Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Quotes: Meditation. Meetings. Melancholy. Memories.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Water and meditation are wedded forever.
Meditation 341 Melville and Ishmael: “Yes, as everyone knows…meditation and water are wedded for ever.” Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

Meetings are great fun if you have nothing else to do.
Meetings 132 Douglas Dillon on Eisenhower cabinet meetings: Great fun if you didn’t have anything to do. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

JFK held cabinet meetings infrequently and only because “I suppose we should.”
Meetings 317 ...with few exceptions, he [Kennedy] held Cabinet meetings only because “I suppose we should--it’s been several weeks since the last one,” and with few exceptions these meetings bored him. Sorenson, Kennedy

He would replay the meeting, repeating what everyone said, telling what was meant and why it was said.
Meetings 363 [McNaughton would] replay the meeting…not just what each person had said, but what he meant when he said it and why he was saying it. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

The infectious coughs that always occur in meetings.
Meetings 458 ...and the cough which always seizes an assembly, when anything particular is going to be done, having been duly performed.... Dickens, Pickwick.

I am a gloomy gazer on the world to which I have no relation.
Melancholy 166 Johnson: I have…seemed to myself broken off from mankind; a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life, without any direction, or fixed point of view; a gloomy gazer on the world to which I had little relation. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Summer memories.
Memories 140 The thought of Deephaven will always bring to us our long quiet summer days, and reading aloud on the rocks by the sea, the fresh salt air, and the glory of the sunsets; the wail of the Sunday psalm-singing at church, the yellow lichens that grew over the trees, the houses, and the stone walls; our boating and wanderings ashore; our importance as members of society, and how kind every one was to us both. Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

Memories of home on the battle front.
Memories 230 He [Rostov] gazed at the snow flakes fluttering above the fire and thought of winter at home in Russia, the warm bright house, his soft fur coat, the swiftly-gliding sledge, his healthy body, and all the love and affection of his family. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

If you keep remembering things, you will begin to remember what happened before you were born.
Memories 616 ‘Do you know,’ said Natasha, ‘…that when one goes on and on recalling memories, in the end one begins to remember what happened before one was in the world?’ Tolstoi, War and Peace.

American soldiers grew homesick when a metaphor or memory entered their consciousness.
Memory 5 Americans away from home, from the home where they wanted to be and where their wives and sweethearts and parents wanted them—felt their guts twist any day when they were surprised by a metaphor or a memory, one they had almost suppressed. Blum, V Was for Victory

The world is impatient with precision, setting memories aside, callously forgetful of what had been done.
Memory vii Peter Gay: ...the world is...impatient with precision, anxious to set memories aside, callous, heartlessly forgetful. Bracher, The German Dictatorship.

What we remember are emotions, impressions, illusions, images and characters, the elements of fiction.
Memory 24 John Hersey: The things we remember for longer periods are emotions and impressions and illusions and images and characters: the elements of fiction. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Memory is the mortal enemy of peace of mind.
Memory 271 Cardenio: O memory, mortal enemy of peace of mind! Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part One: 1605.

My memory is good if someone owes me, but bad if I owe someone.
Memory 115 Socrates: Is your memory good?/ Strepsiades: Very good if someone owes me, very bad, /Alas, if I owe someone. Aristophanes, Clouds.

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