Crucial piece bold-faced. Nice rhythm, surprising word choices. Admirable.
Posted by Mike McKinley on Facebook this morning:
Ah, I recognized this as a variant of a quotation I have long admired. From Boswell’s Life of Johnson, courtesy of the Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page:
Johnson having argued for some time with a pertinacious gentleman; his opponent, who had talked in a very puzzling manner, happened to say, “I don’t understand you, Sir;” upon which Johnson observed, “Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.”