14
   

It was the best of sentences -

 
 
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2014 05:18 am
http://theamericanscholar.org/ten-best-sentences/#.UzQIdfldWXF

Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.

—James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

This private estate was far enough away from the explosion so that its bamboos, pines, laurel, and maples were still alive, and the green place invited refugees—partly because they believed that if the Americans came back, they would bomb only buildings; partly because the foliage seemed a center of coolness and life, and the estate’s exquisitely precise rock gardens, with their quiet pools and arching bridges, were very Japanese, normal, secure; and also partly (according to some who were there) because of an irresistible, atavistic urge to hide under leaves.

—John Hersey, Hiroshima

It was a fine cry—loud and long—but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.

—Toni Morrison, Sula

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?

—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

It was the United States of America in the cold late spring of 1967, and the market was steady and the G.N.P. high and a great many articulate people seemed to have a sense of high social purpose and it might have been a spring of brave hopes and national promise, but it was not, and more and more people had the uneasy apprehension that it was not.

—Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Anger was washed away in the river along with any obligation.

—Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

There are many pleasant fictions of the law in constant operation, but there is not one so pleasant or practically humorous as that which supposes every man to be of equal value in its impartial eye, and the benefits of all laws to be equally attainable by all men, without the smallest reference to the furniture of their pockets.

—Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

In many ways he was like America itself, big and strong, full of good intentions, a roll of fat jiggling at his belly, slow of foot but always plodding along, always there when you needed him, a believer in the virtues of simplicity and directness and hard labor.

—Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child.

—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

And a bonus:

Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.

—Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2014 08:27 pm
bookmark
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 04:29 pm
"I have been cussed, discussed, boycotted, talked to, talked about, lied to, lied about, hold up, hung up, robbed and nearly ruined; and, the only reason I am clinging to life is to see what the hell is coming next."
- Horace Dodge
0 Replies
 
Jack of Hearts
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 04:45 pm

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?
- Robert Browning
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 05:58 pm
Did Jane Austen really write 'neighbors'?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 06:03 pm
Pemberley's hypertext of Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 57, gives the following:

``That is his notion of Christian forgiveness! The rest of his letter is only about his dear Charlotte's situation, and his expectation of a young olive-branch. But, Lizzy, you look as if you did not enjoy it. You are not going to be Missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?''
``Oh!'' cried Elizabeth, ``I am excessively diverted. But it is so strange!''
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 06:05 pm
My favorite sentence from Austen is from Sense and Sensibility:

But there was no peculiar disgrace in this, for it was very much the case with the chief of their visitors, who almost all laboured under one or other of these disqualifications for being agreeable -- want of sense, either natural or improved, want of elegance, want of spirits, or want of temper.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 06:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, "as pretty as an airport".

-- Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 08:10 pm
@Thomas,
Bookmark
0 Replies
 
Jack of Hearts
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:05 pm
@edgarblythe,

“The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us; but he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. His attack is psychological, Damien. And powerful. So do not listen to him; do not listen! ”

― William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:36 pm
“My dear fellow,’ Burlingame said, ‘we sit here on a blind rock careening through space; we are all of us rushing headlong to the grave. Think you the worms will care, when anon they make a meal of you, whether you spent your moment sighing wigless in your chamber, or sacked the golden towns of Montezuma? Lookee, the day’s nigh spent; ’tis gone careening into time forever. Not a tale’s length past we lined our bowels with dinner, and already they growl for more. We are dying men, Ebenezer: i’faith, there’s time for naught but bold resolves!”

The Sot-weed Factor - John Barth
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 01:30 am
1 Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
10 That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
15 And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 10:59 am
@Jack of Hearts,

“The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us; but he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. His attack is psychological, Damien. And powerful. So do not listen to him; do not listen! ”

― William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist, speaking about the USA.

Smile
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 04:29 pm
You can pick from Dickens, almost at random, and find treasures.

She gave me one piece of intelligence which affected me very much, namely, that there had been a sale of the furniture at our old home, and that Mr. and Miss Murdstone were gone away, and the house was shut up, to be let or sold. God knows I had no part in it while they remained there, but it pained me to think of the dear old place as altogether abandoned; of the weeds growing tall in the garden, and the fallen leaves lying thick and wet upon the paths. I imagined how the winds of winter would howl round it, how the cold rain would beat upon the window-glass, how the moon would make ghosts on the walls of the empty rooms, watching their solitude all night. I thought afresh of the grave in the churchyard, underneath the tree: and it seemed as if the house were dead too, now, and all connected with my father and mother were faded away.

David Copperfield
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 10:03 pm
Quote:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis'd at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
William Shakespeare, Richard III
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 10:05 pm
Bookmark
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 10:50 pm
Quote:
Man will never be free until the last king has been strangled with the entrails of the last priest
Denis Diderot
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2014 11:46 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
There is a science, lately formulated,
Whereby one’s conscience may be liberated,
And any wrongful act you care to mention
May be redeemed by purity of intention.
Moliere, Tartuffe, IVv
0 Replies
 
hilogogifts
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Apr, 2014 11:15 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
yeah, noted , will back later
0 Replies
 
 

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