one or two funny ideas

“Running my eye down the page I saw that Lorne had, in his time, on stage or screen, interpreted the roles of Genghis Kan, Al Capone, Marco Polo, Huckleberry Finn, Charlemagne, Paul Revere, Erasmus, Wyatt Earp, Voltaire, Sky Masterson, Einstein, Jack Kennedy, Rembrandt, Babe Ruth, Oliver Cromwell, Amerigo Vespucci, Zorro, Darwin, Sitting Bull, Freud, Napoleon, Spiderman, Macbeth, Melville, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Methuselah, Mozart, Merlin, Marx, Mars, Moses and Jesus Christ. I didn’t have the lowdown on every last one of these guys but presumably they were all bigshots. Perhaps, then, it wasn’t so surprising that Lorne had one or two funny ideas about himself.”

— Martin Amis, Money

thought and fascination

“And I mean look at my private culture. Look at the state of it. It really isn’t very nice in here. And that is why I long to burst out of the world of money and into — into what? Into the world of thought and fascination. How do I get there? Tell me, please. I’ll never make it by myself. I just don’t know the way.”

— Martin Amis, Money

Women have pretty ways

“And with a chick on the premises you just cannot live the old life. You just cannot live it. I know: I checked. The hungover handjob athwart the unmade bed—you can’t do it. Blowing your nose into a coffee filter—there isn’t the opportunity. Peeing in the basin — they just won’t stand for it. No woman worth the name would let it happen. Women have pretty ways. Without women, life is a pub, a reptile bar at a quarter to three…”

— Martin Amis, Money


“Why don’t you read something that will affect us? For example, the Cinema Monkey. Is there anything about the Cinema Monkey?’
‘What monkey?’ asked her father, bewildered.
‘See, you are completely out of touch with local issues! For the past month he has been creating havoc outside the cinema, harassing ladies, pulling at their saris until they drop their peanut cones. And all those boys from the university – they are going especially to the cinema, not to see any movies, but just to stand outside and watch the girls getting their clothes pulled off! Haw-ji-haw, I am too scared to go any more.’”

— Kiran Desai, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

old-fashioned and hypocritical

For Franz music was the art that comes closest to Dionysian beauty in the sense of intoxication. No one can get really drunk on a novel or a painting, but who can help getting drunk on Beethoven’s Ninth, Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, or the Beatles’ White Album? Franz made no distinction between “classical” music and “pop.” He found the distinction old-fashioned and hypocritical. He loved rock as much as Mozart. He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being