Thursday, November 30, 2017

On Privacy

"Everyone has something at home they don’t want anyone to see; that is one of the functions of a home, to provide a spot to keep such things."

Nero Wolfe
From Rex Stout, The Red Box

Monday, November 27, 2017

On Enduring One's Self

To endure oneself may be the hardest task in the universe.

From Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

On Aristocrats

It is said one can always tell an aristocrat: he reveals only those of his vices which will make him popular.

From Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

On Danger's Approach

“Stilgar,” Alia said, fighting to hold him, “you stand in a valley between dunes. I stand on the crest. I see where you do not see. And, among other things, I see mountains which conceal the distances.”

“There are things hidden from you,” Stilgar said. “This you’ve always said.”

“All power is limited,” Alia said.

“And danger may come from behind the mountains,” Stilgar said.

“It’s something on that order,” Alia said.

Stilgar nodded, his gaze fastened on Paul’s face. “But whatever comes from behind the mountains must cross the dunes.”

From Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

Thursday, November 23, 2017

On "Enough" Beer

"Wolfe emptied his glass, returned it to the tray, and slid the tray around to the other side of the pen block. That meant that he had decided he had had enough beer for the day, and therefore that he would probably open only one more bottle before going upstairs, provided he went fairly soon."

From Rex Stout, The Rubber Band 

Friday, November 17, 2017

On Scientists and Artists

“Must I again demonstrate that while it is permissible to request the scientist to lead you back over his footprints, a similar request of the artist is nonsense, since he, like the lark or the eagle, has made none?”

Nero Wolfe
From Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance

On Beer and Pessimism

"He smacked his lips, tasting the fifth brand, and holding up the glass looked through the amber at the light. ""This is a pleasant surprise, Archie. I would not have believed it. That of course is the advantage of being a pessimist; a pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant. So far, none of this is sewage."

Nero Wolfe
From Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On Methods of Killing

"There are so many methods available for killing a fellow-being! Many more than there are for most of our usual activities, like pruning a tree or threshing wheat or making a bed or swimming. I have been often impressed, in my experience, by the ease and lack of bother with which the average murder is executed. Consider: with the quarry within reach, the purpose fixed, and the weapon in hand, it will often require up to eight or ten minutes to kill a fly, whereas the average murder, I would guess, consumes ten or fifteen seconds at the outside. In cases of slow poison and similar ingenuities death of course is lingering, but the act of murder itself is commonly quite brief. Consider again: there are certainly not more than two or three methods of killing a pig, but there are hundreds of ways to kill a man.”

Nero Wolfe
From Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On Priests and Heresy

“As with all priests, you learned early to call the truth heresy.”

From Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah