Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne (6).


1852. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1983. (6)

Why read it? Early feminist novel. The obsessive nature of reformers.

Ideas:
“I gave her [Priscilla’s] hand a pressure, which, I think, she neither resisted nor returned.” p. 757. ………. Zenobia to Coverdale:”It is dangerous, Sir, believe me, to tamper thus with earnest human passions, out of your own mere idleness, and for your sport.” p. 780. ………. “One always feels the fact, in an instant, when he has intruded on those who love, or those who hate, at some acme of their passion….” p. 818. ………. “…I saw in Hollingsworth all that an artist could desire for the grim portrait of a Puritan magistrate, holding inquest of life and death in a case of witchcraft.” p. 819. ………. “There are no new truths , much as we have prided ourselves on finding some.” p. 827. ………. “…that the whole universe, her own sex and yours, and Providence, or Destiny, to boot, make a common cause against the woman who swerves one hair’s breadth off the beaten track.” p. 827. ………. Silas Foster: “Heigh-ho….well—life and death together make sad work for us all. p. 834.

The End.

The Blithedale Romance, (novel) by Nathaniel Hawthorne, written in 1852. Why read it? It is an early example of feminist literature, in which a sweet, pretty, helpless, young thing captures men’s hearts and intelligent females scare men away. It is also about the obsessive nature of reformers, not unlike today’s “do-gooders,” the health police who proscribe sugar in sodas, smoking and smokers, and obesity. It takes place in Blithedale, a Utopian community, modeled on Brook Farm, the Transcendentalist experiment at West Roxbury, Massachusetts, in which Hawthorne had participated ten years before he wrote the novel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne (5)


1852. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1983. (5)

Why read it? Early feminist novel. The obsessive nature of reformers.

Ideas:
Coverdale to Hollingsworth: “I wish you could see fit to comprehend…that the profoundest wisdom must be mingled with nine-tenth of nonsense; else it is not worth the breath that utters it.” p. 746. ……… “…and happiness (which never comes but incidentally) will come to us unawares.” p. 749. ……….Coverdale to Hollingsworth: “And will you cast off a friend for no unworthiness, but merely because he stands upon his right, as an individual human being, and looks at matters through his own optics, instead of yours?” p. 750. ………. Hollingsworth: “Be with me…or be against me…no third choice for you.” p. 751. ………. Of Silas Foster: “He can do his day’s work…with any man or ox on the farm.” p. 752. ………. “…Silas with genuine Yankee intolerance of any intermission of toil, except on Sunday, the Fourth of July, the autumnal cattle-show, Thanksgiving…. p. 753. ………. Zenobia:  “…if I choose a counselor, in the present state of my affairs, it must be either an angel or a madman; and I rather apprehend that the latter should be likeliest of the two to speak the fitting word.” p. 756.

To be continued.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne (4)


1852. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1983. (4)

Why read it? Early feminist novel. The obsessive nature of reformers.

Ideas:
“Then, again, we may rest certain that our friends of today will not be our friends of a few years hence.” p. 698. ………. “…a man cannot…more effectually show his contempt for a brother-mortal, nor more gallingly assume a position of superiority, than by addressing him as ‘friend.’ ” p. 711. ………. “But real life never arranges itself exactly like a romance.” p. 722. ………. “Zenobia, besides, was fond of giving us readings from Shakespeare, and often with a depth of tragic power, or breadth of comic effect, that made one feel it an intolerable wrong to the world, that she did not go at once upon the stage.” p. 725. ………. Zenobia: “It is my belief—yes, and my prophecy, should I die before it happens—that, when my sex shall achieve its rights, there will be ten eloquent women, where there is now one eloquent man.” p. 737. ………. Zonobia: “Thus far, no woman in the world has ever once spoken out her whole heart and her whole mind.” p. 737. ………. Zenobia: “It Is with the living voice, alone, that she [woman], can compel the world to recognize the light of her intellect and the depth of her heart.” p. 738. ………. Zenobia on Priscilla: “She is the type of womanhood, such as man has spent centuries in making it.” p. 739. ………. Zenobia: In denying us [women] our rights, he [man] betrays even more blindness to his own interests….” p. 739.

To be continued.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne (3).


1852. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1983. (3)

Why read it? Early feminist novel. The obsessive nature of reformers.

Ideas:
Of Hollingsworth: “Such prolonged fiddling upon one string; such multiform presentation of one idea!” p. 680. ………. “How can she [a woman] be happy, after discovering that fate has assigned her but one single event , which she must continue to make the substance of her whole life [while] a man has his choice of innumerable events.” p. 683. ………. “[Robert Burns] was no poet while a farmer, and no farmer while a poet.” p. 689. ………. Grim Silas Foster is your prototype [farmer] with his palm of sole-leather and his joints of rusty iron….” p. 689. ………… Zenobia to Miles Coverdale, the narrator: “And on Sundays, when you put on a blue coat with brass buttons, you will think of nothing else to do, but go lounge over the stone-walls and rail-fences and stare at the corn growing.” p. 690. ………. Of Hollingsworth: “…those men who have surrendered themselves to an over-ruling purpose…have no heart, no sympathy, no reason, no conscience.” p. 693. ………. “She [Priscilla] met with terrible mishaps in her efforts to milk a cow: she let the poultry into the garden, she generally spoilt whatever part of the dinner she took in charge, she broke crockery, she dropt our biggest pitcher into the well….” p. 696.

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Blithedale Romance. Nathaniel Hawthorne.


1852. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1983. (2)

Why read it? Early feminist novel. The obsessive nature of reformers.

Ideas:
“The greatest obstacle to being heroic, is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt—and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.” p. 640. ………. “He [Silas Foster] greeted us in pretty much the same tone as if he were speaking to his oxen.” p. 647. ………. “We had left…the weary tread-mill of the established system.” p. 648. ………. Silas Foster: “…reckoning three of you city-folks as worth one common field-hand.” p. 649. ………. “The fantasy occurred to me, that she [Priscilla] was some desolate kind of creature, doomed to wander about in snow storms….” p. 655. ………. “How many men, I wonder, does one meet with in a lifetime, whom he would choose for his death-bed companions!” p. 667. ………. Hollingsworth: “I should…say that the most marked trait in my character is an inflexible severity of purpose.” p. 668.

To be continued.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Note: A Change in the Blog



The blog will still consist of quotes and ideas from a book, but the number of quotes will be fewer and I will use approximately a book a week. There will also be a brief summary of the book, including “Why read it?”  RayS.

The first book of the changed blog will be The Blithedale Romance, (novel) by Nathaniel Hawthorne, written in 1852. Why read it? It is an early example of feminist literature, in which a sweet, pretty, helpless, young thing captures men’s hearts and intelligent females scare men away. It is also about the obsessive nature of reformers, not unlike today’s “do-gooders,” the health police who proscribe sugar in sodas, smoking and smokers, and obesity. It takes place in Blithedale, a Utopian community, modeled on Brook Farm, the Transcendentalist experiment at West Roxbury, Massachusetts, in which Hawthorne had participated ten years before he wrote the novel.

Published by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York,1983.

To be continued.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, Vol. One (9)


Memoirs by Harry S. Truman. Vol. One: Year of Decisions. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1955. (9).

Why Read It? Truman had to end the war, decide on the atomic bomb and then shift to a peacetime economy in which he had to fight a Cold War with the Soviets, fight the Korean War, battle through labor troubles and to remind everyone of the necessity to maintain civilian control of the military through relieving MacArthur of his command. Although he appeared to be a normal U.S. citizen, he was anything but. His character was almost the ideal of a U.S. President. His decisions were well thought out and decisive. He was well known for his plain spokenness.

Ideas:
“ ‘Bob,’ Roosevelt said, ‘have you got that fellow [HST} lined up for the Vice-presidency yet?’; ‘No,’ Bob replied. ‘He is the contrariest Missouri mule I’ve ever dealt with,’ ” p.192. ………. “…if the Vice-President maintains good relations with the members of the Senate, he can have considerable power behind the scenes.” p. 197. ………. “The Vice-President is not an officer of the executive branch of the government  and therefore does not attend Cabinet sessions except at the invitation of the President.” p. 197. ………. “Hitler’s monstrous assault on civilization cost the lives of fifteen million people, and he and his regime left countless others maimed in body and soul.” p. 203. ………. “Just what does the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Japan mean for the Japanese people? It means the end of the war. It means the termination of the influence of the military leaders who brought Japan to the present brink of disaster. It means provision for the return of soldiers and sailors to their families, their farms, and their jobs. And it means not prolonging the present agony and suffering of the Japanese in the vain hope of victory. Unconditional surrender does not mean the extermination or enslavement of the Japanese people.” p. 207. ………. “The military is always subordinate to the government.” p. 210. ………. “Churchill, ever fearful of the Soviets, wanted the U.S. to occupy Czechoslovakia. Eisenhower said that his goal was to destroy the German army. A move into Czechoslovakia would not accomplish this goal. HST agreed with him.” p. 216.

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, Vol. One (8)


Year of Decisions. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1955. 

Why Read It? Truman had to end the war, decide on the atomic bomb and then shift to a peacetime economy in which he had to fight a Cold War with the Soviets, fight the Korean War, battle through labor troubles and to remind everyone of the necessity to maintain civilian control of the military through relieving MacArthur of his command. Although he appeared to be a normal U.S. citizen, he was anything but. His character was almost the ideal of a U.S. President. His decisions were well thought out and decisive. He was well known for his plain spokenness.

Ideas:
“When the facts are known, reasonable men do not disagree with respect to them.” p. 168. ………. “The power to investigate is necessary to the intelligent exercise of the powers of Congress.” p. 168. ………. “I never permitted irrelevant questioning or any browbeating of witnesses.” p. 174. ………. “The reports did more than simply summarize our findings. Many of them contained definite recommendations for legislation to correct abuses that had been brought to light.” p. 174. ………. “As the Committee’s investigation proceeded into 1942, the evidence of waste and confusion became more shocking than ever. I saw that the war effort was bogging down because of red tape and bureaucratic waste, because of overlapping jurisdictions and the failure to delegate authority , and because of conflicts between military and civilian agencies.” p. 18. ………. “We were still uncovering new problems more rapidly than solutions were being provided for old ones.” p.  183. ………. “…certain rules and conditions should be imposed on an investigating committee by the body from which it issues…should be stated clearly what the power of the committee is to be.” p. 188. ………. “I consider the methods used by the House Committee on Un-American Activities to be the most un-American thing in American in its day…more of an inquisition than an investigation.” p. 189. ………. “The power of the Congress to investigate may become equal to, if not more important than, its power to legislate.”

To be continued.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, Vol. One (7)


Memoirs by Harry S. Truman. Vol. One: Year of Decisions. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1955. (7).

Why Read It? Truman had to end the war, decide on the atomic bomb and then shift to a peacetime economy in which he had to fight a Cold War with the Soviets, fight the Korean War, battle through labor troubles and to remind everyone of the necessity to maintain civilian control of the military through relieving MacArthur of his command. Although he appeared to be a normal U.S. citizen, he was anything but. His character was almost the ideal of a U.S. President. His decisions were well thought out and decisive. He was well known for his plain spokenness.

Ideas:
“…almost all current events in the affairs of governments and nations have their parallels and precedents in the past.” p. 121. ………. “Even before I had left Kansas City for Washington I had read the biographies of every member of the Senate and had studied every piece of information I could find on our chief lawmaking body.” p. 142. ……….. “Senator Ham Lewis to HST: “ ;Don’t start out,’ he told me, ‘with an inferiority complex. For the first six months you’ll wonder how you got here and after that you’ll wonder how the rest of got here.’ ”p. 144. ………. “The real work of a Senator is done in committee rather than on the floor of the  Senate.” p. 149. ………. “It was difficult then, and is now, for lawmakers to see that government—local, state, and national—necessitates a continuing organization which becomes obsolete…if it is not constantly adjusted to current needs. Reorganization should be an unending process.” p. 155. ………. “I tackled my end of the assignment in the way I had long before learned to be the only sound approach to any problem: I began at once to read all the records…. I read past newspaper accounts of the railroad industry’s financial tangles. I ransacked the Library of Congress for every book on the subject of railroad management and history, and at one time had fifty volumes sent by the Library to my office…. Even before the subcommittee met for the first session, I had completed a good deal of background reading.” p. 157.

To be continued.