All posts by kizzity


“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” (1)

This is one of my favorite openings of any book. I think even putting the gender differences aside, comparing the way people react and handle their dreams is amazing and really shows how as humans we are all not alike. Some people’s dream lives are just handed to them, if they are lucky. Others need to wait, but most people need to work hard to make it happen. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing. What is interesting about the gender role is that in the time period of the book, if a woman wanted something for herself, she needed to work for it, nothing would have come easily to her except an unwanted marriage and multiple children. Men on the other hand were much more in-control of their lives and could afford to be less careful in their decisions.


“Bakha’s turban fell off and the jalebis in the paper bag in his hand were scattered in the dust. He stood aghast. Then his whole countenance lit with fire and his hands were no more joined. Tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. The strength, the power of his giant body glistened with the desire for revenge in his eyes, while horror, rage, indignation swept over his frame. In a moment he had lost all his humility, and he would have lost his temper too, but the man who had struck him the blow had slipped beyond reach into the street. (50)

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1935. Print.

It feels like this is the same as the way his father treats him, and how he feels being in the untouchable caste. It reinforces his low position, but emphasizes that he does not feel worthy of such treatment. He works hard, yet can’t seem to rise above his class. If the man hadn’t gotten away, I wonder what would have happened. Even his behavior wearing white men’s clothes, smoking and indulging in candy makes him seem sinful, trying to be what he is not.

as i lay dying.

“He looks up at the gaunt face framed by the window in the twilight. It is a composite picture of all time since he was a child. He drops the saw and lifts the board for her to see, watching the window in which the face has not moved.” (56)

kind of what we would see had we been there, as an outsider. Also interesting how its emphasized so much that the picture hasn’t changed, just moments before it does.

Faulkner , William . As I Lay Dying. Random House Inc., print.


“Everything seemed to race past him; he just sat there, eating. And then half-way through dinner he made himself look at Clarissa for the first time. She was talking to a young man on her right. He had a sudden revelation. ‘She will marry that man,’ he said to himself. He didn’t even know his name.” (61)

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925.

The fact that these thoughts come from Peter Walsh and not an authoritative narrator make it questionable, especially in the paragraphs that follow. They all have a sense of distain for Dalloway, because Walsh himself is interested with Clarissa, and even a little bitter for being rejected. He paints the image of what he sees Dalloway and Clarissa to be like, but a narration in one of their perspectives would be more trustworthy a marker of their relationship.

In Our Time Ch VII

While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh jesus christ get me out of here. Dear jesus please get me out. Christ please please please christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting killed I’ll do anything that you say. I believe in you and I’ll tell every one in the world that you are the only one that matters. […] The next night back at Mestre he did not tell the girl he went upstairs with at the Villa Rossa about Jesus. And he never told anybody” (67).

lowercase-> disbelief, turning to what other’s believe… he begs for life but does not thank/give back. very selfish and sinful (esp with girl), ungrateful. But also in a tough life situation as a soldier.. killing is a sin but he must to survive. tricky

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 1996.

Whose Body?

“Yes, yes, I know,” said the detective, “but that’s because you’re thinking about your attitude. You want to be consistent, you want to look pretty, you want to swagger debonairly through a comedy of puppets or else to stalk magnificently through a ragedy of human sorrows and things. But that’s childish. If you’ve any duty to society in the way of finding out the truth about murders, you must do it an an attitude that comes handy. YOu want to be elegant and detached? That’s all right, if you find the truth out that way, but it hasn’t any value in itself, you know. You want to look dignified and consistent– what’s that got to do with it? You want to hunt down a murderer for the sport of the thing and then shake hands with him and say ‘Well played– hard luck– you shall have your revenge tomorrow!’ Well, you can’t do it like that. Life’s not a football match. You want to be a sportsman. You can’t be a sportsman. You’re not a responsible person.” (86).

Detective lessons, “for the sport of the thing”, Peter’s doubt and guilt of accusing

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. New York: Dover, 2009

Portrait 1&2

“He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question?” 11

“A shaft of momentary anger flew through Stephen’s mind at these indelicate allusions in the hearing of a stranger. For him there was nothing amusing in a girl’s interest and regard.” 64

notes: character’s interiority, interest in the mind rather than plot. searching for what’s right

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Edited by Jeri Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.


“Why did the subtle, intelligent, attractive, half white girl Melanctha Herbert love and do for and demean herself in service to this coarse, decent, sullen, ordinary, black childish Rose, and why was this unmoral, promiscuous,
shiftless Rose married, and that’s not so common either, to a good man of the negroes, while Melanctha with her white blood and attraction and her desire for a right position had not yet been really married” (Stein 86).

“Girls who are brought up with care and watching can always find moments to escape into the world, where they may learn
the ways that lead to wisdom. For a girl raised like Melanctha Herbert, such escape was always very simple. Often she was alone, sometimes she was with a fellow seeker, and she strayed and stood, sometimes by railroad yards, sometimes on the docks or around new buildings where many men were working. Then when the darkness covered everything all over, she would begin to learn to know this man or that. She would advance, they would respond, and then she would withdraw a
little, dimly, and always she did not know what it was that really held her. Sometimes she would almost go
over, and then the strength in her of not really knowing, would stop the average man in his endeavor. It was a
strange experience of ignorance and power and desire. Melanctha did not know what it was that she so badly wanted. She was afraid, and yet she did not understand that here she really was a coward” (Stein 96).

Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” In Three Lives. New York: Grafton, 1909. Internet Archive.

These passages both highlight Stein’s style of over-emphasizing a character’s traits. She uses many adjectives to describe Melanctha and uses run-on sentences that get extremely confusing as to who Stein is even referring to by the end. Also, her style of writing often repeats the same ideas, for instance writing that Melanctha wishes to kill herself when she is feeling blue. These passages have a connection, I believe, because first we learn that Melanctha is intelligent and beautiful, but also has no idea what she really wants so she gets herself into a lot of trouble. This correlates with the second passage I chose which asserts that Melanctha is actually not going anywhere to make herself happier because she has great fear. She seems bold enough to go out on her own into the world but the one thing stopping her is herself.

The Beast in the Jungle

“Or would it have been nice if he could have been taken with fever, alone, at his hotel, and she could have come to look after him, to write to his people, to drive him out in convalescence. Then they would be in possession of the something or other that their actual show seemed to lack.”

notes: reality as not good enough, Wilde-ish idea

“The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. 193-194.

Is life art?

A novel is in its broadest definition a personal, a direct impression of life : that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression. But there will be no intensity at all, and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say (James 384).

James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction.” In Partial Portraits. New York: Macmillan, 1894. Internet Archive.

notes: definition, emotion, connection

Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die
of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity. I only hope we shall be able to keep this great historic bulwark of our happiness for many years to come; but I am afraid that we are beginning to be over-educated ; at least every- body who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching —that is really what our enthusiasm for education has come to (Wilde 5).

Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Internet Archive.

notes: insight, critique, “incapable of learning has taken to teaching”