Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quotes: Nabokov. Names. National Socialism. Nationalities. Native Americans.

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

Lolita is an account of the author’s love for the English language.
Nabokov 288 After Olympia Press in Paris, published the book [Lolita], an American critic suggested that Lolita was the record of my love affair with the romantic novel...substitution [of] “English language” for “romantic novel” would make this elegant formula more correct. Nabokov, Lolita.

Careful what names you give to kids; they’ll grow up to fit them; “John” will be a different kid from “Rudolph.”
Names 172 John Gardner: If you name a kid John, he’ll grow up a different kid than if you named him Rudolph. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

National Socialism
National Socialism’s successes weakened any possible opposition.
National Socialism 398 The next three years the regime went from one success to another, which weakened the ranks of the opposition and made any counteraction hopeless. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

National Socialism’s personnel: “Desk Criminals.”
National Socialist 286 The National Socialist elite: “Desk criminals.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship

In France, everybody thinks of himself as Napoleon; in Italy, everybody thinks he’s Christ.
Nationalities 247 I like France, where everybody thinks he’s Napoleon—down here [Italy] everybody thinks he’s Christ. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

In England you can do it if it’s not specifically forbidden; in Germany you can’t do it unless it is specifically allowed.
Nationalities 40 …in England everything is allowed except what is specifically forbidden; in Germany everything is forbidden except what is specifically allowed. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

The Irish are fair; they never speak well of one another.
Nationalities 522 Johnson: The Irish are a fair people; --they never speak well of one another. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

The French are conceited because they think they are irresistible.
Nationalities iii A Frenchman’s conceit springs from his belief that mentally and physically he is irresistibly fascinating both to men and women. Introduction. Quoted by R. Edmonds. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Englishmen think they always know the correct thing to do and that everything they do is right.
Nationalities iii The Englishman’s self assurance comes from being a citizen of the best-organized kingdom in the world, and because as an Englishman he always knows what is the correct thing to do, and that everything he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly right. Introduction. Quoted by R. Edmonds. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Italians are excitable, forgetting themselves and others.
Nationalities iii An Italian is conceited because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. Introduction. Quoted by R. Edmonds. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Russians are conceited because they don’t know anything and don’t want to know anything.
Nationalities iii A Russian is conceited because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that it is possible to know anything completely. Introduction. Quoted by R. Edmonds. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Germans are conceited because they think they have the truth in science and that is absolute truth.
Nationalities iii A conceited German is the worst of them all…because he imagines that he possesses the truth in science…which for him is absolute truth. Introduction. Quoted by R. Edmonds. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Native Americans
It is said of North American Indians that if the torture abates, they will sleep until the fire is reapplied.
Native Americans 179 …it is mentioned of the North American Indians, when at the stake of torture, that on the least intermission of agony, they will sleep until the fire is applied to awaken them. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

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