Quote for Thought: Bicycle

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“To ride a bicycle is in itself some protection against superstitious fears, since the bicycle is the product of pure reason applied to motion. Geometry at the service of man! Give me two spheres and a straight line and I will show you how far I can take them.”

Angela Carter, “The Lady of the House of Love” from The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

A random little quote I wanted to sheare with you. I’ve recently read Angela Carter’s short story collection, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, and I’m amazed by her writing. It’s brilliant. Her stories are dark, I’d even use the word disturbing, and each of them takes fairy tale imagery and makes something completely new out of it. For some reason, this quote stuck with me, even though there are so many wonderful ones. Maybe because it speaks of something mundane, almost random and not connected to fairy tales at all, but it’s still great. And it works great within the story, which I highly recommend. 🙂

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Quote for Thought: Our Hieroglyphic World

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In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.

– Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

I’m currently reading The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, and it reminded me of another novel of hers, one of my favourite books ever, The Age of Innocence.

The Age of Innocence speaks about many things, but I think that it’s most of all a novel about human behaviour, the social norms imposed on people, prejudice, hipocrisy and injustice. It also deals with love, and asks whether love is even possible in this superficial world. Yes, Wharton’s novel deals with the morals of 1870s New York society, but many of its issues are still present today, maybe just in a different way. From the day we were born, we had to learn how to fit into different roles that we were “assigned”. Many of these we didn’t chose. And they shaped us more than we are comfortable to accept.

The quote I chose doesn’t address these issues directly, even though the book does. The quote is maybe more about language, and how we express the “real thing”. We learn to express everything by words, but words are not “real”, they are arbitrary – as Saussure discussed in his semiotics, in a completely different context, of course. And words are signs which do not denote a particular “real thing” but a category of things.

The truth is, we rely entirely on words. Words are the way we see and understand the world, categorize things, put them in their proper boxes. Without language, we would not be that same beings that we are now. We are creatures of signs. Is it so strange that, in a certain way, our society is also based on putting everything, including people into boxes? Well, no, of course it’s not the same thing. And we are, I hope, intelligent enought to know that.

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3 Days 3 Quotes – Day 3

And, the last day of the tag has come… Who to quote but the great Terry Pratchett. I could quote him for days, but this time I had to choose just this one quote…

First of all, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post three different quotes in three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

And thank you Nicole, one more time, for thinkking of me and tagging me. 🙂

Now, here’s the quote of the day, from Terry Pratchett’s novel Small Gods:

Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.

So, yeah, I definitely recommend Terry Pratchett to everyone. XD And, the last three people I tag are: Shyla, Pen2Needle and breaktheenigma. Have fun with the tag, if you want to, of course. 🙂

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3 Days 3 Quotes – Day 1

First of all, thank you so much Nicole for tagging me! This is such a simple but wonderful tag. Nicole’s blog, Sorry, I’m Booked, is really great and you should all check it out. 😉

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post three different quotes in three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

I decided to start with a quote from my favourite book, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It’s a long one, but it just couldn’t be shortened. XD

These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle, and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be base and vicious, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation, a condition more abject than that of the blind mole or harmless worm. For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or even why there were laws and governments; but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased, and I turned away with disgust and loathing.

The bloggers I nominate today are: Ellie MaloneyJeanyjanez and Ren. Of course, no pressure, you don’t have to do the tag. 🙂

Happy blogging!

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Quote for Thought: Life goes on

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“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost

Life can’t really be explained and it has no rules, even when certain magazines claim there are. It is as diverse as the people living it. But we all know one thing for sure – life can be hard. It doesn’t ask for our opinion, it just goes on, whether you had the time and strength to keep up or not. You will get sad, disappointed, let down, insecure, anxious, stressed, and hurt. But there will be times you’ll simply feel good about yourself. You will look back on your past sorrow and feel no pain at all.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not even trying to be inspirational. If you’re sad, be sad. Cry. Hit your pillow. And I admit that sometimes there will be things in your life that you will never be able to remember without evoking some old feelings. Time doesn’t always heal all of our wounds, but it teaches us to live with them. Then, you will remember something, or someone, and still feel a little bit of that past hurt. But you will also know that you have survived it. You will say to yourself: “I feel much better now.” You will know: “My life is better today.” And it will give you strength to go on.

Quote for Thought: In Appreciation of Mary Shelley

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But in truth, neither the lonely meditations of the hermit nor the turmulos raptures of the reveller, are capable of satisfying man’s heart. From the one we gather unquiet speculation, from the other satiety. The mind flags beneath the weight of thought, and droops in the heartless intercourse of those whose sole aim is amusement. There is no fruition in their vacant kindness, and sharp rocks lurk beneath the smiling ripples of these shallow waters.

Mary Shelley, The Last Man

Yes, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. But it wasn’t the only book she wrote. Frankenstein is actually one of my favourite books ever, which I mentioned in my My Top 7 Books post, but The Last Man should definitely not be overlooked.

The Last Man is great and largely underappreciated, and its Goodreads rating is horrible. Most people explain their dislike for this book in terms of “it’s not SciFi enough”. And that’s quite true. Yes, the topic is the end of humanity, but in a way it also isn’t. When Mary Shelley wrote it, she left like she was the last of her “kind”, the last Romantic who was still alive. She was the only one to witness the end of an era. She was the last man.

The main characters in The Last Man are fictional versions of Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. A large part of the book deals with their ideals and the different ways they perceived the world. If you are interested in Romanticism, it’s definitely a book you should read. Not to mention Mary Shelley’s wonderful, poetic language and vivid imagery. She was a truly great author. And a perceptive one.

Mary Shelley looked up to the idealism of Percy Shelley, which can be noticed in her novel. However, she herself seems to have been more of a realist, which is why I chose this particular quote to share with you. In this paragraph, Mary Shelley concludes that a person cannot live only on idealism and meditation, as she puts it. People need to experience things, live their lives to the fullest. But at the same time, those who only live for small pleasures remain shallow as well. People are complex, and they need both. Interestingly, this quote also seems to unite the worldviews of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.

To be honest, no one can be certain what these authors truly thought of each other, but it’s interesting to speculate and this book offers an insight into Mary Shelley’s mind, even though it may be wrong to entirely accept fiction as fact. In any case, I felt I should defend this book from its negative reviews and at least briefly put in its rightful perspective. I just have a lot of love for the Romantics and I wish to spread it! 🙂

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Quote for Thought: Weeds are Flowers, too

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My inner child is very much alive and strong. So is my love for plushies. And for Eeyore. This little donkey may be the most pessimistic character of children’s literature, but I find him adorable.

And this quote is perfect. We shouldn’t judge people easily, especially before getting to now them. Everyone has a story to tell. Looks can be deceiving. After all, weeds are just plants who happen to find themselves in the wrong place, in the wrong time.