Shifting my weight and readjusting my stance, I'm eventually able to do like he wants, floating up and down in the palms of his hands. "That's it-" he said. I ask if this is how he and Frieda do it. Laughing, he nods his head no. "Why NOT?" "Because- unlike YOU- she's not very FOND of getting corn-holed.
But the crowds are surging around them and her backpack is heavy on her shoulders and the boy's eyes are searching hers with something like loneliness , like the very last thing he wants is to be left behind right now. And that's something Hadley can understand, too, and so after a moment she nods in agreement, and he tips the suitcase forward onto it's wheels, and they begin to walk.
Jennifer E. Smith
I have a rule." "Elaborate." The statue is still warm from the previous visitors. "I ask myself, if the worst happened-if I did get knocked up-would I be embarrassed to tell my child who his father was? If the answer is anywhere even remotely close to yes, then there's no way." He nods slowly. "That's a good rule.
If you get too heavy with the nods and winks, people get a sense that they're excluded from something. If they're in screenings and everyone's laughing, and they don't know what the hell it's about, somehow you feel excluded from the party, or like you're not in the inner circle. As a performer, that's the worst thing you can do to an audience. It's fun, but you have to be very careful with it.
I'm sorry, " he says. "What? Why?" "You're fixing everything I set down." He nods at my hands, which are readjusting the elephant. "It wasn't polite of me to come in and start touching your things." "Oh, it's okay, " I say quickly, letting go of the figurine. "You can touch anything of mine you want." He freezes. A funny look runs across his face before I realize what I've said. I didn't mean it like that. Not that that would be so bad.
The King walks. He nods. His glance is like God's touch - under it all things spring to life. A wave of his hand and a hundred musicians tear into the Handel, making a sound you've never heard before, and never will again. A sound that goes through you, through flesh and bone, and reorders the very beat of your heart.
Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams... Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.
I have nothing against the North Koreans but this Kim Jong Un has got a screw loose. A member of his cabinet, his security minister, nods off, falls sleep. We've all done it. Kim Jong Un takes the guy out and has him executed, just for just falling asleep. Oh, and he was also deflating footballs.
Did you just tell us you're gay?" Asks Nick "Yes." "Okay, " he says. Abby swats him. "What?" "That's all you're going to say? Okay?" "He said not to make a big deal out of it, " Nick says. "What am I supposed to say?" "Say something supportive. I don't know. Or awkwardly hold his hand like I did. Anything" Nick and I look at each other. "I'm not holding your hand, " I tell him, smiling a little. "All right"-he nods-"but know that I would.
And if I get a little chemically imbalanced in the head, like we all know I tend to get sometimes, and I don't want my parents or brother knowing, Will's like, 'We'll deal with it.' He's never said, 'I'll fix it up.' He just says, 'You're not up to going back to uni to finish your Honours this year? Big deal. There's next year. We'll deal with it.'" She nods. "That's what he does well.
It was a dream, not a nightmare, a beautiful dream I could never imagine in a thousand nods. There was a girl next to me who wasn't beautiful until she smiled and I felt that smile come at me in heat waves following, soaking through my body and out my finger tips in shafts of color and I knew somewhere in the world, somewhere, that there was love for me.
A curtain of stars, miles of them, are scattered, glowing, across the sky and their multitude humbles me, which I have a hard time tolerating. She shrugs and nods after I say something about forms of anxiety. It's as if her mind is having a hard time communicating with her mouth, as if she is searching for a rational analysis of who I am, which is, of course, an impossibility: there... is... no... key.
Bret Easton Ellis
There were so many other people in my life. I had spent all of my time listening, learning the longings we all have in common. I never took the time to hear them in myself and I heard them speaking to him. The desire for desire, that hope for hope, the possibility of everything truly possible. I had so many friends, so many nods and conversations, so many things I'd always wanted to say to someone.
Great men speak secrets about themselves with nods and gestures, walking away from jokes about women rather than condemn the jokester; if with a woman, the turning of their head during a nude scene in a movie speaking volumes about their character without ever saying a word. It is a language foreign to women, but those that take the time to learn it find themselves knowing more about their man than by any other means.
Are you a vegetarian?' I ask, based on the evidence in front of me. She nods. 'Why?' 'Because I have this theory that when we die, every animal that we've eaten has a chance at eating us back. So if you're a carnivore and you add up all the animals you've eaten--well, that's a long time in purgatory, being chewed.' 'Really?' She laughs. 'No. I'm just sick of the question. I mean, I'm a vegetarian because I think it's wrong to eat other sentient creatures. And it sucks for the environment.
One probably hears about it. One, wire, recognizes. One holds her bones up next to each other. One insists, grinding the clutch. One would powder and powder. One would ask out of the back of the throat. One refuses. One is so sad. One is helpful all of a sudden. One turns. One shimmers; hiccups. One puts on a tie and keeps finding a place for his hands. One breathes the old purple. One nods because no one speaks loud enough anymore. One doesn't approve, but trusts. One is so sure.
Your favorite colour . . . it's green?" "That's right." Then I think of something to add. "And yours is orange." "Orange?" He seems unconvinced. "Not bright orange. But soft. Like the sunset," I say. "At least, that's what you told me once." "Oh." He closes his eyes briefly, maybe trying to conjure up that sunset, then nods his head. "Thank you." But more words tumble out. "You're a painter. You're a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.
Even healthy families need outside sources of moral guidance to keep those tensions from imploding--and this means, among other things, a public philosophy of gender equality and concern for child welfare. When instead the larger culture aggrandizes wife beaters, degrades women or nods approvingly at child slappers, the family gets a little more dangerous for everyone, and so, inevitably, does the larger world.
Yes, yes, I'm coming. Right up the top of the house. One moment I'll linger. How the mud goes round in the mind-what a swirl these monsters leave, the waters rocking, the weeds waving and green here, black there, striking to the sand, till by degrees the atoms reassemble, the deposit sifts itself, and a gain through the eyes one sees clear and still, and there comes to the lips some prayer for the departed, some obsequy for the souls of those one nods to, the one never meets again.
My friend Richard Carrion, the CEO of Puerto Rico's top bank, once shared a line with me that I'll never forget: 'Robin, nothing fails like success.' Powerful thought. Your business is most vulnerable when it's most successful. Success actually breeds complacency, inefficiency and - worst of all - arrogance. Whenever I share this point with a roomful of CEOs, every one of them nods their head at this one. Please let me give you a real-world example from my own life.
Robin S. Sharma
Do you ever feel that way?" "Lonely?" I search for the words. "Restless. As if you haven't really met yourself yet. As is you'd passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt - 'Ah! There I Am! I've been missing that piece!' But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again. And you spend the rest of your days looking for it." He nods, and I think he's appeasing me. I feel stupid of having said it. It's sentimental and true, and I've revealed a part of myself I shouldn't have. "Do you know what I think?" Kartik says at last. "What?" "Sometimes, I think you can glimpse it in another.
Because we live in a world under siege, ' I say. 'Life sucks for mages and magicians- you taught me that. Bad things happen to those of us who get involved, but if we didn't fight, we'd be in an even worse state. None of it it's your fault, any more than it's the fault of the moon or the stars.' Dervish nods slowly, then arches an eyebrow 'The moon or the stars?' 'I always get poetic when I'm dealing with self-pitying simpletons.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?
David Foster Wallace
Breast milk is big business." My mother uses my sarcasm as a springboard for her insanity. "We should consider opening a shop that caters to that market. We can call it 'The Milk Bar' or 'Mother's Milk'."... Ethan slaps his hand on the counter. "We can have ice cream made from that shit." He nods into my mother, stony faces, as if he didn't just let an expletive fly.
I know it. I know I shall make beastly mistakes, Father-" "The world does not forgive mistakes so quickly, my girl." He sounds bitter and sad. "If the world will not forgive me, " I say softly, "I shall have to learn to forgive myself." He nods in understanding. "And how will you marry? Or do you intend to marry?" I think of Kartik, and tears threaten. "I shall meet someone one day, as Mother found you.
Or again, take your red banner. You think it's a flag, isn't that what you think? Well, it isn't a flag. It's the purple kerchief of the death woman, she uses it for luring. And why for luring? She waves it and she nods and winks and lures young men to come and be killed, then she sends famine and plague. That's what it is. And you went and believed her. You thought it was a flag. You thought it was: "Come to me, all ye poor and proletarians of the world.
I shake my head. I pick up the rake and start making the dead-leaf pile neater. A blister pops and stains the rake handle like a tear. Dad nods and walks to the Jeep, keys jangling in his fingers. A mockingbird lands on a low oak branch and scolds me. I rake the leaves out of my throat. Me: "Can you buy some seeds? Flower seeds?
Laurie Halse Anderson
I will bear Cloud through the portal, ' Fury says as Soar ties the last knot on his armour. 'Flay will carry you.' 'Who?' Soar turns as the female nods. She's carrying me? 'Where are we going?' 'Skyfall, Master Soar, ' Fury stands. Cloud is small in his arms. 'You shall be a guest of the Dragonkin.' 'I hope our guest is delicious, ' Flay comments as she looks Soar over. Is she flirting or does she plan on eating him? Maybe both.
I've learned to get really good at this-say one thing when I'm thinking about something else, act like I'm listening when I'm not, pretend to be calm and happy when really I'm freaking out. It's one of the skills you perfect as you get older. You have to learn that people are always listening. [... ] Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams and says 'Gray.' Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.
At last, somebody in line steps forward. 'I can commit, ' he says. He's a tall, lean young man with a rifle slung over his back. 'What's your name?' Chris asks. 'Andrew, ' he replies. 'And I'm in.' Chris nods. A few other guys step forward and, after a few moments, the entire crowd of ex-POWs takes one step, signifying their decision. My chest swells with pride - pride for Chris's leadership, pride for the people willing to give their lives to take down Omega. It's a rush.
Chester nods all the way through this, but does not rudely interrupt Randy as a younger nerd would. Your younger nerd takes offense quickly when someone near him begins to utter declarative sentences, because he reads into it an ssertion that he, the nerd, does not already know the information being imparted. But your older nerd has more self-confidence, and besides, understands that frequently people need to think out loud. And highly advanced nerds will furthermore understand that uttering declarative sentences whose contents are already known to all present is part of the social process of making conversation and therefore should not be construed as aggression under any circumstances.
Dawn cackles as she guides me through the all-glass porch. Thinner, paler Reina shuffles about behind Dawn, watching as I slip my boots off. Although she tries to hide her hands, her fingers flicker nervously. I place my boots neatly on the floor of the porch beside the other pairs in the shadows under the coats. Music drifts through to us from a distant room - it's the Beach Boys' California Dreamin'. Dawn looks at me and I smile - they've put the record on for me. Dawn nods along happily. 'Hear you're a surfer boy!' she says and she mimics riding a wave.
Carla H. Krueger
Dee checks to make sure his mic is turned off. 'It's not about common sense.' Dee surveys the crowd with some pride. Dum also checks to make sure his mic is off. 'It's not about logic or practicality or anything that makes a remote amount of sense.' He sports a wide grin. 'That's the whole point of a talent show, ' says Dee, doing a spin onstage. 'It's illogical, chaotic, stupid, and a whole hell of a lot of fun.' Dee nods to Dum. 'It's what sets us apart from monkeys. What other species puts on talent shows?
My smell stays with you? I ruined you... for what?' 'Your smell keeps me going all the time. I'm in a clutch game or at practice and it's full count? Your cloves and vanilla scent calms me down. I spray it on the front of my uniform and rub my right hand across like this.' I demonstrate by rubbing my chest and she watches me in fascination like a starstruck teenager watches a rockstar play his bass. 'I went to three different stores before I found the exact scent. Expensive. French perfume. Chamade by Guerlain.' She nods looking fascinated or charmed by me at least for a few seconds. 'I got it in Paris when I was there a few years ago. I love it.' 'I do too. So yes, you ruined me. For anyone else.' She's smiling but then it slowly disappears like a countdown does as it goes from ten to zero. 'What are you doing to me, Elvis?' she asks, looking troubled.
A hundred years or more, she's bent her crown in storm, in sun, in moonsplashed midnight breeze. surviving all the random vagaries of this harsh world. A dense - twigged veil drifts down from crown along her trunk - mourning slow wood that rustles tattered, in a hint of wind this January dusk, cloudy, purpling the ground with sudden shadows. How she broods - you speculate - on dark surprise and loss, alone these many years, despondent, bent, her bolt-cracked mate transformed to splinters, moss. Though not alone, you feel the sadness of a twilight breeze. There's never enough love; the widow nods to you. Her branches moan.
When did you star here?" I ask her. "Three days ago. Sir. Aspirant. Um -" She wrings her hands. "Veturius is fine." She walks carefully, gingerly - the Commandant must have whipped her recently. And yet she doesn't hunch or shuffle like the others slaves. The straigh-backed grace with which she moves tells her story better than words. She'd been a freewoman before this - I'd bet my scims on it. And she has no idea how pretty she is - or what kind of problems her beauty will cause for her at a place like Blackcliff. The wind pulls at her hair again, and I catch her scent - like fruit and sugar. "Can I give you some advice?" Her head flies up like a scared animal's. At least she's wary. "Right now you... " Will grab the attention of every male in a square mile. "Stand out, " I finish. "It's hot, but you should wear a hood or a cloak - something to help you blend in." She nods, but her eyes are suspicious. She wraps her arms around herself and drops back a little. I don't speak to her again.
We hold these stories and mad idea and events in our head and they run around and around telling us we are different, separate, broken. Then one day the mad idea escapes the asylum. Most times it's unplanned. It just tumbles out on the lap of the man sitting next to us on the bus, or it slips sideways into a conversation on line at the Trader Joe's or it falls out at the kitchen table when your neighbor comes to pick up her cat. And there is a terrifying moment when it first hits the light of day, where we think, 'holy mother of God! What have I done? How could I have been to casual with my crazy ways?' But the man on the bus just smiles and nods his head, and the casher takes a moment to look us in the eye and the neighbor sits for a cup of tea and together we move into some new agreements that we are all in fact crazy and it's so much nicer to be out of the closet with it all.
Bloody rain' says Mr Chivers Bouncing a basketball On the one dry patch of court bloody rain' he nods to our Sports class And gives us the afternoon off. Bloody rain all right As Annabel and I run to Megalong Creek hut Faster than we ever have in Chivers's class And the exercise we have in mind We've been training for all year But I doubt if old Chivers Will give us a medal if he ever finds out. We high jump into the hut And strip down Climb under the blankets And cheer the bloody rain As it does a lap or two Around the mountain While Annabel and me Embrace like winners should Like good sports do As Mr. Chivers sips his third coffee And twitches his bad knee From his playing days While miles away Annabel and I Score a convincing victory And for once in our school life The words 'Physical Education' Make sense...
You know what they say about air and water when it comes to fire, don't you?' she asks. Now, I'm curious. She hasn't spoken for the last ten minutes of the drive. 'What?' 'Too much air blows out the fire. Too much water destroys it.' I nod trying to determine what she's really comparing us to. 'The idea would be to keep the flame going, right. For years?' She nods. 'Like a relationship. Like a marriage.' She cringes at the word marriage. Noted. 'So you need the air-to stay constant-to fan the flames of the fire, and you know, grasshopper, ' I smile at her and catch sight of the corners of her mouth turning slightly upward in response to the endearment, 'a hot enough fire will burn water, so you have to be careful with the water too.' 'That I do know, ' she says softly. 'So that's the truth about air and water.' She sighs deep. 'Which is?' 'It's hard to maintain the balance to keep the fire going. You have to fan the flames without putting it out with too much water. But too little water will burn the fire right up. Too much fire. Too much destruction. We're out of control.' 'You're talking in circles, ' I say. 'No. That's us, ' she says with certainty.
A scattering of pinpoint lights shows up in the blackness ahead. A town or village straddling the highway. The indicator on the speedometer begins to lose ground. The man glances in his mirror at the girl, a little anxiously as if this oncoming town were some kind of test to be met. An illuminated road sign flashes by: CAUTION! MAIN STREET AHEAD - SLOW UP The man nods grimly, as if agreeing with that first word. But not in the way it is meant. The lights grow bigger, spread out on either side. Street lights peer out here and there among the trees. The highway suddenly sprouts a plank sidewalk on each side of it. Dark store-windows glide by. With an instinctive gesture, the man dims his lights from blinding platinum to just a pale wash. A lunch-room window drifts by. ("Jane Brown's Body")
Why?' She nods. 'She had everything: a family who loved her, friends, activities. Her mother wants to know why she threw it all away?' Why you want to know why? Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and falls off, roll in coarse salt, then put on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight. Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all 'A disappointment.' Puke and starve and cut and drink because you need an anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it's too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can't stop. Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everythingsinglething is wrong with you. 'Why?' is the wrong question. Ask 'Why not?
Laurie Halse Anderson
Bella Swan: Jasper? Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help? Jasper Hale: Well just your presence alone, your scent, will distract the newborns. Their hunting instinct will take over, and drive 'em crazy. Bella Swan: Good, I'm glad. [Jasper nods and begins to walk away] Bella Swan:. Bella Swan: Hey, [Jasper turns around] Bella Swan: how do you know so much about this? Jasper Hale: I didn't have quite the same upbringing as my adopted siblings. [Rolls up sleeves and shows Bella his arms, which have bite marks on them] Jasper Hale:. Bella Swan: [Hops off Jeep] Those bites are like mine. Jasper Hale: Battle scars [smiles] Jasper Hale:. All the training the Confederate Army gave me was useless against the newborns, but still, I never lost a fight. Bella Swan: Hey, this - this happened during the Civil War? Jasper Hale: I was the youngest major in the Texas Calvary, all without having seen any real battle. Bella Swan: Until... ? Jasper Hale: Till I met a certain immortal... Maria
Rose Tyler: The time war ends. Emperor Dalek: I will not die! I cannot diieee! [we see Rose's eyes light up, and the Dalek Emperor and his entire fleet disappear in an explosion of golden dust] The Doctor: Rose, you've done it, now stop. [Rose stares straight ahead] The Doctor: Just let go. Rose Tyler: How can I let go of this? I bring life. [we see Jack start breathing again and open his eyes] The Doctor: But this is wrong! You can't control life and death! Rose Tyler: But I can. The sun and the moon, the day and night... but why do they hurt? [she is crying] The Doctor: The power's gonna kill you and it's my fault! Rose Tyler: I can see everything... all that is... all that was... all that ever could be. The Doctor: [stands up] But that's what I see. All the time. And doesn't it drive you mad? Rose Tyler: [Rose nods, barely able to speak] My head... The Doctor: Come here. Rose Tyler:... is killing me. The Doctor: I think you need a Doctor. [He leans down and kisses her, and the golden light transfers from her to him through their lips]
Russell T. Davies
Are the Trials starting?" The girl claps her hands over her mouth. "I'm sorry, " she whispers. "I-" "It's all right." I don't smile at her. It will only scare her. For a female slave, a smile from a Mask is not usually a good thing. "I'm actually wondering the same thing. What's your name?" "S-slave-Girl." Of Course. My mother would already have scourged her name out of existence. "Right. You work for the Commandant?" I want her to say no. I want her to say that my mother roped her into this. I want her to say she's assingned to the kitchens or infirmary, where slaves aren't scarred or missing body parts. But the girl nods in response to my question. Don't let my mother break you, I think. The girl meets my eyes, and there is that feeling again, low and hot and consuming. Don't be weak. Fight. Escape. A gust of wind whips a strand free from her bun and across her cheekbone. Defiance flashes across her face as she holds my gaze, and for a second, I see my own desire for freedom mirrored, intensified in her eyes. It's something I've never detected in the eyes of a fellow student, let alone a Scholar slave. For one strange moment, I feel less alone. But then she looks down, and I wonder at my own naivete. She can't fight. She can't scape. Not from Blackcliff. I smile joylessly; in this, at least, the slave and I are more similar than she'll ever know.
Neel cuts in: "Where'd you grow up?" "Palo Alto, " she says. From there to Stanford to Google: for a girl obsessed with the outer limits of human potential, Kat has stayed pretty close to home. Neel nods knowingly. "The suburban mind cannot comprehend the emergent complexity of a New York sidewalk." "I don't know about that, " Kat says, narrowing her eyes. "I'm pretty good with complexity." "See, I know what you're thinking, " Neel says, shaking his head. "You're thinking it's just an agent-based simulation, and everybody out here follows a pretty simple set of rules"- Kat is nodding-"and if you can figure out those rules, you can model it. You can simulate the street, then the neighborhood, then the whole city. Right?" "Exactly. I mean, sure, I don't know what the rules are yet, but I could experiment and figure them out, and then it would be trivial-" "Wrong, " Neel says, honking like a game-show buzzer. "You can't do it. Even if you know the rules- and by the way, there are no rules-but even if there were, you can't model it. You know why?" My best friend and my girlfriend are sparring over simulations. I can only sit back and listen. Kat frowns. "Why?" "You don't have enough memory." "Oh, come on-" "Nope. You could never hold it all in memory. No computer's big enough. Not even your what's-it-called-" "The Big Box." "That's the one. It's not big enough. This box-" Neel stretches out his hands, encompasses the sidewalk, the park, the streets beyond-"is bigger." The snaking crowd surges forward.
Above all, he encourages her to paint, nodding with approval at even her most unusual experiments with color, light, rough brushwork [... ]. She explains to him that she believes painting should reflect nature and life [... ]. He nods, although he adds cautiously that he wouldn't want her to know too much about life - nature is a fine subject, but life is grimmer than she can understand. He thinks it is good for her to have something satisfying to do at home; he loves art himself; he sees her gift and wants her to be happy. He knows the charming Morisots. He has met the Manets, and always remarks that they are a good family, despite e‰douard's reputation and his immoral experiments (he paints loose women), which make him perhaps too modern - a shame, given his obvious talent. In fact, Yves takes her to many galleries. They attend the Salon every year, with nearly a million other people, and listen to the gossip about favorite canvases and those critics disdain. Occasionally they stroll in the museums in the Louvre, where she sees art students copying paintings and sculpture, even an unchaperoned woman here and there (surely Americans). She can't quite bring herself to admire nudes in his presence, certainly not the heroic males; she knows she will never paint from a nude model herself. Her own formal training was in the private studios of an academican, copying from plaster casts with her mother present, before she married.
Arrive before your Husband. Not that I can See quite what good arriving first will do; But still arrive before him. When he's taken His place upon the couch and you go too To sit beside him, on your best behavior Stealthily touch my foot, and look at me, Watching my nods, my eyes, my face's language; Catch and return my signals secretly. I'll send a wordless message with my eyebrows; You'll read my fingers' words, words traced in wine. When you recall our games of love together, Your finger on rosy cheeks must trace a line. If in your silent thoughts you wish to chide me, Let your hand hold the lobe of your soft ear; When, darling, what I do or say gives pleasure, Keep turning to an fro the ring you wear. When you wish well-earned curses on your husband, Lay your hand on the table, as in prayer. If he pours you wine, watch out, tell him to drink it; Ask for what you want from the waiter there. I shall take next the glass you hand the waiter And I'll drink from the place you took your sips; If he should offer anything he's tasted, Refuse whatever food has touch his lips. Don't let him plant his arms upon your shoulders, Don't let him rest your gentle head on his hard chest, Don't let your dress, your breasts, admit his fingers, And-most of all-no kisses to be pressed! You kiss-and I'll reveal myself your lover; I'll say 'they're mine'; my legal claim I'll stake. All this, of course I'll see, But what's well hidden under your dress-blind terror makes me quake.
Where's your car? Miles asks, glancing at him as he slams his door shut and slings his backpack over his shoulder. "And whats up with your hand?" "I got rid of it, " Damen says, gaze fixed on mine. Then glancing at Miles and seeing his expression he adds, "The car, not the hand." "Did you trade it in?" I ask, but only because Miles is listening. [... ] He shakes his head and walks me to the gate, smiling as he says, "No, I just dropped off on the side of the road, key in the ignition, engine running." "Excuse me?!" Miles yelps. "You mean to tell me that you left your shiny, black, BMW M6 Coupe-by the side of the road?" Damen nods. But thats a hundred-thousand-dollar car!" Miles gasps as his face turns bright red. "A hundreds and ten." Damen laughs. "Don't forget, it was fully customized and loaded with options." Miles stares at him, eyes practically bugging out of his head, unable to comprehend how anyone could do such a thing-why anyone would do such a thing. "Um, okay, so let me get this straight-you just woke up and decided-Hey, what the hell? I think I'll just dump my ridiculously expensive luxury car by the side of the road-WHERE JUST ANYONE CAN TAKE IT?" Damen shrugs. "Pretty much." "Because in case you haven't noticed, " Miles says, practically hyperventilating now. "Some of us are a little car deprived. Some of us were born with parents so cruel and unusual they're forced to rely on the kindness of friends for the rest of their lives!" "Sorry." Damen shrugs. "Guess I hadn't thought about that. Though if it makes you feel any better, it was all for a very good cause.
Now, it may be objected that Orwell was no Borges, that Nineteen Eighty-Four is no postmodern literary experiment, and that I am considering the Appendix too curiously. Perhaps the Newspeak essay should be seen simply as a parody 'presented in the form of a mock-survey, scientific and historical, of the language of Oceania, ' whose purpose is to illustrate 'how a totalitarian oligarchy uses the rational tools of science as the instrument of power.' Or perhaps the problem I have identified could be explained as one more manifestation of 'the generic contradiction between naturalism and satire that is the basic formal determinant of the book.' Furthermore, it is pointless to second-guess an author; there are commonsense explanations for Orwell's decision to place the Newspeak essay in an Appendix, and for his failure to identify precisely the essay's author; the incongruities between the Appendix and the novel proper do not reduce the political urgency of the total work; it is a mistake to come to Nineteen Eighty-Four with expectations derived from more conventional novels; paradoxes are the stuff of futuristic stories; readers have a duty to suspend their disbelief; even Homer nods. But, if it was unlike Orwell to lure us deliberately into a hall of mirrors, he certainly did not lack ingenuity. And, even if he encountered difficulties he was unable to solve, his imperfect solutions were consonant with the plan to convey a world deprived of 'objective truth.' Even though his handling of the Appendix may have had unforeseen consequences for the book as a whole, the confusion raised by the document nevertheless 'works.' The footnote's implied promise of verification is hollow, and the reader's attempts to determine the 'objective truth' about Oceania-its social and political structure, its language, its fate-are frustrated. By trying to reconcile the novel and the Appendix, we experience for ourselves-'outside' the novel, as it were-what it might be like to inhabit a world in which the authenticity (never mind the accuracy or objectivity) of all documents is in doubt, in which documents are almost dreamlike, unfixed in time, infused with self-contradiction, at once recognisable and cryptic. Those who keep a checklist of Orwell's 'prophecies' may credit him with anticipating and dramatising the age of 'disinformation.
Richard K. Sanderson
I will not mention the name (and what bits of it I happen to give here appear in decorous disguise) of that man, that Franco-Hungarian writer... I would rather not dwell upon him at all, but I cannot help it- he is surging up from under my pen. Today one does not hear much about him; and this is good, for it proves that I was right in resisting his evil spell, right in experiencing a creepy chill down my spine whenever this or that new book of his touched my hand. The fame of his likes circulates briskly but soon grows heavy and stale; and as for history it will limit his life story to the dash between two dates. Lean and arrogant, with some poisonous pun ever ready to fork out and quiver at you, and with a strange look of expectancy in his dull brown veiled eyes, this false wag had, I daresay, an irresistible effect on small rodents. Having mastered the art of verbal invention to perfection, he particularly prided himself on being a weaver of words, a title he valued higher than that of a writer; personally, I never could understand what was the good of thinking up books, of penning things that had not really happened in some way or other; and I remember once saying to him as I braved the mockery of his encouraging nods that, were I a writer, I should allow only my heart to have imagination, and for the rest rely upon memory, that long-drawn sunset shadow of one's personal truth. I had known his books before I knew him; a faint disgust was already replacing the aesthetic pleasure which I had suffered his first novel to give me. At the beginning of his career, it had been possible perhaps to distinguish some human landscape, some old garden, some dream- familiar disposition of trees through the stained glass of his prodigious prose... but with every new book the tints grew still more dense, the gules and purpure still more ominous; and today one can no longer see anything at all through that blazoned, ghastly rich glass, and it seems that were one to break it, nothing but a perfectly black void would face one's shivering soul. But how dangerous he was in his prime, what venom he squirted, with what whips he lashed when provoked! The tornado of his passing satire left a barren waste where felled oaks lay in a row, and the dust still twisted, and the unfortunate author of some adverse review, howling with pain, spun like a top in the dust.