Sunday, June 24, 2007

Intoxication. Introversion. Irish. Irony. Isolation. Itching and Scratching.

He was fully conscious of every sense in his body.
Intoxication 359 His [Lancelot’s] blood might have had too much oxygen in it, from the way he was conscious of every stone in every wall, and all the colors of the valley, and the joyful stepping of his horse. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Extreme introversion is a sign of immaturity.
Introversion 5 Pearl Buck: Introversion, at least if extreme, is a sign of mental and spiritual immaturity. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The introvert thinks himself interesting; the extrovert is bored with himself and turns outward toward society.
Introvert, extrovert 5 Pearl Buck: the only difference that seems practical between an introvert and extrovert is that the introvert thinks himself the most interesting person in the world, and the extrovert finds himself boring and so gladly turns to anybody else he can find. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The Irish point of view: politics, language, romantic sense of history, physical daring, joy in living, life as both comedy and tragedy.
Irish 80 [The Irishness of the Kennedy family]: ...the relish for politics, the love of language, the romantic sense of history, the admiration for physical daring...the joy in living, the view of life as comedy and as tragedy. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The Irish know that the world will inevitably break their hearts.
Irish 937 Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The joy of the war’s ending contrasted with the agony that these men had died in the final moments of that war.
Irony 224 Surrounded everywhere by returning service men and scenes of joyous reunion, it all seemed too much to comprehend, too much to bear. Childers, Wings of Morning

I cannot interpret irony, so I will answer the plain meaning of your words.
Irony 261 “Mr. Waverley,” answered Talbot, “I am dull at apprehending irony; and therefore I shall answer your words according to their plain meaning.” Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Do-gooder lady gives soldier a tract against dancing; both his legs have been shot off.
Irony 342 Wounded soldier laughing at a tract given him by a well-dressed do-gooder lady: “Mr. President, how can I help laughing…she has given me a tract on the ‘Sin of Dancing’ and both of my legs are shot off.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The general was hit in the brain after saying to his men: They can’t hit an elephant at that distance.
Irony 525 Grant’s pride and joy among major generals, the dauntless and priceless John Sedgwick, took a sharpshooter’s bullet in his brain one May day as he smiled in jest to his soldiers, his last words, “Don’t duck; they couldn’t hit an elephant at that distance.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Lincoln could never kill a chicken, yet he was responsible for the carnage of the Civil War.
Irony 658 Lincoln: …don’t it seem strange…that I who could never so much cut off the head of a chicken, should be elected, or selected, into the midst of all this blood? Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The Chinese looked different from whites, but they excelled in applying the Protestant work ethic.
Irony 327 Almanac of American History: “Aside from vicious racial antipathy, there is also the fact that the Chinese work harder, better and longer for less money than anyone else”…in other words, the Chinese created problems because, even though they looked different from whites, they seemed fervently to practice the Protestant work ethic. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The irony of asking Japanese-Americans to swear allegiance to the country that has imprisoned them.
Irony 331 In addition to the combat request [recruiting Japanese-Americans into the Armed Forces in WWII] all Japanese Americans were asked to renounce allegiance to the Japanese Emperor…irony of asking American citizens, detained because of their ancestry, to profess loyalty to the country that denied them the full rights of citizenship was not lost on residents of those camps…comparable to asking Joe Dimaggio, the son of Italian immigrants, to forswear allegiance to Mussolini. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Sam. Johnson’s view of a patron: watches a man drowning, but helps him only after he has reached safety.
Irony 156 Johnson to the Right Honorable the Earl of Chesterfield: Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

The Russians did everything to prevent the only thing that could save them; the French did everything to succeed at what would destroy them.
Irony 811 ...but on the Russian side every effort [without knowing it] was systematically directed towards preventing the only thing that could save Russia, while on the French side, despite Napoleon’s experience and so-called military genius, every exertion was made to push on to Moscow at the end of the summer, that is, to do the very thing that was bound to lead to destruction. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Resigned to isolation, Schweitzer became world famous.
Irony 15 Prepared to sacrifice his influence as philosopher and scholar and to accept oblivion and isolation in the jungle, he [Albert Schweitzer] found years later that his influence had spanned the world. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

A man contemplating suicide has the good fortune to be murdered.
Irony 155 …my fortune somewhat resembled that of a person who should entertain an idea of committing suicide, and, altogether beyond his hopes, meet with the good hap to be murdered. Introductory: “The Custom House.” Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

What you wrote about other men’s wives, your own wife did to you.
Irony 402 Dionysus to Euripides: The things you had written of other men’s wives, your own inflicted on you, sir! Aristophanes, Frogs.

People in Maine were so isolated that even funerals became social gatherings.
Isolation 468 To see these affectionate meetings and then the reluctant partings, gave one a new idea of the isolation in which it was possible to live in that…thinly settled region[;] they did not expect to see one another again very soon; the steady, hard work on the farms, the difficulty of getting from place to place, especially in winter when boats were laid up, gave double value to any occasion which could bring a large number of families together[;] even funerals in this country of the pointed firs were not without their social advantages and satisfactions. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Itching and Scratching
Itching in one place in your body soon spreads to every other place.
Itching and scratching 512 First something tickles your right knee, and then the same sensation irritates your left…it comes again in the arms…you have a sudden relapse in the nose, which you rub as if to rub it off. Dickens, Pickwick.

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