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2019

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Jan 2019

2nd January

Insofar as the feminism of the 1970s played on fear, exalting the independence and interdependence of women, it was playing with fire. We cried "Sisterhood is powerful!"-- and they believed us. Terrified misogynists of both sexes were howling that the house was burning down before most feminists found out where the matches were.

Ursula K Le Guin, 'A Band of Brothers, a Stream of Sisters' (November 2010), in No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters (2017)

9th January

A levelling and universalizing language may deprive us of our best chances to explain varying patterns in the historical record, and -- as the greatest single aim of a historian -- to elicit why particular changes happened in particular changes at particular times.

Ronald Hutton, The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present (2017)

16th January

I feel more drawn towards them than I should ever have believed possible. Am sorry to note that abuse and condemnation of a common acquaintance often constitutes very strong bond of union between otherwise uncongenial spirits.

EM Delafield, The Provincial Lady in Wartime (1940)

23rd January

I don't write plays with the idea of giving some great thought to the world, and that isn't just coy modesty....If I wanted to write a play with a message, God forbid, it would undoubtedly be a comedy.

Noel Coward, letter to unnamed correspondent, ?c. 1959, in The Letters of Noel Coward edited by Barry Day (2007)

30th January

The joy, once guaranteed simply by opening a cover, is now more elusive. As an adult, your tastes (and/or prejudices) are more developed and particular, your time is more precious and your critical faculties are harder to switch off. As an adult, worries are greater and it takes a more powerful page to be able to banish them for the duration. Perhaps you appreciate it all the more when it comes, but I miss the days of effortless immersion, and the glorious certainty of pleasure.

Lucy Mangan, Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading (2018)

Feb 2019

6th February

Neither woman was in his book, but because of them he knew more about the women in his book than he had when he started writing about them.

Noel Streatfeild, Grass in Piccadilly (1947)

13th February

What happens to the woman who accepts the forms? One possibility is deceit, evasion, slyness,. A mind in a sense too big for its material, which is (we are constantly reminded) only a romance, only a novel, only the very private, very limited lives of people who are, after all, not terribly important. And don't worry: you will meet only propriety, only the smallest, most domestic events, only the Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove, so well done (in one case) that for quite a while many saw only the glove[.]

Joanna Russ, How to Suppress Women's Writing (1983)

20th February

Jacqueline sat patient while he talked. She was not interested in what he was saying, but she was prepared to wait for the moment when she could get him back to herself if in the meantime she might listen to the tones of his voice without paying attention to his words and could let her eyes rove over the appreciative expressions of his hearers. She thought that they admired him, and that sufficed her. It was fitting that they should do so.

Vita Sackville-West, Grand Canyon (1942)

27th February

[On] the same principle as jamming a radio wave: if you can get yourself worried enough about whether you're going to be late for an appointment, you can head off any worry about what you're going to say when you get there.

Katharine Whitehorn, 'Pack Up Your Troubles In The Right Kit Bag', View from a Column (1981)

Mar 2019

6th March

I didnít want to see helpless humans. Iíd rather see smart ones rescuing each other.

Martha Wells, Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries (2018)

13th March

'Yes, but not in the South,' with slight adjustments, will do for any argument about any place, if not about any person. It is an impossible comment to answer, And for maximum irritation, remember, the tone of voice must be 'plonking'.

Stephen Potter, Some Notes on Lifemanship (1950)

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