Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries from October 31st, 2010

You Want a Story that Won’t Surprise You – “The Life of Pi” – Yan Martell

October 31st, 2010 · Comments Off on You Want a Story that Won’t Surprise You – “The Life of Pi” – Yan Martell · Humanism, Philosophy, Writing

I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.

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Harlan Ellison’s, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”.  Creepy…

October 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Harlan Ellison’s, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”.  Creepy… · Uncategorized

“What does AM mean?” Gorrister answered him. We had done this sequence a thousand times before, but it was Benny’s favorite story. “At first it meant Allied Mastercomputer, and then it meant Adaptive Manipulator, and later on it developed sentience and linked itself up and they called it an Aggressive Menace, but by then it […]

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Ancient Irrigation Management – “The Man Who Loved China”- Simon Winchester

October 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Ancient Irrigation Management – “The Man Who Loved China”- Simon Winchester · Bureaucracy, China, History, Policy

The Chinese had long ago realized that, so far as flooding was concerned, local interests had to be subordinated to a wider national need. Swollen rivers did their damage or brought their benefits to huge tracts of land and to large numbers of people who, if they were prudent, and whatever their local loyalties, ought […]

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Gung Ho! – “The Man Who Loved China” – Simon Winchester

October 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Gung Ho! – “The Man Who Loved China” – Simon Winchester · China, History, WW2

An organization known as Indusco, or the Chinese Industrial Cooperative (CIC), was formally set up. By happenstance the first two characters of this new organization’s Chinese name were gung ho—and though there was no linguistic connection, the two words were very soon afterward adopted as a motto by a friend of Alley’s in the U.S. […]

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Tags:·Linguistics

Books – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

October 29th, 2010 · Comments Off on Books – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury · History, Quotes, Reading Related

Books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, `Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’

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Tags:Arrogance·Books··Humility·

Alexander Pope, quoted in Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451.

October 29th, 2010 · Comments Off on Alexander Pope, quoted in Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451. · Philosophy, Prose, Quotes, Uncategorized, Writing

Words are like leaves and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

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Tags:Concision···

How Long Is It Since You Were Really Bothered? – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

October 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on How Long Is It Since You Were Really Bothered? – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury · Culture, Elitism, Philosophy

Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?

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Tags:Books··Ray Bradbury·

The role of the firemen – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

October 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on The role of the firemen – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury · Criticism, Culture, Elitism, Reading Related

We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. […]

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T. S. Eliot. Quoted in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach.

October 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on T. S. Eliot. Quoted in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach. · Uncategorized

In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river… This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.

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We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later – “On the Beach”, Neville Shute

October 27th, 2010 · Comments Off on We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later – “On the Beach”, Neville Shute · Fiction, Humanism, Morality, Nihilist, Nuclear Weapons, Philosophy, Politics

“You know,” he said, “now that I’ve got used to the idea, I think I’d rather have it this way. We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know, and there’s […]

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Tags:Death·Disaster·Nuclear···Stiff Upper Lip