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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

Memorable Lines From Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited is one of those novels that’s filled with memorable passages and witty one-liners.

One minute you’ll be reading a reflective passage from Charles Ryder, the narrator. The next you’ll be reading some witty one-liners from his alcoholic socialite friend, Sebastian.

The novel has so many good quotes that I thought I’d pull out a few and share with you guys today. Take a look:

“I should like to bury something precious in every place where I’ve been happy and then, when I’m old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.”

“Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.”

“The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant people are. With anyone over fifty you can be fairly confident what’s been taught and what’s been left out. But these young people have such an intelligent, knowledgeable surface, and then the crust suddenly breaks and you look down into depths of confusion you didn’t know existed.”

“O God, make me good, but not yet.”

“[Change is] the only evidence of life.”

“No one could really hate a saint, could they? They can’t really hate God either. When they want to Hate Him and His saints they have to find something like themselves and pretends it’s God and hate that.”

I’m digging this novel.

I don’t think it’s going to be a top-10er in my rankings, but I believe, by the time I’ve finished reading it, I’ll be happy to recommend Brideshead Revisited.

Very curious to see where this one goes.

A Look Inside Castle Howard

What exactly is Castle Howard, you ask?

It’s the castle chosen to depict the Brideshead castle in both the mini-series and cinematic versions of Brideshead Revisited. And, as you can see, it’s beautiful.

The castle is located in North Yorkshire, England and has been the actual private residence of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years.

Construction began in 1699 and took more than 100 years to complete, using the design by Sir John Vanbrugh. The entire estate covers 13,000 acres.  Read more

150-Year-Old Mark Twain Stories Uncovered

The Guardian reports today that scholars at the University of California-Berkeley have uncovered and authenticated a cache of 150-year-old Mark Twain stories.

According to The Guardian: Read more

The Early Drafts of Blood Meridian

I read Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian way, way back in 2011 when this blog probably had about 10 followers. The novel was my seventh read from the Time list.

To this day, I still say it’s one of the most memorable books I’ve read. McCarthy’s prose, and lack of punctuation, take a bit of getting used to, but his characters are incredible. The Judge, for example, is one of the most frightening characters in all of literature.

Recently, Texas State University purchased 98 boxes of notes from McCarthy’s archive for $2 million. Included in the collection are the first drafts of Blood Meridian from 1975.

Below is the opening page from one of the early drafts: Read more

Kurt Vonnegut Grades His Own Novels

Love the transparency here.

Letters of Note recently tweeted a photo of Vonnegut’s grades of all his novels.

Some of you Kurt Vonnegut fans will appreciate this. Read more

Maggie Smith Shines As Miss Brodie

You ever discovered an actor or actress late in their acting career and wondered where you’ve been?

That’s how I feel about Maggie Smith.

Let me preface this by saying I’m not an avid movie watcher. Even when I do watch movies, I’m hard pressed to tell you a lot of the actors and actresses names—except for the really famous ones.

Anyway, I watch Downton Abbey with my wife, and we’ve always loved Maggie Smith’s character, Lady Violet. When we first watched the show, I recognized Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter movies. Read more

Naked Lunch On Trial For Obscenity

Boston, Massachusetts has often been the setting of some major trials, including the one going on right now for the Boston Marathon bomber.

But, back in 1962, a book went on trial. Yep, Naked Lunch—William Burroughs’ famous novel—faced the Boston court system after having been labeled obscene. The book, literally, was on trial.

Naked Lunch must have had bad attorneys because it lost. Read more


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