My quotes

In case you wondered where do I get those quotations I am posting here every other week or so from: I have lots of quotes written down. I began putting them down from the books I was currently reading as far back as my third year in the Tech, and never stopped since then.

I have quotations of all sorts. Some express opinions I agree with, or partly agree at least (Buddy Glass/J. D. Salinger: I don’t imagine it’s precisely the thing I’m looking for, but I can’t simply throw it out.), some look as though they were written to describe some part of my life or some treat of my character – not always favourably (Saleem Sinai/Salman Rushdie: I can be quite tough in my self-judgements when I choose), some evoke a particular mood (“Flambeau,” said Father Brown, “there is a long seat there under the veranda, where we can smoke out of the rain. You are my only friend in the world, and I want to talk to you. Or, perhaps, be silent with you.”), a few are simply fun, and so forth. Naturally, most of them cannot be pigeonholed into a single category.

Some are very short. Some are very long.

Mornings are my very worst hours. (King David/Joseph Heller: God Knows)

– Naw, man, naw; ah admire the boys… they know that the game isnae fuckin straight. They know that there’s a Government fill ay dull, boring bastards who gie the likes ay us fuck all and they expect ye tae be as miserable as they are. What they hate is when yir no, in spite ay aw thair fuckin efforts. What these cunt fail tae understand is that club and drug money is not a fuckin luxury. It’s a fuckin essential.
– How can ye say that?
– Because we are social, collective fucking animals and we need to be together and have a good time. It’s a basic state of being alive. A basic fuckin right. These Government cunts, because they’re power junkies, they are just incapable of having a good fuckin time so they want everybody else tae feel guilty, tae stey in wee boxes and devote their worthless lives tae rearing the next generation of factory fodder or sodgers or dole moles for the state. It’s these boys’ duty as human fuckin beings tae go oot clubbin and partying wi their friends. Now, they need tae eat from time to time, it’s obviously important, but it’s less important than having a good fuckin time.
(Lloyd Buist/Irvine Welsh: Ecstasy)

Sometimes I have more than one quote for the same thing.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. (Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray)

A story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. (Ethan Allen Hawley/John Steinbeck: The Winter of Our Discontent)

The attempt to peer into the very core of a text, to possess once and for all its meaning, is vain – it is only ourselves that we find there, not the work itself. (Morris Zapp/David Lodge: Small World)

Since last year I am filling a fourth notebook with them. Inevitably, it became rather difficult to find a particular quotation when I needed it. About a year ago I began copying all those handwritten notebooks into my digital notebook, alphabetically (by authors) rather than chronologically this time. Today I eventually finished the work. The file with those that their authors originally wrote in English, Gaelic or Scots has 307kB, the Czech&Slovak one 77kB, and the one for the rest 54kB. Even so it wouldn’t take so long – but I tried (and quite often succeeded) to find the original versions of quotes I had previously only known in translations. (It was worth it. The difference was sometimes considerable.)

Friends sometimes accuse me of citing other people too often. Why shouldn’t I, having such a treasure?



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