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ARCHIVED ENTRIES FOR JANUARY 2013

January 29,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

But if the reporter has killed our imagination with his truth, he threatens our life with his lies.  His imagination is the cruelest substitute for the imagination we once had.  For if one side claims that the other side kills women and children, both sides believe it and do it.

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 28,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The truth is that the newspaper is not a statement of contents but the contents themselves; and more than that, it is an instigator.  If it prints lies about horrors, these turn into horrors.  There is more injustice in the world because there is a press which fabricated it and deplores it!  It is not nations that strike one another; rather, it is the international disgrace, the profession which rules the world not despite its irresponsibility but by virtue of it, that deals wounds, tortures prisoners, baits foreigners, and turns gentlemen into rowdies.  Its only authority is its unprincipledness, which, in association with a rascally will, can change printer's ink directly into blood.  O last, unholy wonder of the times!  At first everything was a lie, and they always lied so that lies might be told only elsewhere; but now, thrown into the neurasthenia of hatred, everything is true.  There are various nations, but there is only one press.

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 25,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Since the unlimited promptness of his machinery has made it unnecessary for mankind to have any ability to experience and to extend experience intellectually, the reporter can only just manage to instill into it that death-defying courage with which mankind is rushing into this war.  He has the reflected glory of heroic qualities at his disposal, and his misused language beautifies a misused life--as though eternity had saved its apex for the age in which the reporter lives.  But do people have any idea what life the newspaper expresses?  A life that has long been an expression of it!

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 24,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

I do not mind if people say that all my life I have overestimated the press.  It is not a messenger (how could a messenger demand and receive so much?); it is the event itself.  Once again the instrument has got the better of us.  We have raised the person whose job it is to announce a conflagration--and who probably ought to play the most subordinate role in the state--above the world, above the fire and above the house, above reality and above our imagination.  But we, like Cleopatra, curious and disappointed, ought to beat the messenger for his message.  The man who informs her of a hated marriage and who embellishes his report she holds responsible for the marriage.  "Ram through thy fruitful tidings in mine ears that long time have been barren. . . . The most infectious pestilence thee! . . . What say you?  Hence, horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head.  Thou shalt be whipt with wire, and stew'd in brine, smarting in lingering pickle." --"Gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the  match."  But the reporter does make the match, sets the house on fire, and turns the horrors that he fabricates into truth.  Through decades of practice he has produced in mankind that degree of unimaginativeness which enables it to wage a war of extermination against itself.

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 23,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The tyranny of necessity grants its slaves three kinds of freedom; opinion free from intellect, entertainment free from art, and orgies free from love.

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 22,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Those who now have nothing to say because actions are speaking continue to talk.  Let him who has something to say come forward and be silent!

--In These Great Times collected in In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader

January 20,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Sir Francis is intermittently pious, as conspicuous sinners tend to be.  Lent is here: 'It is time for you to enter into your yearly frenzy of penitence, is it not?'

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 19,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

'But she will speak to me.'

'She will listen.'

'An attractive quality in women.'

'An attractive quality in anyone.  Wouldn't you say?'

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 18,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Now look, the knight said, and slapped the table, here's what I've seen, more times that I care to count: your man braces himself for the atteint, and at that final moment, the urgency of desire undoes him: he tightens his muscles, he pulls in his lance-arm against his body, the tip tilts up, and he's off the mark; if you avoid one fault, avoid that.  Carry your lance a little loose, so when you tense your frame and draw in your arm your point comes exactly on the target.  But remember this above all: defeat your instinct.  Your love of glory must conquer your will to survive; or why fight at all?  Why not be a smith, a brewer, a wool merchant?  Why are you in the contest, if not to win, and if not to win, then to die?

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 17,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

You have to get your helmet on tightly so that you have a good line of sight.  You keep your body square-on, and when you are about to strike, then and only then turn your head so that you have a full view of your opposer, and watch the iron tip of your lance straight on to your target.  Some people veer away in the second before the clash.  It is natural, but forget what is natural.  Practise till you break your instinct.  Given a chance you will always swerve.  Your body wants to preserve itself and your instinct will try to avoid crashing your armoured warhorse and your armoured self into another man and horse coming at full gallop the other way.  Some men don't swerve, but instead they close their eyes at the moment of impact.  These men are of two kinds: the ones who know they do it and can't help it, and the ones who don't know they do it.  Get your boys to watch you when you practise.  Be neither of these kinds of men.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 16,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

'I wouldn't worry,' he says.  'Henry was jousting before you could walk.'

'That's the whole difficulty, sir.  He is not as quick as he was.  So the gentlemen say.  Norris says, he's lost his apprehension.  Norris says you can't do it if you're not scared, and Henry is convinced he is the best, so he fears no opponent.  And you should fear, Norris says.  It keeps you sharp.'

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 15,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Brandon can make a racket, unreproved, near the royal person; he can slap the king on the back and call him Harry; he can chuckle with him over ancient jests and tilt-yard escapades.  But chivalry's day is over.  One day soon moss will grow in the tilt yard.  The days of the moneylender have arrived, and the days of the swaggering privateer; banker sits down with banker, and kings are their waiting boys.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 14,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

You should not desire, he knows, the death of any human creature.  Death is your prince, you are not his patron; when you think he is engaged elsewhere, he will batter down your door, walk in and wipe his boots on you.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 13,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

'Are you a papist, Anthony?'

'I may be.  I like miracles.  I have been a pilgrim in my time.  But the fist of Cromwell is more proximate than the hand of God.'

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 12,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

'I suppose she looks at the women about her, and says to herself, always questioning, is it you, madam?  Or you?  It has always surprised me that those who are untrustworthy themselves are blind when placing their own trust.  La Ana thinks she has friends.  But if she does not give the king a son soon, they will turn on her.'

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 11,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Anne was wearing, that day, rose pink and dove grey.  The colours should have had a fresh and maidenly charm; but all he could think of were stretched innards, umbles and tripes, grey-pink intestines looped out of a living body; he had a second batch of recalcitrant friars to be dispatched to Tyburn, to be slit up and gralloched by the hangman.  They were traitors and deserved the death, but it is a death exceeding most in cruelty.  The pearls around her long neck looked to him like little beads of fat, and as she argued she would reach up and tug them; he kept his eyes on her fingertips, nails flashing like tiny knives.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 10,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Anne Boleyn is now thirty-four years old, an elegant woman, with a refinement that makes mere prettiness seem redundant.  Once sinuous, she has become angular.  She retains her dark glitter, now rubbed a little, flaking in places.  Her prominent dark eyes she uses to good effect, and in this fashion: she glances at a man's face, then her regard flits away, as if unconcerned, indifferent.  There is a pause: as it might be, a breath.  Then slowly, as if compelled, she turns her gaze back to him.  Her eyes rest on his face.  She examines this man.  She examines him as if he is the only man in the world.  She looks as if she is seeing him for the first time, and considering all sorts of uses for him, all sorts of possibilities which he has not even thought of himself.  To her victim the moment seems to last an age, during which shivers run up his spine.  Though in fact the trick is quick, cheap, effective and repeatable, it seems to the poor fellow that he is now distinguished among all men.  He smirks.  He preens himself.  he grows a little taller.  He grows a little more foolish.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 9,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

It is better not to try people, not to force them to desperation.  Make them prosper; out of superfluity, they will be generous.  Full bellies breed gentle manners.  The pinch of famine makes monsters.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 8,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Stephen Gardiner!  Coming in as he's going out, striding towards the king's chamber, a folio under one arm, the other flailing the air.  Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester: blowing up like a thunderstorm, when for once we have a fine day.

--Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

January 7,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

When Foch, in April, refused to transmit Clemenceau's order for the conveyance of the German delegations, it was an outraged Woodrow Wilson who declared: 'I will not entrust the American Army to a general who does not obey his government.'  Back in Washington, the episode did certainly not go unmarked by the increasingly hostile US Senate.  At the 6 May Plenary Session of the peace conference, Bonar Law, one of the British delegates, echoed Wilson: 'If an English general took such an attitude vis-a-vis his government, he would be dismissed within fifteen minutes,' to which Clemenceau gave this revealing answer: 'However much I regret the Marshal's attitude, we must not forget that he led our soldiers to victory.'  The fundamental difference between French and British views on the military in politics could not have been stated more positively.

--The French Army and Politics 1870-1970 by Alistair Horne

January 6,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

"That's what all you bureaucrats want," he said.  "Equality through slavery.  The two-class state--proletarians and officials."

--Tactical Exercise collected in The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

January 5,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

"How do you find our Neutralian champagne?"

"Excellent."

"It is sweet, eh?  That is because of our Neutralian sun.  You prefer to the champagne of France?"

"Well, it is quite different, isn't it?"

"I see you are a connoisseur.  In France is no sun.  Do you know the Duke of Westminster?"

"No."

"I saw him once at Biarritz.  A fine man. A man of great propriety."

"Indeed?"

"Indeed.  London is his propriety.  Have you a propriety?"

"No."

"My mother had a propriety but it is lost."

--Scott-King's Modern Europe collected in The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

January 4,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The underling leaned towards them from the front seat and pointed out places of interest.  "Here," he said, "the anarchists shot General Cardenas.  Here syndico-radicals shot the auxiliary bishop.  Here the Agrarian League buried alive ten Teaching Brothers.  Here the bimetallists committed unspeakable atrocities on the wife of Senator Mendoza."

--Scott-King's Modern Europe collected in The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

January 3,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Let us eschew detail and observe that for three hundred years since Bellorius's death his country has suffered every conceivable ill the body politic is heir to.  Dynastic wars, foreign invasion, disputed successions, revolting colonies, endemic syphilis, impoverished soil, masonic intrigues, revolutions, restorations, cabals, juntas, pronunciamentos, liberations, constitutions, coups d'état, dictatorships, assassinations, agrarian reforms, popular elections, foreign intervention, repudiation of loans, inflations of currency, trades unions, massacres, arson, atheism, secret societies--make the list full, slip in as many personal foibles as you will, you will find all these in the last three centuries of Neutralian history.  Out of it emerged the present republic of Neutralia, a typical modern state, governed by a single party, acclaiming a dominant Marshal, supporting a vast ill-paid bureaucracy whose work is tempered and humanized by corruption.

--Scott-King's Modern Europe collected in The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

[N.B.:  In other words, modern-day Greece.]

January 2,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Peacock sent Bankes out of the room in Greek Testament for saying "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest" when put on to translate.  Jolly witty.  He began to argue.  Peacock said, "Must I throw you out by force?"  Bankes began to go but muttered "Muscular Christianity."  Peacock: "What did you say?"; "Nothing, sir"; "Get out before I kick you."  Things got a bit duller after that.

--Charles Ryder's Schooldays collected in The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh