The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James was an author I'd never read before, and I enjoyed him thoroughly. Some favorite bits:

[Describing an invalid]: "Living as he now lived was like reading a good book in a poor translation--a meager entertainment for a young man who felt he might have been an excellent linguist." - 94
(I just can't get over this simile. It haunts me.)

"Mrs Touchett, not having cultivated relations with her husband's neighbors, was not warranted in expecting visits from them. She had, however, a peculiar taste; she liked to receive cards. For what is usually called social intercourse she had very little relish; but nothing pleased her more than to find her hall-table whitened with symbolic morsels of white pasteboard." - 112

[One character's opinion]: "The opera's very bad; the women look like laundresses and sing like peacocks." - 349



[I know, all I do these days is quote books, but this passage has been on my mind, especially in relation to Mr Schlect's discussions of the nature of history.]

from chapter 1, as Winston is beginning his first diary entry:
For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary? For the future, for the unborn. [...] For the first time the magnitude of what he had undertaken came home to him. How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.