“Opposite meaning. Once, holidays meant the time when you went away."
“Yes. I remember hearing that. Primitive stuff. Age of Scarcity.”
“People had to do all the work and create wealth for themselves and society and so they couldn’t afford to take very much time off. So they worked for, say, half the day, most days of the year and then had an allocation of days they could take off, having saved up enough exchange collatoral-“
“Money. Technical term.”
“-in the meantime. So they took the time off and they went away.”—Iain M. Banks, Look to Windward
“What fun! What fun to be off again, off on the road with dwarves! This is what I have really been longing for, for years! Goodbye Gandalf! Take care! I don’t care. Don’t you worry about me! I am as happy now as I have ever been, and that is saying a great deal. But the time has come. I am being swept off my feet at last.”—Bilbo in The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien.
I arrived back in Manchester Airport late last night after visiting Lyuba in Bulgaria. My jar of leftover Bulgarian Lev is now very well stocked.
I’ve been wanting to read The Lord of the RIngs the whole time I was away, for some reason. Now I’ve returned to my books, including not a few copies of LOTR, I’ve decided I’m going to read the nice hardback illustrated editions that I bought from Oxfam books during my first ever term in Oxford.
Anyway, I’m home now, and I read a few books while I was away (me and Lyuba are a very boring couple like that) so more quotes will follow soon! Expect Iain M. Banks and Terry Pratchett!
“Fuck your soul, stranger," Mr. First laughed. "You’d better hope there’s no such thing. There’s people that are natural eaters and there’s those that are always going to get eaten, and I can’t see that their souls are going to be any different, so as you’re obviously one of those that are always going to get eaten, you’d better hope there isn’t any such thing. That’s your best bet, believe me." Mr. First brought out the rag he had taken from Horza’s mouth. He tied it back there, saying, "No—no soul at all would be the best thing for you, friend. But if it turns out you have got one, you come back and tell me, so I can have a good laugh, right?”—Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks, pp. 174-5. (via idaman008)
“The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits. On the French coast
The light gleams
And is gone. The cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.”—Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach
“When I’m talking to someone I think ‘can I use this dialogue in a book,’" said Luis. “If the answer is no I try talking to someone else.”—Tao Lin, ‘Shoplifting from American Apparel’ (via writeonetruesentence)
“Until the last few years or so, when the SF novels started to achieve something approaching parity in sales, the mainstream always out-sold the SF – on average, if my memory isn’t letting me down, by a ratio of about three or four to one. I think a lot of people have assumed that the SF was the trashy but high-selling stuff I had to churn out in order to keep a roof over my head while I wrote the important, serious, non-genre literary novels. Never been the case, and I can’t imagine that I’d have lied about this sort of thing, least of all as some sort of joke. The SF novels have always mattered deeply to me – the Culture series in particular – and while it might not be what people want to hear (academics especially), the mainstream subsidised the SF, not the other way round.”—
“People told me exactly what I would later often say to others when trying to draw them into politics: you can’t spend your whole life criticizing something and then, when you have the chance to do it better, refuse to go near it.”—Vaclav Havel, To the Castle and Back
Rawls:For consider: each man in realising his own interests is certainly free to balance his own losses against his own gains ... Why should not a society act on precisely the same principle applied to the group and therefore regard that which is rational for one man as right for an association of men?
Nozick:To use a person in this way does not sufficiently respect and take account of the fact that he is a separate person, that his is the only life he has.
“Experience as well as common sense indicated that the most reliable method of avoiding self extinction was not to equip oneself with the means to accomplish it in the first place.”—Iain M Banks, Consider Phlebas
“Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of the sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances.”—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
“What we could see was just the steamer we were on, her outlines blurred as though she had been on the point of dissolving, and a misty strip of water, perhaps two feet broad, around her - and that was all. The rest of the world was nowhere, as far as our eyes and ears were concerned. Just nowhere. Gone, disappeared; swept off without leaving a whisper or a shadow behind.”—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
“Have you ever felt as if you could actually feel time flowing away from you? As if life was passing you by and you were caught in a backwater with the dead fish and old sticks?”—Robin Hobb, Fool’s Errand