Offhand Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
i-do-really-crazy-things-all-time-but-i-cant-think-anything-offhand
i-never-lie-i-said-offhand-at-least-not-to-those-i-dont-love-anne-rice
geographer-n-a-chap-who-can-tell-you-offhand-difference-between-outside-world-inside-ambrose-bierce
offhand-only-north-american-writers-i-can-think-who-have-come-from-background-rural-poverty-gone-on-to-write-about-it-have-been-negroes-alden-nowlan
wolfgang-tillmans-stunning-largescale-pictures-being-shown-for-the-first-time-were-so-offhand-i-failed-to-see-them-as-art
the-offhand-decision-some-commonplace-mind-high-in-office-at-critical-moment-influences-course-events-for-hundred-years-thomas-hardy
my-opposition-to-interviews-lies-in-fact-that-offhand-answers-have-little-value-grace-expression-that-such-oral-give-take-helps-to-perpetuate-james-thurber
it-was-lot-fun-on-set-i-had-most-fun-making-that-movie-out-all-them-im-sure-if-i-sat-thought-about-it-but-none-that-i-could-think-offhand
im-just-trying-to-keep-things-simple-just-be-little-more-offhand-not-get-deep-into-things-enjoy-what-you-got-right-now-because-who-knows-whats-going-to-happen-tomorrow
shunsuke-hated-preoccupation-with-modern-psychology-that-judged-his-casual-offhand-remarks-his-daily-actions-as-betraying-his-identity-ideas-with-better-clarity-than-did-his-high
a-leaf-that-is-destined-to-grow-large-is-full-grooves-wrinkles-at-start-now-if-one-has-no-patience-wants-it-smooth-offhand-like-willow-leaf-there-johann-wolfgang-von-goethe
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a cafe makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang-which is the most favored city in the country-every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction, ' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.

Christopher Hitchens
sooner-later-all-talk-among-foreigners-in-pyongyang-turns-to-one-imponderable-subject-do-locals-really-believe-what-they-are-told-do-they-truly-revere-fat-man-little-boy-i-have-b
Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely, " they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.

Billy Collins
marginalia-sometimes-notes-are-ferocious-skirmishes-against-author-raging-along-borders-every-page-in-tiny-black-script-if-i-could-just-get-my-hands-on-you-kierkegaard-conor-crui
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