david peace. sounds dreary doesnt it.
38: Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.
55: Hatred of favourites is nothing but love of favour. Resentment at not enjoying it finds consolation and balm in contempt for those who do, and we withhold our own respect since we cannot deprive them of what commands that of everybody else.
93: Old people are fond of giving good advice; it consoles them for no longer being capable of setting a bad example.
122: When we resist our passions it is more on account of their weakness than our strength.
138: We would rather run ourselves down than not talk about ourselves at all.
149: To refuse to accept praise is to want to be praised twice over.
169: We are held to our duty by laziness and timidity, but often our virtue gets all the credit.
171: The virtues lose themselves in self-interest like rivers in the sea.
192: When the vices gives us up we flatter ourselves that we are giving them up.
199: Desire to appear clever often prevents our becoming so.
218: Hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue.
234: Those who obstinately oppose the most widely-held opinions more often do so because of pride than lack of intelligence. They find the best places in the right set already taken, and they do not want back seats.
262: There is no passion in which love of self rules so despotically as love, and we are always more inclined to sacrifice the loved one's tranquility than to lose our own.
304: We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those who find us boring.
321: We are nearer loving those who hate us than loving those who love us more than we want.
323: Our wisdom is just as much at the mercy of chance as our property.
327: We own up to minor failings, but only so as to convince others that we have no major ones.
398: Of all our shortcomings the one we most willingly own up to is laziness: we persuade ourselves that it is bound up with all the gentler virtues and that it merely suspends the activities of the others without wholly destroying them.
409: We should often blush at our noblest deeds if the world were to sell all their underlying motives.
414: The crazy and the stupid can only see with their passing emotions.
420: Often we believe ourselves longsuffering in adversity when in fact we are merely prostrated, and we undergo such adversity without daring to face it, like cowards who let themselves be killed for fear of defending themselves.
432: To praise noble deeds unreservedly is in a sense to have a share in them.
439: There are few things we should keenly desire if we really understood what we wanted.
462: The very pride that makes us condemn failings from which we think we are exempt leads us to despise good qualities we do not possess.
469: We never desire passionately what we desire through reason alone.
472: Pride, like the other passions, has its oddities; we are ashamed to admit we are jealous, and yet we pride ourselves on having been so and on being able to be so.
507: The world is full of pots jeering at kettles.
508: Those who overrate their nobility are not sufficiently mindful of its origins.
526: We are quick to criticise the faults of others, but slow to use those faults to correct our own.
527: The human condition is so wretched that while bending his every action to pander to his passions man never ceases groaning against their tyranny...
567: Each one of us finds in others the very faults others find in us.
589: The philosophers, and Seneca above all, have not done away with men's crimes through their precepts; all they have done is to use them to build up their own pride.
592: The subtlest wisdom can produce the subtlest folly.
608: Some crimes become innocent and even glorified by their sheer impudence, number, and enormity. This is why public thefts become skilful moves, and annexing provinces without justification is called making conquests.
611: Those who are incapable of committing great crimes do not readily suspect them in others.
633: To safeguard one's health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed.
This sounds like a book written by someone who'd read some of Ian Fleming's 007 novels and thought the basic premise was quite cool, but that they could do with having all the woke, feminist nonsense stripped out of them.Then I moved on to Delta Factor by Mickey Spillane. Our gentleman hero Morgan the Raider, despite being wanted for a forty million dollar heist, is the only person the US government knows with the skillset to get himself arrested in a Central American country and escape from the maximum security prison while rescuing a scientist who is imprisoned there.
Through a complex but entirely plausible sequence of events, Morgan finds himself blackmailed by a taskforce consisting of the CIA, FBI and all other US secret agencies to enter into a marriage of convenience with an impossibly sexy but deadly agent who is there to spy on him, and then sneak into the country in question and commit premise the right crime.
Of course the situation leads to a certain amount of sexual tension and competitive banter - as here when we see the protagonist wittily threatening to rape the agent.
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As long as she's scared of you I guess...
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Obviously these books come from a different time... a simpler time when men where men and cancelling had not been invented.
Knowing my affection for Dickens a number of people had asked if I had read Demon Copperhead - a novel ‘based’ on Copperfield and based in the Appalachians. I finally got round to it this month. It’s won a load of awards and has spawned a number of broadsheet articles about how it addresses issues including the opiod crisis.
PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD
Well…I finished it. But I found it really hard to like it. There was a strong voice and local detail - a real sense of place. But my problem was that I know David Copperfield and it pretty much follows that all the way - so I knew from early on he’d get together with Angus, that Betsy Trottwood would take her in and that the Steerforth would be a shit and ruin that poor girl. However it rattled along with great pace. But I suppose it did grate a little that she always had to tell us, she doesn’t leave much work for the reader if you know what I mean.
Dick is a great character and I’d have liked more of him. I felt she didn’t know what to do with the Uriah Heep character and his true evil never got space to develop. The swerve into the oxy crisis was in many ways the most original but also heavily polemical - like Dickens I suppose. The local colour was the best bit and it felt credible.
The problem I had was that it was the Copperfield plot but the writing just wasn’t as good. It’s worth reading something like this to remind you of what your benchmarks are, what you want from a book.
This sounds like a book written by someone who'd read some of Ian Fleming's 007 novels and thought the basic premise was quite cool, but that they could do with having all the woke, feminist nonsense stripped out of them.
I don't really know - there are plenty of examples where a previous novel (or play) has been used as a structural device, Ulysses for example but usually it is hinted at, something to give it a shape but ultimately a new work is being created. Recently Preta Taneja used King Lear and set it in modern India but the whole enterprise didn't feel in debt to Shakespeare, just a starting point for her to explore some similar themes and relationships whilst making something new. Copperhead, on the other hand, wouldn't really exist without Copperfield.What ultimately do you think is the point of such a book?
I don't really know - there are plenty of examples where a previous novel (or play) has been used as a structural device, Ulysses for example but usually it is hinted at, something to give it a shape but ultimately a new work is being created. Recently Preta Taneja used King Lear and set it in modern India but the whole enterprise didn't feel in debt to Shakespeare, just a starting point for her to explore some similar themes and relationships whilst making something new. Copperhead, on the other hand, wouldn't really exist without Copperfield.