Monday, 3 October 2011

Benjamin Markovits's Childish Loves

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The quotes below are from Benjamin Markovits's Childish Loves (2011). Some are from the 'contemporary' section and some from the 18thC and 19thC pastiche. Can you tell?


  1. (In my day maybe half the English department, and a quarter of the history department, were working on novels; I was just one of a crowd.) -p. 2
  2. ... and talked quite childishly about what is after all a rather childish love: I mean, the love of books. -p. 11
  3. Writers get rewarded according to their exaggerations. -p. 12
  4. I followed him into the hallway, suddenly filled with students (the noise of them like the noise of ugly birds). -p. 35
  5. Teaching is like marriage, he once said to me. 'After thirty years of Shakespeare you got to figure it takes a certain effort of the memory to get it up.' -p. 36
  6. Certain conversations also involve a form of arousal. -p. 48
  7. There is nothing that makes me more awkward than the duty to be pleasant[.] -p. 68
  8. I felt stupidly dejected returning home. All society disappoints you, until you become accustomed to it. Sympathy is a great illusion; there is only sometimes a coincidence of manner. -p. 69
  9. 'I'm a mess today,' she tended to announce when she saw me -- as a matter of habit. A kind of apology for being thirty-three instead of thirteen. -p. 124
  10. That the long association with books breeds a certain manner, formal, gentle, curious, hesitant. -p. 138
  11. I liked the way she said scholar, as if it's one of the old professions, like priest or whore. -p. 167
  12. If you want something done, there's nothing like doing it yourself. -p. 174
  13. William Bankes likes to say that one needs the shelter of a reputation. -p. 186
  14. They call this place the University, but any other appellation would have suited it much better, for study is the last pursuit of the society. The master eats, drinks and sleeps, the Fellows drink, dispute and pun, and the employments of the undergraduates are more easily conjectured than described. -p. 187
  15. It is a great vice to think about money at all, but without it, one thinks of nothing but money. pp. 194-195
  16. But I write when no one else writes, at two in the morning, or at six; at breakfast or dinner; on sofa or lawn or bed, and in every conceivable position. Even at the mill-cottage, I have fitted up a table and furnished it with quill, ink, paper. -p. 207
  17. But perhaps I have been unfaithful, in my way -- my heart always alights on the nearest perch. -p. 209
  18. She was too large to be kept like a cat and too small to be ridden like a horse. -p. 212
  19. We have all become very dull and the worst of it is, we are too dull to mind it much. -p. 230
  20. But then, we are often drawn to what displeases us. -pp. 232-233
  21. No happiness is so perfect that it does not demand more happiness. -p. 242
  22. We think the problem with adulthood is that we betrayed our childhoods to reach it. -p. 250
  23. But we have read the same books and that fact counted for more than the other differences. -p. 259
  24. Outside, across the shadows of the street, a typical college-town figure made his way: either a bum or a professor. -p. 261
  25. [...] going naked was the best disguise. -p. 262 
  26. Libraries, like casinos, are designed to make you lose track of time -- to forget there's a world outside. -p. 311
  27. There is always a tax upon kindness, which is paid in further kindness. -p. 353
  28. But I have always maintained that I am the easiest of men to manage, and she had the art of it: which is, to let me do exactly as I please in the few matters on which I have an opinion, and in all other affairs to decide everything for herself. -p. 367
  29. I am not much used to making love where it was not wanted -- I don't have the art. p. 375 [You know this is from the Byron section, don't you?]
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