Quote for Thought: The Handmaid’s Tale

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“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

This quote really rings true to me. Most people see the bad things that are going on, but choose to ignore it. Especially if it’s something that’s happening to someone else. While I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale, some parts reminded me of the famous WWII-related poem by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And, in the end, what can one little voice do? How can I stop something that is so much larger than me? That’s a question no one really has an answer to. Turning the head away is the easy way. It gives us the comfort of not being seen, the freedom to live on, without danger.

We were the people who were not in the papers. We were the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m not an optimist, or an idealist, so I can’t really find a good answer to all of this. To be honest, sometimes I don’t have faith in people, at all. But, hopefully, everything that’s going on in the world right now is not leading to another horrible period in history. And hopefully, we will always be able to speak up when we feel the need to.

Anonymous Bookaholics Tag #amreading

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Hi, bloggers! Once again, I haven’t posted in a while… I’ve beeen quite busy. But, now, the lovely Nicole from Sorry, I’m Booked tagged me to do this fun tag, and I had to do it. Thanks, Nicole, so much 🙂 Let’s start!

My name is Irena and I’m a bookaholic. Here are my answers:

What Do You Like About New Books?

Everything! 😄 I like the excitement you get from getting a new book, especially if it’s a book you’ve been wanting to read for a while. And the smell! New books smell amazing. 😉

How Often Do You Buy New Books?

It depends. Now, when I have a job, I buy more than before, becuse I can. 😄 I’m actually not an impulse buyer, so I don’t often get carried away.

Bookstore Or Online Shopping — Which Do You Prefer?

I love browsing thrugh the books in a bookstore, but bookstores here suck. 😥 So, unfortunately, online shopping is the only way for me to get the books I want. Especially if I want to read them in English, not in translation. I don’t like reading translated books if I can read them in their original language.

Do You Have A Favorite Bookshop?

Well, as you can see in the previous answer, not really… There is only one bookstore that I like, but it’s not that great… When it comes to online shopping, I order books from Book Depository.

Do You Pre-Order Books?

Very rarely. Most of the books were already published when I read them. 😄 I guess people mostly pre-order books from series, because they can’t wait to see what happens next, but I don’t read many series, so this doesn’t really apply to me.

Do You Have A Monthly Book-Buying Limit?

Not really. 😄

Book-Buying Bans, Are They Something For You?

As I said, I don’t really have a problem with over-buying. (Is that even a word?) I don’t like to pile up too many books, and having a huge TBR pile. So there’s no need for me to be on a book-buying ban.

How Big Is Your Wish List?

I have about 200 books on my Goodreads TBR, but I’m sure there’s even more on my mind. 😄

Which Three Books From Your Wish List Do You Wish You Owned Right Now?

Just three? This is hard… 😄
Let’s say: Fudoki by Kij Johnson, Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess, and The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell (though it’s the first in a series, so I’d have to get the others, too. ;)).

In the end, I have to tag a few people. So, if you want to do it, I’d be happy to hear your answers: JeanyjanezMistyThat Weird Brown Girl , Genie Reads

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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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Quote for Thought: Just Write!

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“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

-Toni Morrison

I haven’t done this kind of post in a while, and this time it’s more inspirational than food for thought. I love this quote by the wonderful Toni Morrison. I love how it makes you want to write even more. It reminds you that you truly have something to say, that you can offer something new to the world. You are writing something that nobody has written before.

There are many authors here on WordPress, and I wanted to share this quote with all of you, even if you’ve already heard it. It’s nice to be reminded that your writing is important. Art is important. Expressing yourself is important. It’s neccessary. It’s wonderful! 🙂

And thank you, Toni Morrison! She is a great writer, and she even had a mural depicting her, in Spain. Apparently, it’s been removed, which is really sad…

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Mural depicting Toni Morrison in Vitoria, Spain. Picture from Wikipedia.

 

 

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. 😄 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 2

It’s day two of the tag! I would once again like to thank Nicole for tagging me! 🙂

Here are the rules for the tag:

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

And my today’s quote is from Just Kids, a great book by Patti Smith:

I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth.

Today I nominate these wonderful bloggers: Lia, Erika and Emma. You are, of course, under no obligation to do the tag, but if you think it might be fun I’d love to hear the quotes you like. 🙂

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