Autodidact: self-taught



by V. L. Craven

G Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
001. February was sobbing and blustering its lachrymose way into March…
002. [Two students were good naturedly arguing:] ‘No, Socrates!’ [in a way that I would say, 'No, sir.']
003. The Fellowes personality attracted and puzzled her very much. More than with any of the other dons, she felt that with Miss de Vine the devotion to the intellectual life was the result, not of the untroubled following of a natural or acquired bias, but of a powerful spiritual call, over-riding other possible tendencies and desires. She [Harriet Vane] felt inquisitive enough, without any prompting, about Miss de Vine’s past life; but inquiry was difficult, and she always emerged from an encounter feeling that she had told more than she had learnt. She could guess at a history of conflict, but she found it difficult to believe that Miss de Vine was unaware of her own repressions or unable to control them.
004. If one’s genuinely interested one knows how to be patient, and let time pass, as Queen Elizabeth said. Perhaps that’s the meaning of the phrase about genius being patience, which i always thought rather absurd. If you truly want a thing, you do not snatch; if you snatch, you do not really want it. Do you suppose that, if you find yourself taking pains about a thing, it’s a proof of its importance to you.
005. However loudly we may assert our own unworthiness, few of us are really offended by hearing the assertion contradicted by a disinterested party.
006. [One evening Harriet and the Dean of Shrewsbury had a fit of hilarity at a public function owing to an unfortunate clothing mishap, but in typical British vernacular:] On this occasion, Harriet and the Dean had disgraced themselves badly.
007. [Upon coming into contact with a most loathsome woman] Here, by special interposition of all the powers of evil, was Miss Schuster-Slatt…
008. [Lord Peter Wimsey successfully deflects a particularly tenacious don's attempts at drawing him into a conversation on Philosophy, this is perhaps the first time that Dr Baring had failed at her ploy.] Harriet says to Lord Peter, ‘Nervous young dons and students have before now been carried out in convulsions thought being afraid to say loudly that they didn’t know.
009. She went to bed thinking more about another person than about herself. This goes to prove that even minor poetry may have its practical uses.

G Gentlemen Prefers Blondes by Anita Loos
001. And I am beginning to think that family life is only for those who can’t stand it.
002. …if we could only manage to get all the songwriters to meet Henry’s Mother, it would be the quickest way to free the world of Mother songs.
003. And he does not even seem to be able to make people repent, because the only ones who ever want to listen to that kind of conversation are people whose morals are pure and who only want to listen to it talked about.
004. Because no matter how inferior your complex is, you can always meet very prominent people in New York, who have not got any more brains than you have.
005. And so I gave Henry a supscription to the Book of the Month Club that tells you the book you have to read every month to make your individuality stand out. And it really is remarkable, because it makes over 50,000 people read the same book every month.
006. And I think it is wonderful to have so many internal resources that you never have to go outside of yourself to see anything.
007. But Henry said that when girls like Dorothy do not pay, and pay, how are all the moral people going to get their satisfaction out of watching them suffer. And what would happen to Christianity?
008. …she gritted her teeth and let the Deputy Sheriff kiss her. And after it was all over, Dorothy says she felt like a little boy who had just found out that Santa Claus was the Sunday School Superintendent.
009. He asked Dorothy if she had not learned what it meant to be a Christian, since arriving in San Diego?
So Dorothy said that, as far as she could gather, it meant everything was OK so long as you don’t admit you enjoy it.
010. Dorothy is the cool type of temperament who quite frequently think that two is a crowd.
011. Well, the champagne was of the very best, so they had some more and the first thing Dorothy knew, she began to cheer up and feel better. And Dorothy says, that by the time the string quartet got through their program, she had reached a state where she could have been happy in a swamp.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub
01. I will take you places you’ve never been. I will show you things that you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you.”

G Glass Books of the Dream Eaters  by Gordon Dahlquist
001. … he was not one for speaking in general and still less to anyone for whom he might possess actual feelings.
002. He had no real idea if he was the hunter or the hunted, but knew that is things went bad he could be fighting several men at once, which was almost always fatal. If the group of men kept their heads, one of them was always presented with an opening, and their lone opponent, no matter how vigorous or skilled, would fall. That man’s only option was to attack at as many points as possible and through pure aggression separate the group into fragile individuals—who might then be prone to hesitation. Hesitation created tiny moments of single combat, winnowing the group, which in turn created more hesitation—ferocity pitted against presence of mind, fear trumping logic. In short, it meant attacking like a madman.
003. His coat was [???] enough but unkempt—in fact the man’s whole appearance gave the impression of a once-cherished article—a sofa, for example—that had been left in the rain and partially ruined. Svenson had seen men like him at his university and wondered if this man was some kind of scholar.
004. They say that enemies are often close in character—what separates them is but an attitude of mind…
005. So many people in the world were disappointing, who was to say the lack of any one more was a loss?
006. On one hand, he recognised that there were few things more ridiculous than the trappings of another person’s pleasure.

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