“If any reader of this book is in the grip of some habit of which he is deeply ashamed, I advise him not to give way to it in secret but to do it on television. No-one will pass him with averted gaze on the other side of the street. People will cross the road at the risk of losing their own lives in order to say, ‘We saw you on the telly.’”
— Quentin Crisp
How to Become a Virgin, 1981
A few inspirational quotes for Father’s Day…
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
— Attributed to Mark Twain
The Reader’s Digest, September 1939
“As fathers commonly go, it is seldom a misfortune to be fatherless; and considering the general run of sons, as seldom a misfortune to be childless.”
— Lord Chesterfield
“Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.”
— Oscar Wilde
An Ideal Husband, 1895
“A father is a banker provided by nature.”
Quoted in The Oxford Book of Aphorisms, 1983
“What a dreadful thing it must be to have a dull father.”
— Mary Mapes Dodge
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, 1865
“The thing to remember about fathers is, they’re men.
A girl has to keep it in mind:
They are dragon-seekers, bent on improbable rescues.
Scratch any father, you find
Someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors,
Believing change is a threat–
Like your first shoes with heels on, like your first bicycle
It took such months to get.”
— Phyllis McGinley
Times Three, 1960
“Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did…
“This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”
— Charles Darwin
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1887
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.
Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration.
Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise… Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.
The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Jenkins Lloyd Jones
“Big Rock Candy Mountains”
Deseret News, June 12, 1973, A4
“Cynicism: an extension of ennui maintaining that not only are you bored, you are in a state of disbelief as well. And you cannot be convinced otherwise. More than a pose, it’s also a handy time saver. By deflating your companion’s enthusiasm, you can cut conversation in half.”
— Lisa Birnbach
The Official Preppy Handbook, 1981