Thursday, December 27, 2018

On Humanity’s Highest Aim

“What gorgeous souls have vanished into the buried ages; what marvellous creatures are lost past the remotest memory … Nevermore will there be the like; now in the last fleeting moments, humanity festers rich as rotten fruit. Rather than master and overpower our world, our highest aim is to cheat it through sorcery.”

From Jack Vance, The Dying Earth

Friday, December 14, 2018

On Goblins and Gnomes

"Goblins are to us, very much what rats are to you. Only worse, because they are very clever. And only better, because there are, in these parts, very few! We thought there were none left. Long ago we had great trouble with them. That was about ... 1453, I believe. But, we got the help of the gnomes, who are their greatest enemies, and cleared them out."

Father Christmas
J. R. R. Tolkien, Letters from Father Christmas

Monday, December 10, 2018

On a Surfeit of Ease

A surfeit of honey cloys the tongue; a surfeit of wine addles the brain; so a surfeit of ease guts a man of strength.

From Jack Vance, The Dying Earth

Saturday, September 15, 2018

On Mint Juleps

“Have you ever tasted a mint-julep, Beach?’

‘Not to my recollection, sir.’

‘Oh, you’d remember all right if you had. Insidious things. They creep up to you like a baby sister and slide their little hands into yours and the next thing you know the Judge is telling you to pay the clerk of the court fifty dollars. ”

From P G Wodehouse. Summer Lightning

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

On Finishing Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe


Sniff.

Tonight I finished the 47th and last Nero Wolfe book. I started last November. The stories were surprisingly consistent in quality all the way through. I frankly enjoyed every one, though they all rated 3-4 stars for me. No 5s. But also no 2s!

The great thing about a series like this is, if you get bored, you can always pick up the next one. Or at least I could until now. Sure, I could start over, but there are too many great books to read to do that.

Maybe in 5 years or so.

Monday, September 10, 2018

On Trust

“... no man has complete trust in another, he merely thinks he has because he needs to and hopes to.”

Nero Wolfe
From Rex Stout, A Family Affair