Did you ever wonder if you’re on the right path, if your career reflects your true self? While you sip your morning coffee and gaze at that stack of paperwork on your desk, here’s a few literary quotes concerning the “true self” on which to meditate.
“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
- Nathanial Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
“He remembered that she was pretty, and, more, that she had a special grace in the intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites–and escapes.”
- Joseph Conrad, Victory
“Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.”
- W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence
“This above all,–to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
The Things by Peter Watts, a Hugo Award Nominee for Best Short Story from Clarkesworld Magazine
“I am being Blair. I escape out the back as the world comes in through the front.
“I am being Copper. I am rising from the dead.
“I am being Childs. I am guarding the main entrance.
“The names don’t matter. They are placeholders, nothing more; all biomass is interchangeable. What matters is that these are all that is left of me. The world has burned everything else.”
“This is Earl Sandt” by Robert Olin Butler, from The Georgia Review
“I’ve seen a man die, but not like this. There was silence suddenly around us when he disappeared beyond the trees, silence after terrible sounds, that hammering of his engine, the engine of his aeroplane, and the other sound, after.”
A Joke From Penury by Paul Kavanagh, from Bull: Men’s Fiction
“The penury of my childhood has always been a sore that seemed to attract the salt. It was a subject that I avoided with great care. It was painful, profoundly upsetting, and so incongruous among such a group of people that when I introduced the subject it seemed not myself who began removing their coats with good cheer, laughing, joking, so genuinely excited I was not only forthcoming about the penury I had endured but also, without a hint of compunction, exaggerating.”
“Jo Nesbø doesn’t seem like the kind of person who spends his days dreaming up gruesome, inventive ways to murder people.
“The 51-year-old former stockbroker sings in one of Norway’s most popular folk-rock bands. … He writes wacky children’s books with titles such as “Doktor Proktors prompepulver” (“Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder”).”
Fairy Tales and Holy Week by Daniel McInerny [File this one under 'better late than never']
“It may be a stretch, but I believe fairy tales, or many of them at any rate, fall into the category of stories that depict golden ages, and thus are dreams of Eden-as well as of that greater Paradise of which Eden itself is but a dream.”
Reviews and Interviews
Reading My Father: A Memoir by Alexandra Styron – reviewed by James E. Person, The Washington Times
“Seated in what appears to be the den of her family home, a girl of about 7, tangle-haired and pretty, gazes with a loving smile at her daddy, novelist William Styron (1925-2006). He is telling a story, energetically gesturing and speaking into the middle of the room, ignoring young Alexandra. The main thing that strikes the viewer is the physical and spiritual distance between father and daughter. In her own way, the little girl is reaching out in love. But the great man is unaware of that, for he is caught up entirely in a world of his own.”
“Recently, the web was aflutter with the news that in 2012 Baltimore plans to cut off funding for its Poe House. This imminent closing has raised again the question of which city can call itself the Poe city. Six cities lay claim to Edgar Allan Poe: Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Richmond, and New York.”
Superman Renounces American Citizenship – The Man of Steel now stands for Truth, Justice, and the U.N. Way.
“The Man of Steel, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938, has always been recognized as a devoted American warrior who constantly fought evil, but as of Thursday ["in Action Comics' new record-breaking 900th issue"], he is no longer the country’s own to claim.”
“The finalists for the 2011 Hugo Awards have been announced. The Hugo Awards have been given since 1953, and every year since 1955, by the annual World Science Fiction Convention (the “Worldcon”). The first Worldcon occurred in New York City in 1939, and Worldcons have been held annually since then except during World War II.”
“BULL is now one of five finalists up to win 100K in funding through Dockers’ (Levi’s) “Wear the Pants” Contest. It’s an unprecedented sum for a lit journal, and an unprecedented chance for the literary community to show its strength in numbers.”
From the Trailer Park – Book trailers for recent novels
Poetry Corner – Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Light, so low upon earth,
You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.
Oh, the woods and the meadows,
Woods where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stay’d to be kind,
Meadows in which we met!
Light, so low in the vale
You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,
And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,
By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and heart,
Into my heart and my blood!
Heart, are you great enough
For a love that never tires?
O’ heart, are you great enough for love?
I have heard of thorns and briers,
Over the meadow and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
Flash for a million miles.