Life and Times Blog

2009 reads

I tried to think of the books I read in 2009, I couldn’t come up with a full list.
Below I have included some excerpts I Googled from 3 that I enjoyed. Others that i enjoyed, but haven’t pasted excerpts were White Tiger, and Road to Makkah.

1984 by George Orwell
“The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”
“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”

“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in.Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”

“He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

“Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you—that would be the real betrayal.”
She thought it over. “They can’t do that,” she said finally. “It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you.”
“No,” he said a little more hopefully, “no; that’s quite true. They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.”

“We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him.”

“Doublethink” is the major way the Partycontrols its members. Through “doublethink,” people consciously accept anything the Party tells them, even if it contradicts something they already know. Furthermore, they consciously suppress any thought or information that goes against anythingthe Party says. To complete the cycle, they must forget that they have even used doublethink.”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“Community, Identity, Stability”

“You all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk.”

“Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches.”

“The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.”

“When the individual feels, the community reels.”

Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance By Robert Pirsig (Only got halfway through this one, then got tired…)
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

“Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships.”

“In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty…”

“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. ”

“If someone’s ungrateful and you tell him he’s ungrateful, okay, you’ve called him a name. You haven’t solved anything.”

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.”

“If your mind is truly, profoundly stuck, then it might be much better off than when it was loaded with ideas”

“Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided. It’s the physic predecessor of all real understanding.”

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January 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. perhaps you read this already…Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant. its the short story that launched his career. i always thought.. how can one story do that? you need a novel for real change.or lots of little gems that prove your worth.not just one story… and the opening pages seem laborious.
    but…after i read it…i understood just how one story could change so much:)
    (you will probably find it on one of the free online websites…)

    Comment by Anonymous | January 24, 2010 | Reply


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