Thursday, August 7, 2014

Some favorite reader quotes

These passages and comments are from Arthur. It's so interesting to me that even after just finishing the novel (hooray!), these passages already feel fresh and interesting again.  Perhaps that is the way when a writer has true insight?  What do you say?  -Kathleen

Behavior toward others
People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors." George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 11132-11133).

(This is the only expression I remember of the opposite concept of kicking a person while they're down, but it may not hold up as a quote without more context describing how Mrs. Vincy’s friend was reluctant to criticize her.  ) The sharp little woman's conscience was somewhat troubled in the adjustment of these opposing "bests," and of her griefs and satisfactions under late events, which were likely to humble those who needed humbling, but also to fall heavily on her old friend whose faults she would have preferred seeing on a background of prosperity.  George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 11286-11288).

I’ve known several of these people and never heard them as well described:
She was the diplomatist of Tipton and Freshitt, and for anything to happen in spite of her was an offensive irregularity.  (Self image of Mrs. Cadwallader)

Cadwallader the rector on Brooke (…he will run into any mold but not keep shape.)

Cadwallader the rector to James Chettam : "Confound you handsome young fellows! you think of having it all your own way in the world. You don't understand women. They don't admire you half so much as you admire yourselves.

If anyone will here contend that there must have been traits of goodness in old Featherstone , I will not presume to deny this; but I must observe that goodness is of a modest nature, easily discouraged, and when much privacy, elbowed in early life by unabashed vices, is apt to retire into extreme privacy, so that it is more easily believed in by those who construct a selfish old gentleman theoretically, than by those who form the narrower judgments based on his personal acquaintance. George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 4872-4875).

Hence he determined to abandon himself to the stream of feeling, and perhaps was surprised to find what an exceedingly shallow rill it was. As in droughty regions baptism by immersion could only be performed symbolically, Mr. Casaubon found that sprinkling was the utmost approach to a plunge which his stream would afford him; and he concluded that the poets had much exaggerated the force of masculine passion.” George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 946-949).

Good psychology:
Mary Garth says: "There is no question of liking at present. My liking always wants some little kindness to kindle it. I am not magnanimous enough to like people who speak to me without seeming to see me." George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 1737-1738).

If you think it incredible that to imagine Lydgate as a man of family could cause thrills of satisfaction which had anything to do with the sense that she was in love with him, I will ask you to use your power of comparison a little more effectively, and consider whether red cloth and epaulets have never had an influence of that sort. Our passions do not live apart in locked chambers, but, dressed in their small wardrobe of notions, bring their provisions to a common table and mess together, feeding out of the common store according to their appetite.  George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 2534-2538).

Young Mr. Ladislaw was not at all deep himself in German writers; but very little achievement is required in order to pity another man's shortcomings.  George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 3183-3184).

We are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves: Dorothea had early begun to emerge from that stupidity, but yet it had been easier to her to ima
Coombe Abbey Hotel - Coventry
gine how she would devote herself to Mr. Casaubon, and become wise and strong in his strength and wisdom, than to conceive with that distinctness which is no longer reflection but feeling— an idea wrought back to the directness of sense, like the solidity of objects— that he had an equivalent centre of self, whence the lights and shadows must always fall with a certain difference.  George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 3231-3235).

Mr. Casaubon, indeed, had not thoroughly represented those mixed reasons to himself; irritated feeling with him, as with all of us, seeking rather for justification than for self-knowledge. George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 4966-4968).

"But, my dear Mrs. Casaubon ," said Mr. Farebrother, smiling gently at her ardor, "character is not cut in marble— it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do." George Eliot. Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 11126-11127).

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