The White Stocking Quotes

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A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Robin: When you do marry, who will you marry? Maria: I have not quite decided yet, but I think I shall marry a boy I knew in London. Robin(yells): What? Marry some mincing nincompoop of a Londoner with silk stockings and a pomade in his hair and face like a Cheshire cheese? You dare do such a thing! You - Maria - if you marry a London man I'll wring his neck! (...) I'll not only wring his neck, I'll wring everybody's necks, and I'll go right away out of the valley, over the hills to the town where my father came from, and I won't ever come back here again. So there! (...) Maria: Why don't you want me to marry that London boy? Robin(shouting): Because you are going to marry me. Do you hear, Maria? You are going to marry me.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Little White Horse)
With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Market moralities and mentalities-- fueled by economic imperatives to make a profit at nearly any cost-- yield unprecedented levels of loneliness, isolation, and sadness. And our public life lies in shambles, shot through with icy cynicism and paralyzing pessimism. To put it bluntly, beneath the record-breaking stock markets on Wall Street and bipartisan budget-balancing deals in the White House lurk ominous clouds of despair across this nation.
Cornel West (Restoring Hope: Conversations on the Future of Black America)
That evening was the evening of the full moon. The garden was an enchanted place where all the flowers seemed white. The lilies, the daphnes, the orange-blossom, the white stocks, the white pinks, the white roses - you could see these as plainly as in the daytime; but the coloured flowers existed only as fragrance.
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April)
In this room I have picked which gun was unloaded out of ten options. And then they pulled the trigger on me. I have picked stocks that went on to skyrocket. I have picked which pencil I would shove into Ms. Robertson’s ear until she kicked me out for thinking about it.
Kiersten White (Mind Games (Mind Games, #1))
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement Clarke Moore (The Night Before Christmas)
I think about pasta in the shape of Hello Kitty, stockings with diamond seams up the back, Marilyn's crumbling cake-mascara, and Liz Taylor's new white hair. I haven't got time for the trivials.
Emma Forrest
Slowly he took out the clothes in which, ten years beforem Cosette had left Montfermeil; first the little dress, then the black scarf, then the great heavy child's shoes Cosette could still almost have worn, so small was her foot, then the vest of very thich fustian, then the knitted petticoat, the the apron with pockets, then the wool stockings.... Then his venerable white head fell on the bed, this old stoical heart broke, his face was swallowed up, so to speak, in Cosette's clothes, and anybody who had passed along the staircase at that moment would have heard irrepressible sobbing.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. Now, Heaven knows, anything goes. The world has gone mad today, and good's bad today, and black's white today, and day's night today....
Cole Porter
I can't make the hills The system is shot I'm living on pills For which I thank G-d I followed the course From chaos to art Desire the horse Depression the cart I sailed like a swan I sank like a rock But time is long gone Past my laughing stock My page was too white My ink was too thin The day wouldn't write What the night pencilled in My animal howls My angel's upset But I'm not allowed A trace of regret For someone will use What I couldn't be My heart will be hers Impersonally She'll step on the path She'll see what I mean My will cut in half And freedom between For less than a second Our lives will collide The endless suspended The door open wide Then she will be born To someone like you What no one has done She'll continue to do I know she is coming I know she will look And that is the longing And this is the book
Leonard Cohen (Book of Longing)
The supermarket shelves have been rearranged. It happened one day without warning. There is agitation and panic in the aisles, dismay in the faces of older shoppers.[…]They scrutinize the small print on packages, wary of a second level of betrayal. The men scan for stamped dates, the women for ingredients. Many have trouble making out the words. Smeared print, ghost images. In the altered shelves, the ambient roar, in the plain and heartless fact of their decline, they try to work their way through confusion. But in the end it doesn’t matter what they see or think they see. The terminals are equipped with holographic scanners, which decode the binary secret of every item, infallibly. This is the language of waves and radiation, or how the dead speak to the living. And this is where we wait together, regardless of our age, our carts stocked with brightly colored goods. A slowly moving line, satisfying, giving us time to glance at the tabloids in the racks. Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Once in an endless meadow, just able to peer through the tawny haze of the grass tops, the child who was myself had watched a young fox catching mice, an elegant newly minted fox, straight from the hand of God, brilliantly ruddy, with black stockings and a white-tipped brush. The fox heard and turned. I saw its intense vivid mask, its liquid amber eyes. Then it was gone. An image of such beauty and such mysterious sense. The child wept and knew himself an artist.
Iris Murdoch (The Black Prince)
She didn’t drink a lot, but she drank me into wonderland where we spent the time giggling and laughing. However, know this if you are able or leave while you still can. Love is unstable when built on what must come and go with the wind and sand. After a while, I heard the increasing activity from the hall as the campus was starting to come alive and I said to Penny, “I think we need to get to the bistro” and she responded by slipping one brown shoe delicately over her white nylon stocking.
Joseph L. Persia
Then, in the 1980's, came the paroxysm of downsizing, and the very nature of the corporation was thrown into doubt. In what began almost as a fad and quickly matured into an unshakable habit, companies were 'restructuring,' 'reengineering,' and generally cutting as many jobs as possible, white collar as well as blue . . . The New York Times captured the new corporate order succintly in 1987, reporting that it 'eschews loyalty to workers, products, corporate structures, businesses, factories, communities, even the nation. All such allegiances are viewed as expendable under the new rules. With survival at stake, only market leadership, strong profits and a high stock price can be allowed to matter'.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change…Anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
Above his head at street level, he saw an angled aileron of a scarlet Porsche, its jaunty fin more or less at the upper edge of his window frame. A pair of very soft, clean glistening black shoes appeared, followed by impeccably creased matt charcoal pinstriped light woollen legs, followed by the beautifully cut lower hem of a jacket, its black vent revealing a scarlet silk lining, its open front revealing a flat muscular stomach under a finely-striped red and white shirt. Val’s legs followed, in powder-blue stockings and saxe-blue shoes, under the limp hem of a crêpey mustard-coloured dress, printed with blue moony flowers. The four feet advanced and retreated, retreated and advanced, the male feet insisting towards the basement stairs, the female feet resisting, parrying. Roland opened the door and went into the area, fired mostly by what always got him, pure curiosity as to what the top half looked like.
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
To Summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs. where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves even deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of the fall off, but other cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. 'Ladies and gentlemen,' they yell, 'we are floating in space!' but none of the people down there care. 'What a bunch of troublemakers!' they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princes Di is expecting again?
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
Mother Nature does not develop Alzheimer’s—actually there is evidence that even humans would not easily lose brain function with age if they followed a regimen of stochastic exercise and stochastic fasting, took long walks, avoided sugar, bread, white rice, and stock market investments, and refrained from taking economics classes or reading such things as The New York Times.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
She wore a pleated skirt, a white cotton blouse, and simple black shoes with knee high stockings. At the arc of each step, the skirt would rise to expose a few inches of her taut thighs. Neither Earl nor Duke could recall what Chad was wearing.
A. Lee Martinez (Gil's All Fright Diner)
Tell me “The Subtle Briar” again,’ she asked. She knew I would still know it by heart. I whispered to her in the dark. ‘When you cut down the hybrid rose, its blackened stump below the graft spreads furtive fingers in the dirt. It claws at life, weaving a raft of suckering roots to pierce the earth. The first thin shoot is fierce and green, a pliant whip of furious briar splitting the soil, gulping the light. You hack it down. It skulks between the flagstones of the garden path to nurse a hungry spur in shade against the porch. With iron spade you dig and drag it from the gravel and toss it living on the fire. ‘It claws up towards the light again hidden from view, avoiding battle beyond the fence. Unnoticed, then, unloved, unfed, it clings and grows in the wild hedge. The subtle briar armors itself with desperate thorns and stubborn leaves – and struggling higher, unquenchable, it now adorns itself with blossom, till the stalk is crowned with beauty, papery white fine petals thin as chips of chalk or shaven bone, drinking the light. ‘Izabela, Aniela, Alicia, Eugenia, Stefania, Rozalia, Pelagia, Irena, Alfreda, Apolonia, Janina, Leonarda, Czeslava, Stanislava, Vladyslava, Barbara, Veronika, Vaclava, Bogumila, Anna, Genovefa, Helena, Jadviga, Joanna, Kazimiera, Ursula, Vojcziecha, Maria, Wanda, Leokadia, Krystyna, Zofia. ‘When you cut down the hybrid rose to cull and plough its tender bed, trust there is life beneath your blade: the suckering briar below the graft, the wildflower stock of strength and thorn whose subtle roots are never dead.
Elizabeth Wein (Rose Under Fire)
I know you put a lot of stock in the fact that you’re ‘better’ now. That you handle things. That you cope. But coping takes a lot out of a person, too. And handling things doesn’t mean never struggling or slipping up. Life isn’t that black-and-white, not even close.
Talia Hibbert (Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2))
The sand swallows burst out of their scupper holes in the bluffs and out over the transparent drown of the water, back again to the white, to the brown, to the black, from moving to stock-still sand waves and water-worked woods and roots that hugged and twisted in the sun.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
in immortality for the masses. He was a eugenicist: organ transplantation and life extension were ways to preserve what he saw as the superior white race, which he believed was being polluted by less intelligent and inferior stock, namely the poor, uneducated, and nonwhite. He dreamed of never-ending life for those he deemed worthy, and death or forced sterilization for everyone else. He’d later praise Hitler for the “energetic measures” he took in that direction.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
One can try to evade the problem by adopting a ‘morality of intentions’. What’s important is what I intend, not what I actually do or the outcome of what I do. However, in a world in which everything is interconnected, the supreme moral imperative becomes the imperative to know. The greatest crimes in modern history resulted not just from hatred and greed, but even more so from ignorance and indifference. Charming English ladies financed the Atlantic slave trade by buying shares and bonds in the London stock exchange, without ever setting foot in either Africa or the Caribbean. They then sweetened their four o’clock tea with snow-white sugar cubes produced in hellish plantations – about which they knew nothing.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
The wicked people of the world are not supposed to be calm and composed. They are supposed to have hysterics and take poison like Hitler and Göring, or fall on their swords like the Japanese soldiers when they had to surrender. They are not supposed to cross one leg over the other and show off their white stockings and nice ankles.
Amy Bloom (Lucky Us)
I sailed like a swan I sank like a rock But time is long gone Past my laughing stock My page was too white My ink was too thin The day wouldn't write What the night pencilled in My animal howls My angel's upset But I'm not allowed A trace of regret For someone will use What I couldn't be My heart will be hers Impersonally She'll step on the path She'll see what I mean My will cut in half And freedom between For less than a second Our lives will collide The endless suspended The door open wide Then she will be born To someone like you What no one has done She'll continue to do I know she is coming I know she will look And that is the longing And this is the book
Leonard Cohen (Book of Longing)
Then she washed and dressed very attentively, putting on high-heeled court shoes, silk stockings, a black skirt and crisply ironed white blouse, because she was Viennese and one dressed properly even when one's world had ended.
Eva Ibbotson (The Morning Gift)
I don’t know why religious zealots have this compulsion to try to convert everyone who passes before them – I don’t go around trying to make them into St Louis Cardinals fans, for Christ’s sake – and yet they never fail to try. Nowadays when accosted I explain to them that anyone wearing white socks with Hush Puppies and a badge saying HI! I’M GUS! probably couldn’t talk me into getting out of a burning car, much less into making a lifelong commitment to a deity, and ask them to send someone more intelligent and with a better dress sense next time, but back then I was too meek to do anything but listen politely and utter non-committal ‘Hmmmm’s’ to their suggestions that Jesus could turn my life around. Somewhere over the Atlantic, as I was sitting taking stock of my 200 cubic centimetres of personal space, as one does on a long plane flight, I spied a coin under the seat in front of me, and with protracted difficulty leaned forward and snagged it. When I sat up, I saw my seatmate was at last looking at me with that ominous glow. ‘Have you found Jesus?’ he said suddenly. ‘Uh, no, it’s a quarter,’ I answered and quickly settled down and pretended for the next six hours to be asleep, ignoring his whispered entreaties to let Christ build a bunkhouse in my heart.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
I want to see your stockings,” he growled. “The plain white ones.” Her lips parted, as if to make a refusal, and then she blinked. Her puzzled look only made her more adorable to him. “Yes, I was driven demented in your closet.” He bent down to kiss her. “I’m passionately in love with your hosiery.
Laura Kinsale (Lessons in French)
With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at me.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Well, the black man has functioned in the white man's world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar: and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations. You, don't be afraid. I said that it was intended that you should perish in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go behind the white man's definitions, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention; and, by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers - your lost, younger brothers. And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it. For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become. It will be hard, James, but you come from sturdy, peasant stock, men who picked cotton and damned rivers and built railroads, and, in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
She was quite a doll. She wore a white belted raincoat, no hat, a well-cherished head of platinum hair, booties to match the raincoat, a folding plastic umbrella, a pair of blue-gray eyes that looked at me as if I had said a dirty word. I helped her off with her raincoat. She smelled very nice. She had a pair of legs - so far as I could determine - that were not painful to look at. She wore night sheer stockings. I stared at them rather intently, especially when she crossed her legs and held out a cigarette to be lighted
Raymond Chandler (Playback (Philip Marlowe, #7))
He was completely detached from every thing except the story he was writing and he was living in it as he built it. The difficult parts he had dreaded he now faced one after another and as he did the people, the country, the days and the nights, and the weather were all there as he wrote. He went on working and he felt as tired as if he had spent the night crossing the broken volcanic desert and the sun had caught him and the others with the dry gray lakes still ahead. He could feel the weight of the heavy double-barreled rifle carried over his shoulder, his hand on the muzzle, and he tasted the pebble in his mouth. Across the shimmer of the dry lakes he could see the distant blue of the escarpment. Ahead of him there was no one, and behind was the long line of porters who knew that they had reached this point three hours too late. It was not him, of course, who had stood there that morning, nor had he even worn the patched corduroy jacket faded almost white now, the armpits rotted through by sweat, that he took off then and handed to his Kamba servant and brother who shared with him the guilt and knowledge of the delay, watching him smell the sour, vinegary smell and shake his head in disgust and then grin as he swung the jacket over his black shoulder holding it by the sleeves as they started off across the dry-baked gray, the gun muzzles in their right hands, the barrels balanced on their shoulders, the heavy stocks pointing back toward the line of porters. It was not him, but as he wrote it was and when someone read it, finally, it would be whoever read it and what they found when they should reach the escarpment, if they reached it, and he would make them reach its base by noon of that day; then whoever read it would find what there was there and have it always.
Ernest Hemingway (The Garden of Eden)
Farther west, Michigan’s seemingly inexhaustible stock of white pine—170 billion board feet of it when the first colonists arrived—shrank by 95 percent in just a century.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Only the tips of her stockings showed, quick flashes of white lace. She wore lace stockings to bed. Now, why should that be the best news he’d had all day? Should
Meredith Duran (Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4))
MARBLE STEPS COMPLAINT White dew grows on the marble steps, And in the long night, soaks into my stockings. But now I let the crystal curtain down, And gaze through it at the autumn moon.
Li Bai
little sleek crisp flaxen wig, setting very close to his head: which wig, it is to be presumed, was made of hair, but which looked far more as though it were spun from filaments of silk or glass. His linen, though not of a fineness in accordance with his stockings, was as white as the tops of the waves that broke upon the neighbouring beach, or the specks of sail that glinted
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
For that particular community, for my community, the massage has long been clear: The Civil War is a story for white people - acted out by white people, on white people's terms - in which blacks feature strictly as stock characters and props. We are invited to listen, but never to truly join the narrative, for to speak as the slave would, to say that we are as happy for the Civil War as most Americans are for the Revolutionary War, is to rupture the narrative. Having been tendered such a conditional invitation, we have elected - as most sane people would - to decline.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
In Chinatown, a large rock painted with a message— CHINESE GO HOME!— shattered the front window of Chong & Sons, Jewellers. An arsonist’s fire gutted the Wing Sing restaurant overnight; Mr. Wing stood in the softly falling wisps of soot-flecked snow, his sober face backlit by the orange glow as he watched everything he’d built burn to the ground. […] Fear was everywhere. At a eugenics conference in the elegant ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, genteel men in genteel suits spoke of “the mongrel problem— the ruin of the white race.” They pointed to drawings and diagrams that proved most disease could be traced to inferior breeding stock. They called this science. They called it fact. They called it patriotism. People drank their coffee and nodded in agreement.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
NO DIVINE BOVINE ! The clumsy creature currently inhabiting the White House is a distinctly dangerous animal. Part boneheaded raging bully, part dastardly coward showing signs of advanced stage mad cow disease. Neither of good pedigree nor useful breeding stock, there is essentially very little of substance between the T (bone) and the RUMP, except of course for an abundance of methane and bullshit. It's high time brave matadors for you to enter the bullring, with nimble step and fleet of foot. Take good aim and bring down this marauding beast once and for all. Slay public enemy number one and we will salute you forever. A louder cheer you will not hear from Madrid to Mexico City, from Beijing to Brussels, from London to Lahore, from Toronto to Tehran and ten thousand cities in between.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
A permanent dull ache spread from my belly to my chest. I thought I could feel pinpricks of loneliness in the pads of my fingers, taste it in the back of my mouth. Clara Miller must have been lonely too, longing to be touched. One day as she sat before her metal tub filled to the rim with sweet corn, she reached behind her head and unpinned her silver hair. It tumbled down her back like creamy lace cloak. She hiked her skirts to her knees and I could see she had removed her stockings. Her legs were heavy and milk white, solid as columns. She hiked her skirts higher, until they bunched in her lap. When I kissed the back of her neck she quivered, like the dying peasant I’d shot and killed a week before. Her silver hair smelled like smoke. Clara and I tangled together like the bale of wire resting beside the unrepaired chicken coop. We were shameless, falling to the ground, wading into the creek, making our way to her bed.
Susan Power (The Grass Dancer)
For the most part, in this tropic whaling life, a sublime uneventfulness invests you; you hear no news; read no gazettes; extras with startling accounts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary excitements; you hear of no domestic afflictions; bankrupt securities; fall of stocks; are never troubled with the thought of what you shall have for dinner— for all your meals for three years and more are snugly stowed in casks, and your bill of fare is immutable.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick: or, the White Whale)
Back in Brooklyn, the wind was sharp and the streets were slick and Kat just really wished her Uncle Eddie believed in leaving a key under the mat instead of maintaining his strict stance that anyone who could not break into his Brooklyn brownstone had absolutely no business staying there without him. “Is there a problem, Kitty Kat?” a voice said from over Kat’s shoulder. Kat’s fingers were frozen and her breath fogged, and she’d had a far too upbeat rendition of “White Christmas” stuck in her head on a perpetual loop for the past eight hours. So, yes, there was a problem. But Kat would never, ever admit it. “I’m fine, Gabrielle,” she told her cousin. “Really?” Gab asked. “Because if you can’t handle Uncle Eddie’s lock then someone is going to get a lump of coal in her stocking again this Christmas.” “It wasn’t coal,” Kat shot back. “It was a very rare mineral from a condemned mine in South Africa, and it was a very thoughtful gift.
Ally Carter (The Grift of the Magi (Heist Society, #3.5))
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
small pieces and fed the fire. I will not let you go out, he said to himself, to the flames—not ever. And so he sat through a long part of the day, keeping the flames even, eating from his stock of raspberries, leaving to drink from the lake when he was thirsty. In the afternoon, toward the evening, with his face smoke smeared and his skin red from the heat, he finally began to think ahead to what he needed to do. He would need a large woodpile to get through the night. It would be almost impossible to find wood in the dark so he had to have it all in and cut and stacked before the sun went down. Brian made certain the fire was banked with new wood, then went out of the shelter and searched for a good fuel supply. Up the hill from the campsite the same windstorm that left him a place to land the plane—had that only been three, four days ago?—had dropped three large white pines across each other. They were dead now, dry and filled with weathered dry dead limbs
Gary Paulsen (Hatchet (Hatchet, #1))
Pessimism is a towering skyscraper eighty stories high in the suburbs of the soul at the end of a long avenue with waste ground on either side and a few poorly-stocked little shops. Several ultra-fast staircases give access to the building, running up from the cellars to the roof-gardens. The comfort of this place leaves nothing to be desired and only the greatest luxury is acceptable, but every Friday the residents gather on the ground floor to read from a bible bound in the skin of a blind man. The psalmic words they intone rise up through the pipes, sigh in the stoves and sweep the chimneys coated inside with black grease which leaves dirt on the skin. Water runs constantly in the bathrooms and the showers beat down on the numbered bodies, peppering them with sand. On Sundays the bed linen unrolls by itself and nobody makes love. For this tower block, like an obscure phallus scraping the vulva of the sky, is usually a hive of sexual activity. The most beautiful woman lives there, but no-one has ever known her. It is said, that dressed in furs and feathers, she keeps herself shut away in a first-floor apartment as if in a white safe. Her windows are scissors which cut short both shadow and breath. Her name is AURORA.
Michel Leiris (Aurora)
But Carrel wasn’t interested in immortality for the masses. He was a eugenicist: organ transplantation and life extension were ways to preserve what he saw as the superior white race, which he believed was being polluted by less intelligent and inferior stock, namely the poor, uneducated, and nonwhite. He dreamed of never-ending life for those he deemed worthy, and death or forced sterilization for everyone else. He’d later praise Hitler for the “energetic measures” he took in that direction.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
All April and May, the stock-pots exuded the fragrance of the crushed bones and marrow of cattle and fowl, seasoned with the crispate herbs and vegetables from her own luxuriant garden. The smells coalesced into a dark perfume that felt like a layer of silk on the tongue. My nose grew kingly at the approach of my home. There would be the redolent brown stocks the color of tanned leather, the light and chipper white stocks, and the fish stocks brimming with the poached heads of trout smelling like an edible serving of marsh.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
Douglass found little encouragement in the behavior of the Northern public during the secession crisis. The bulk of white Northerners had always viewed abolitionists with suspicion or contempt, and with the threat of disunion in the air, hostility to antislavery agitators rose to new levels of violence. By December 1860, Northern workingmen, along with merchants, shipowners, and cotton manufacturers, were deeply worried about the impact of potential disunion, while bankers and industrialists squirmed as the prices of stocks declined markedly.
David W. Blight (Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom)
In a world in which everything is interconnected, the supreme moral imperative becomes the imperative to know. The greatest crimes in modern history resulted not just from hatred and greed, but even more so from ignorance and indifference. Charming English ladies financed the Atlantic slave trade by buying shares and bonds in the London stock exchange, without ever setting foot in either Africa or the Caribbean. They then sweetened their four o'clock tea with snow-white sugar cubes produced in hellish plantations – about which they knew nothing.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
She preferred wearing the thong under the garter belt instead of over it because she thought it looked better, but that required unfastening the stockings in order to slip it off if he wanted to leave the garter belt on, and he always did. He didn’t mind, but it did slow down the process a bit. This time, he’d circumvented the issue by choosing a thong that tied on each side. Now he yanked on the strings and pulled it right off her, leaving the garter belt in place. He smiled because he always took satisfaction in coming up with a successful work-around.
Tracey Garvis Graves (White-Hot Hack (Kate and Ian, #2))
General Electric offered to do the job for $1.8 million, insisting the deal would not earn a penny’s profit. A number of exposition directors held General Electric stock and urged William Baker, president of the fair since Lyman Gage’s April retirement, to accept the bid. Baker refused, calling it “extortionate.” General Electric rather miraculously came back with a bid of $554,000. But Westinghouse, whose AC system was inherently cheaper and more efficient, bid $399,000. The exposition went with Westinghouse, and helped change the history of electricity.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
I carried with me into the West End Bar, the White Horse Tavern, a long list of things I would never do: I would never have my hair set in a beauty parlor. I would never move to a suburb and bake cakes or make casseroles. I would never go to a country club dance, although I did like the paper lanterns casting rainbow colors on the terrace. I would never invest in the stock market. I would never play canasta. I would never wear pearls. I would love like a nursling but I would never go near a man who had a portfolio or a set of golf clubs or a business or even a business suit. I would only love a wild thing. I didn't care if wild things tended to break hearts. I didn't care if they substituted scotch for breakfast cereal. I understood that wild things wrote suicide notes to the gods and were apt to show up three hours later than promised. I understood that art was long and life was short.
Anne Roiphe (Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason)
At childhood’s end, the houses petered out into playing fields, the factory, allotments kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men, the silent railway line, the hermit’s caravan, till you came at last to the edge of the woods. It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf. He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud in his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw, red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears he had! What big eyes he had! What teeth! In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me, sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink, my first. You might ask why. Here’s why. Poetry. The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods, away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake, my stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes but got there, wolf’s lair, better beware. Lesson one that night, breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem. I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for what little girl doesn’t dearly love a wolf? Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws and went in search of a living bird – white dove – which flew, straight, from my hands to his hope mouth. One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said, licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books. Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head, warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood. But then I was young – and it took ten years in the woods to tell that a mushroom stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out, season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf as he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother’s bones. I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone. Little Red-Cap
Carol Ann Duffy (The World's Wife)
Don’t worry about me,” he said. “The little limp means nothing. People my age limp. A limp is a natural thing at a certain age. Forget the cough. It’s healthy to cough. You move the stuff around. The stuff can’t harm you as long as it doesn’t settle in one spot and stay there for years. So the cough’s all right. So is the insomnia. The insomnia’s all right. What do I gain by sleeping? You reach an age when every minute of sleep is one less minute to do useful things. To cough or limp. Never mind the women. The women are all right. We rent a cassette and have some sex. It pumps blood to the heart. Forget the cigarettes. I like to tell myself I’m getting away with something. Let the Mormons quit smoking. They’ll die of something just as bad. The money’s no problem. I’m all set incomewise. Zero pensions, zero savings, zero stocks and bonds. So you don’t have to worry about that. That’s all taken care of. Never mind the teeth. The teeth are all right. The looser they are, the more you can wobble them with your tongue. It gives the tongue something to do. Don’t worry about the shakes. Everybody gets the shakes now and then. It’s only the left hand anyway. The way to enjoy the shakes is pretend it’s somebody else’s hand. Never mind the sudden and unexplained weight loss. There’s no point eating what you can’t see. Don’t worry about the eyes. The eyes can’t get any worse than they are now. Forget the mind completely. The mind goes before the body. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. So don’t worry about the mind. The mind is all right. Worry about the car. The steering’s all awry. The brakes were recalled three times. The hood shoots up on pothole terrain.” Deadpan.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Facing these men, who were ferocious, we admit, and terrifying, but ferocious and terrifying for good ends, there are other men, smiling, embroidered, gilded, beribboned, starred, in silk stockings, in white plumes, in yellow gloves, in varnished shoes, who, with their elbows on a velvet table, beside a marble chimney-piece, insist gently on demeanor and the preservation of the past, of the Middle Ages, of divine right, of fanaticism, of innocence, of slavery, of the death penalty, of war, glorifying in low tones and with politeness, the sword, the stake, and the scaffold. For our part, if we were forced to make a choice between the barbarians of civilization and the civilized men of barbarism, we should choose the barbarians.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
It was then that I began to understand that everything in the room had stopped, like the watch and the clock, a long time ago. I noticed that Miss Havisham put down the jewel exactly on the spot from which she had taken it up. As Estella dealt the cards, I glanced at the dressing-table again, and saw that the shoe upon it, once white, now yellow, had never been worn. I glanced down at the foot from which the shoe was absent, and saw that the silk stocking on it, once white, now yellow, had been trodden ragged. Without this arrest if everything, this standing still of all the pale decayed objects, not even the withered bridal dress on the collapsed form could not have looked so like grave-clothes, or the long veil so like a shroud.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Each hand held a shoe and a handful of skirt, the hem of her pale blue polonaise gown raised above the knee, exposing satin ribbons which held up her white stockings. The ribbons were a bold cerise, like her lips, which were pulled wide in a girlish grin—inviting and ripe with unspent kisses—a hot-sweet ring of nubile, innocent fire. High cheeks, pink with natural rouge, gave
Samantha Kaye (Amour (Passion and Glory #1))
Then he looked down, and saw that the blood streamed so much from the shoe, that her white stockings were quite red. So he turned his horse and brought her also back again. 'This is not the true bride,' said he to the father; 'have you no other daughters?' 'No,' said he; 'there is only a little dirty Ashputtel here, the child of my first wife; I am sure she cannot be the bride.' The prince told him to send her. But the mother said, 'No, no, she is much too dirty; she will not dare to show herself.' However, the prince would have her come; and she first washed her face and hands, and then went in and curtsied to him, and he reached her the golden slipper. Then she took her clumsy shoe off her left foot, and put on the golden slipper; and it fitted her as if it had been made for her.
Jacob Grimm (Grimm's Fairy Tales)
There is one in this tribe too often miserable - a child bereaved of both parents. None cares for this child: she is fed sometimes, but oftener forgotten: a hut rarely receives her: the hollow tree and chill cavern are her home. Forsaken, lost, and wandering, she lives more with the wild beast and bird than with her own kind. Hunger and cold are her comrades: sadness hovers over, and solitude besets her round. Unheeded and unvalued, she should die: but she both lives and grows: the green wilderness nurses her, and becomes to her a mother: feeds her on juicy berry, on saccharine root and nut. There is something in the air of this clime which fosters life kindly: there must be something, too, in its dews, which heals with sovereign balm. Its gentle seasons exaggerate no passion, no sense; its temperature tends to harmony; its breezes, you would say, bring down from heaven the germ of pure thought, and purer feeling. Not grotesquely fantastic are the forms of cliff and foliage; not violently vivid the colouring of flower and bird: in all the grandeur of these forests there is repose; in all their freshness there is tenderness. The gentle charm vouchsafed to flower and tree, - bestowed on deer and dove, - has not been denied to the human nursling. All solitary, she has sprung up straight and graceful. Nature cast her features in a fine mould; they have matured in their pure, accurate first lines, unaltered by the shocks of disease. No fierce dry blast has dealt rudely with the surface of her frame; no burning sun has crisped or withered her tresses: her form gleams ivory-white through the trees; her hair flows plenteous, long, and glossy; her eyes, not dazzled by vertical fires, beam in the shade large and open, and full and dewy: above those eyes, when the breeze bares her forehead, shines an expanse fair and ample, - a clear, candid page, whereon knowledge, should knowledge ever come, might write a golden record. You see in the desolate young savage nothing vicious or vacant; she haunts the wood harmless and thoughtful: though of what one so untaught can think, it is not easy to divine. On the evening of one summer day, before the Flood, being utterly alone - for she had lost all trace of her tribe, who had wandered leagues away, she knew not where, - she went up from the vale, to watch Day take leave and Night arrive. A crag, overspread by a tree, was her station: the oak-roots, turfed and mossed, gave a seat: the oak-boughs, thick-leaved, wove a canopy. Slow and grand the Day withdrew, passing in purple fire, and parting to the farewell of a wild, low chorus from the woodlands. Then Night entered, quiet as death: the wind fell, the birds ceased singing. Now every nest held happy mates, and hart and hind slumbered blissfully safe in their lair. The girl sat, her body still, her soul astir; occupied, however, rather in feeling than in thinking, - in wishing, than hoping, - in imagining, than projecting. She felt the world, the sky, the night, boundlessly mighty. Of all things, herself seemed to herself the centre, - a small, forgotten atom of life, a spark of soul, emitted inadvertent from the great creative source, and now burning unmarked to waste in the heart of a black hollow. She asked, was she thus to burn out and perish, her living light doing no good, never seen, never needed, - a star in an else starless firmament, - which nor shepherd, nor wanderer, nor sage, nor priest, tracked as a guide, or read as a prophecy? Could this be, she demanded, when the flame of her intelligence burned so vivid; when her life beat so true, and real, and potent; when something within her stirred disquieted, and restlessly asserted a God-given strength, for which it insisted she should find exercise?
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Soldiers of the Ninth Century, I am your new centurion, Marcus Tribulus Corvus. From this moment I formally assume command of this century, and become responsible for every aspect of your well-being, discipline, training and readiness for war.’ He paused, looking to Dubnus, who drew a large breath and spat a stream of his native language at the troops. ‘One fucking smile, cough or fart from any one of you cock jockeys, and I’ll put my pole so far up that man’s shithole that it won’t even scrape onthe floor. This is your new centurion and you will treat him with the appropriate degree of respect if you don’t want to lead short and very fucking interesting lives.’ He turned to Marcus and nodded, indicating that the Roman should continue. ‘I can see from the state of your uniforms that you’ve been neglected, a state of affairs that I intend to address very shortly. I have yet to see your readiness for battle, but I can assure you that you will be combat ready in the shortest possible time. I do not intend to command a century that I would imagine is regarded as the laughing stock of its unit for any longer than I have to.' Dubnus cast a pitying sneer over the faces in front of him before speaking again, watching their faces lengthen with the understanding of his methods, passed by whispered word of mouth from his previous century. ‘You’re not soldiers, you’re a fucking waste of rations, a disgrace to the Tungrians! You look like shit, you smell like shit and you’re probably about as hard as shit! That will change! I will kick your lazy fucking arses up and down every hill in the country if I have to, but you will be real soldiers. I will make you ready to kill and die for the honour of this century, with spear or sword or your fucking teeth and nails if need be!’ Marcus cast a questioning look at him, half guessing that the chosen man was deviating from his script, but chose not to challenge his subordinate. ‘You’ll have better food, uniforms and equipment, and soon. Your retraining starts tomorrow morning, so prepare yourselves! Life in this century changes now!’ Dubnus smiled broadly, showing his teeth with pleasure. ‘Your hairy white arses are mine from this second. Get ready to grab your ankles.
Anthony Riches (Wounds of Honour (Empire, #1))
Immanuelle stared at him—this man who’d used his lies to make himself a martyr. He thought he was the one who made the true sacrifice, but he couldn’t be more wrong. It was not the Prophet who bore Bethel, bound to his back like a millstone. It was all of the innocent girls and women—like Miriam and Leah—who suffered and died at the hands of men who exploited them. They were Bethel’s sacrifice. They were the bones upon which the Church was built. Their pain was the great shame of the Father’s faith, and all of Bethel shared in it. Men like the Prophet, who lurked and lusted after the innocent, who found joy in their pain, who brutalized and broke them down until they were nothing, exploiting those they were meant to protect. The Church, which not only excused and forgave the sins of its leaders but enabled them: with the Protocol and the market stocks, with muzzles and lashings and twisted Scriptures. It was the whole of them, the heart of Bethel itself, that made certain every woman who lived behind its gate had only two choices: resignation, or ruin. No more, Immanuelle thought. No more punishments or Protocols. No more muzzles or contrition. No more pyres or gutting blades. No more girls beaten or broken silent. No more brides in white gowns lying like lambs on the altar for slaughter. She would see an end to all of it.
Alexis Henderson (The Year of the Witching (Bethel, #1))
We passed the Irish club, and the florist’s with its small stiff pink-and-white carnations in a bucket, and the drapers called ‘Elvina’s’, which displayed in its window Bear Brand stockings and knife-pleated skirts like cloth concertinas and pasty-shaped hats on false heads. We passed the confectioner’s – or failed to pass it; the window attracted Karina. She balled her hands into her pockets, and leant back, her feet apart; she looked rooted, immovable. The cakes were stacked on decks of sloping shelves, set out on pink doilies whitened by falls of icing sugar. There were vanilla slices, their airy tiers of pastry glued together with confectioners’ custard, fat and lolling like a yellow tongue. There were bubbling jam puffs and ballooning Eccles cakes, slashed to show their plump currant insides. There were jam tarts the size of traffic lights; there were whinberry pies oozing juice like black blood. ‘Look at them buns,’ Karina would say. ‘Look.’ I would turn sideways and see her intent face. Sometimes the tip of her tongue would appear, and slide slowly upwards towards her flat nose. There were sponge buns shaped like fat mushrooms, topped with pink icing and half a glace cherry. There were coconut pyramids, and low square house-shaped chocolate buns, finished with a big roll of chocolate-wrapped marzipan which was solid as the barrel of a cannon.
Hilary Mantel (An Experiment in Love: A Novel)
The Garden by Moonlight" A black cat among roses, Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon, The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock. The garden is very still, It is dazed with moonlight, Contented with perfume, Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies. Firefly lights open and vanish High as the tip buds of the golden glow Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet. Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises, Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush. Only the little faces of the ladies’ delight are alert and staring, Only the cat, padding between the roses, Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern As water is broken by the falling of a leaf. Then you come, And you are quiet like the garden, And white like the alyssum flowers, And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies. Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies? They knew my mother, But who belonging to me will they know When I am gone.
Amy Lowell (Pictures of the Floating World)
He suddenly felt the intense sad loveliness of being as being, apart from right or wrong: that, indeed, the mere fact of being was the ultimate right. He began to love the land under him with a fierce longing, not because it was good or bad, but because it was: because of the shadows of the corn stocks on a golden evening; because the sheep’s tails would rattle when they ran, and the lambs, sucking, would revolve their tails in little eddies; because the clouds in daylight would surge it into light and shade; because the squadrons of green and golden plover, worming in pasture fields, would advance in short, unanimous charges, head to wind; because the spinsterish herons, who keep their hair up with fish bones according to David Garnett, would fall down in a faint if a boy could stalk them and shout before he was seen; because the smoke from homesteads was a blue beard straying into heaven; because the stars were brighter in puddles than in the sky; because there were puddles, and leaky gutters, and dung hills with poppies on them; because the salmon in the rivers suddenly leaped and fell; because the chestnut buds, in the balmy wind of spring, would jump out of their twigs like jacks-in-boxes, or like little spectres holding up green hands to scare him; because the jackdaws, building, would hang in the air with branches in their mouths, more beautiful than any ark-returning dove; because, in the moonlight there below, God’s greatest blessing to the world was stretched, the silver gift of sleep.
T.H. White
She replaced her wardrobe with marvels of the season bought from boutiques of the Palais-Royal and rue de la Chaussee-d'Antin. Outfits for a ball detailed in the fashion pages of the January 1839 edition of Paris Elegant describe dresses of pale pink crépe garnished with lace and velvet roses and accessorized with white gloves, silk stockings, and white cashmere or taffeta shawls. In the spring of that year, misty tulle bonnets came into fashion worn with capes of Alencon lace - “little masterpieces of lightness and freshness.“ Her bed was her stage, raised on a platform and curtained with sumptuous pink silk drapes. The adjoining cabinet de toilette was also a courtesan’s natural habitat, its dressing table a jumble of lace, bows, ribbons, embossed vases, crystal bottles of scents and lotions, brushes and combs of ivory and silver. She indulged her sweet tooth with cakes from Rollet the patissier, glaceed fruit from Boissier, and on one occasion sent for twelve biscuits, macaroons, and maraschino liqueur.
Julie Kavanagh (The Girl Who Loved Camellias: The Life and Legend of Marie Duplessis)
I reviewed in thought the modern era of raps and apparitions, beginning with the knockings of 1848, at the hamlet of Hydesville, N.Y., and ending with grotesque phenomena at Cambridge, Mass.; I evoked the anklebones and other anatomical castanets of the Fox sisters (as described by the sages of the University of Buffalo ); the mysteriously uniform type of delicate adolescent in bleak Epworth or Tedworth, radiating the same disturbances as in old Peru; solemn Victorian orgies with roses falling and accordions floating to the strains of sacred music; professional imposters regurgitating moist cheesecloth; Mr. Duncan, a lady medium's dignified husband, who, when asked if he would submit to a search, excused himself on the ground of soiled underwear; old Alfred Russel Wallace, the naive naturalist, refusing to believe that the white form with bare feet and unperforated earlobes before him, at a private pandemonium in Boston, could be prim Miss Cook whom he had just seen asleep, in her curtained corner, all dressed in black, wearing laced-up boots and earrings; two other investigators, small, puny, but reasonably intelligent and active men, closely clinging with arms and legs about Eusapia, a large, plump elderly female reeking of garlic, who still managed to fool them; and the skeptical and embarrassed magician, instructed by charming young Margery's "control" not to get lost in the bathrobe's lining but to follow up the left stocking until he reached the bare thigh - upon the warm skin of which he felt a "teleplastic" mass that appeared to the touch uncommonly like cold, uncooked liver. ("The Vane Sisters")
Vladimir Nabokov (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw another woman sitting over in a wing chair, a pleasantly attractive lady wearing the tasteful clothes of a senior redactrice, or senior civil servant, the stylish black skirt, the dark stockings, the black pumps, and the starched white linen blouse of her caste. The dark hair was swept up in a chignon, elegant and functional, dark eyes glistened as she smiled at him in a professional manner. He could see that she was a woman who met men in a highly assured way—serene, and expert at creating a proper distance.
Paul A. Myers (Paris 1935: Destiny's Crossroads)
Our Constitution is not good. It is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance, hastily edited in the margins to allow for what basic political rights white men could be convinced to share. The Constitution is an imperfect work that urgently and consistently needs to be modified and reimagined to make good on its unrealized promises of justice and equality for all. And yet you rarely see liberals make the point that the Constitution is actually trash. Conservatives are out here acting like the Constitution was etched by divine flame upon stone tablets, when in reality it was scrawled out over a sweaty summer by people making deals with actual monsters who were trying to protect their rights to rape the humans they held in bondage. Why would I give a fuck about the original public meaning of the words written by these men? Conservatives will tell you that the text of laws explicitly passed in response to growing political, social, or economic power of nonwhite minorities should be followed to their highest grammatical accuracy, and I’m supposed to agree the text of this bullshit is the valid starting point of the debate? Nah. As Rory Breaker says in the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: “If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it.” The Constitution was so flawed upon its release in 1787 that it came with immediate updates. The first ten amendments, the “Bill of Rights,” were demanded by some to ensure ratification of the rest of the document. All of them were written by James Madison, who didn’t think they were actually necessary but did it to placate political interests.
Elie Mystal (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution)
Lefty had seen Desdemona undress many times, but usually as no more than a shadow and never in moonlight. She had never curled onto her back like this, lifting her feet to take off her shoes. He watched and, as she pulled down her skirt and lifted her tunic, was struck by how different his sister looked, in moonlight, in a lifeboat. She glowed. She gave off white light. He blinked behind his hands. The moonlight kept rising; it covered his neck, it reached his eyes until he understood: Desdemona was wearing a corset. That was the other thing she'd brought along: the white cloth enfolding her silkworm eggs was nothing other than Desdemona's wedding corset. She thought she'd never wear it, but here it was. Brassiere cups pointed up at the canvas roof. Whalebone slats squeezed her waist. The corset's skirt dropped garters attached to nothing because my grandmother owned no stockings. In the lifeboat, the corset absorbed all available moonlight, with the odd result that Desdemona's face, head, and arms disappeared. She looked like Winged Victory, tumbled on her back, being carted off to a conqueror's museum. All that was missing was the wings.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Then Audre Lorde saved me. In her book Sister Outsider, Lorde wrote an essay entitled “The Uses of Anger.” She writes that anger is not a shortcoming to be denied, but a creative force that tells us when something is wrong. Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change…Anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
Every dish I cooked exhumed a memory. Every scent and taste brought me back for a moment to an unravaged home. Knife-cut noodles in chicken broth took me back to lunch at Myeondong Gyoja after an afternoon of shopping, the line so long it filled a flight of stairs, extended out the door, and wrapped around the building. The kalguksu so dense from the rich beef stock and starchy noodles it was nearly gelatinous. My mother ordering more and more refills of their famously garlic-heavy kimchi. My aunt scolding her for blowing her nose in public. Crispy Korean fried chicken conjured bachelor nights with Eunmi. Licking oil from our fingers as we chewed on the crispy skin, cleansing our palates with draft beer and white radish cubes as she helped me with my Korean homework. Black-bean noodles summoned Halmoni slurping jjajangmyeon takeout, huddled around a low table in the living room with the rest of my Korean family. I drained an entire bottle of oil into my Dutch oven and deep-fried pork cutlets dredged in flour, egg, and panko for tonkatsu, a Japanese dish my mother used to pack in my lunch boxes. I spent hours squeezing the water from boiled bean sprouts and tofu and spooning filling into soft, thin dumpling skins, pinching the tops closed, each one slightly closer to one of Maangchi's perfectly uniform mandu.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
The bravest of the carpetbaggers, Tourgee, declared concerning the Negro voters, "They instituted a public school system in a realm where public schools had been unknown. They opened the ballot box and jury box to thousands of white men who had been debarred from them by a lack of earthly possessions. They introduced home rule in the south. They abolished the whipping post, and branding iron, the stocks and other barbarous forms of punishment which had up to that time prevailed. They reduced capital felonies from about twenty to two or three. In an age of extravagance they were extravagant in the sums appropriated for public works. In all that time, no man's rights were invaded under the forms of law
W.E.B. Du Bois (Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880)
Each woman was valued at 150 pounds of tobacco, which was the same price exacted from Jane Dickenson when she eventually purchased her freedom. Not surprisingly, then, with their value calculated in tobacco, women in Virginia were treated as fertile commodities. They came with testimonials to their moral character, impressing on “industrious Planters” that they were not being sold a bad bill of goods. One particular planter wrote that an earlier shipment of females was “corrupt,” and he expected a new crop that was guaranteed healthy and favorably disposed for breeding. Accompanying the female cargo were some two hundred head of cattle, a reminder that the Virginia husbandman needed both species of breeding stock to recover his English roots.37 Despite
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
I go to one of my favorite Instagram profiles, the.korean.vegan, and I watch her last video, in which she makes peach-topped tteok. The Korean vegan, Joanne, cooks while talking about various things in her life. As she splits open a peach, she explains why she gave up meat. As she adds lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, almond extract, maple syrup, then vegan butter and vegan milk and sifted almond and rice flour, she talks about how she worried about whitewashing her diet, about denying herself a fundamental part of her culture, and then about how others don't see her as authentically Korean since she is a vegan. I watch other videos by Joanne, soothed by her voice into feeling human myself, and into craving the experiences of love she talks of and the food she cooks as she does. I go to another profile, and watch a person's hands delicately handle little knots of shirataki noodles and wash them in cold water, before placing them in a clear oden soup that is already filled with stock-boiled eggs, daikon, and pure white triangles of hanpen. Next, they place a cube of rice cake in a little deep-fried tofu pouch, and seal the pouch with a toothpick so it looks like a tiny drawstring bag; they place the bag in with the other ingredients. "Every winter my mum made this dish for me," a voice says over the video, "just like how every winter my grandma made it for my mum when she was a child." The person in the video is half Japanese like me, and her name is Mei; she appears on the screen, rosy cheeked, chopsticks in her hand, and sits down with her dish and eats it, facing the camera. Food means so much in Japan. Soya beans thrown out of temples in February to tempt out demons before the coming of spring bring the eater prosperity and luck; sushi rolls eaten facing a specific direction decided each year bring luck and fortune to the eater; soba noodles consumed at New Year help time progress, connecting one year to the next; when the noodles snap, the eater can move on from bad events from the last year. In China too, long noodles consumed at New Year grant the eater a long life. In Korea, when rice-cake soup is eaten at New Year, every Korean ages a year, together, in unison. All these things feel crucial to East Asian identity, no matter which country you are from.
Claire Kohda (Woman, Eating)
There is a lovely old-fashioned pearl set in the treasure chest, but Mother said real flowers were the prettiest ornament for a young girl, and Laurie promised to send me all I want," replied Meg. "Now, let me see, there's my new gray walking suit, just curl up the feather in my hat, Beth, then my poplin for Sunday and the small party, it looks heavy for spring, doesn't it? The violet silk would be so nice. Oh, dear!" "Never mind, you've got the tarlaton for the big party, and you always look like an angel in white," said Amy, brooding over the little store of finery in which her soul delighted. "It isn't low-necked, and it doesn't sweep enough, but it will have to do. My blue housedress looks so well, turned and freshly trimmed, that I feel as if I'd got a new one. My silk sacque isn't a bit the fashion, and my bonnet doesn't look like Sallie's. I didn't like to say anything, but I was sadly disappointed in my umbrella. I told Mother black with a white handle, but she forgot and bought a green one with a yellowish handle. It's strong and neat, so I ought not to complain, but I know I shall feel ashamed of it beside Annie's silk one with a gold top," sighed Meg, surveying the little umbrella with great disfavor. "Change it," advised Jo. "I won't be so silly, or hurt Marmee's feelings, when she took so much pains to get my things. It's a nonsensical notion of mine, and I'm not going to give up to it. My silk stockings and two pairs of new gloves are my comfort. You are a dear to lend me yours, Jo. I feel so rich and sort of elegant, with two new pairs, and the old ones cleaned up for common." And Meg took a refreshing peep at her glove box. "Annie Moffat has blue and pink bows on her nightcaps. Would you put some on mine?" she asked, as Beth brought up a pile of snowy muslins, fresh from Hannah's hands. "No, I wouldn't, for the smart caps won't match the plain gowns without any trimming on them. Poor folks shouldn't rig," said Jo decidedly. "I wonder if I shall ever be happy enough to have real lace on my clothes and bows on my caps?" said Meg impatiently. "You said the other day that you'd be perfectly happy if you could only go to Annie Moffat's," observed Beth in her quiet way. "So I did! Well, I am happy, and I won't fret, but it does seem as if the more one gets the more one wants, doesn't it?
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Little Women #1))
In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies. These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly. At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat. Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals. The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth. In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them. With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green. One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom. “Brothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap. “I’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look. “Do you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he. Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder. “You were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites. “As easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean. “Take me with you,” I said to the fox. “Oh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said. “Come on.” I said. “What are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.” “Here we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered. “No,” I thought. “She must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.” Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me. Like it or not, she had to take me with her. We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed. “This is tundra,” said my fellow traveler. “Tundra? What is tundra?” asked I. “Tundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
Anna Khvolson
The accident has occurred, the ship has broken, the motor of the car has failed, we have been separated from the others, we are alone in the sand, the ocean, the frozen snow I remember what I have to do in order to stay alive, I take stock of our belongings most of them useless I know I should be digging shelters, killing seabirds and making clothes from their feathers cutting the rinds from cacti, chewing roots for water, scraping through the ice for treebark, for moss but I rest here without power to save myself, tasting salt in my mouth, the fact that you won't save me watching the mirage of us hands locked, smiling, as it fades into the white desert. I touch you, straighten the sheet, you turn over in the bed, tender sun comes through the curtains Which of us will survive which of us will survive the other
Margaret Atwood (Power Politics: Poems (A List))
Savage. Let us explain this word. When these bristling men, who in the early days of the revolutionary chaos, tattered, howling, wild, with uplifted bludgeon, pike on high, hurled themselves upon ancient Paris in an uproar, what did they want? They wanted an end to oppression, an end to tyranny, an end to the sword, work for men, instruction for the child, social sweetness for the woman, liberty, equality, fraternity, bread for all, the idea for all, the Edenizing of the world. Progress; and that holy, sweet, and good thing, progress, they claimed in terrible wise, driven to extremities as they were, half naked, club in fist, a roar in their mouths. They were savages, yes; but the savages of civilization. They proclaimed right furiously; they were desirous, if only with fear and trembling, to force the human race to paradise. They seemed barbarians, and they were saviours. They demanded light with the mask of night. Facing these men, who were ferocious, we admit, and terrifying, but ferocious and terrifying for good ends, there are other men, smiling, embroidered, gilded, beribboned, starred, in silk stockings, in white plumes, in yellow gloves, in varnished shoes, who, with their elbows on a velvet table, beside a marble chimney-piece, insist gently on demeanor and the preservation of the past, of the Middle Ages, of divine right, of fanaticism, of innocence, of slavery, of the death penalty, of war, glorifying in low tones and with politeness, the sword, the stake, and the scaffold. For our part, if we were forced to make a choice between the barbarians of civilization and the civilized men of barbarism, we should choose the barbarians.
Victor Hugo
A new notion took hold: The tribes of California must be physically separated from white society as an alternative to their own extinction. They must be relocated on some clearly delineated parcel of arable land sufficiently watered by a river. There, they must be taught the rudiments of farming and animal husbandry. The government must not skimp—it must provide the Indians with modern tools, sound stock, and good seeds so that they might finally stop roving and settle down to earn an honest living as self-sufficient farmers, dwelling collectively on what amounted to a kibbutz. This communal farm must be closely guarded by an army fort, not only to prevent the Indians from straying into the white communities but also to keep ill-meaning white folks from venturing onto Indian land, bringing the scourge of alcohol and other vices with them.
Hampton Sides (Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West)
Swift came to the table and bowed politely. “My lady,” he said to Lillian, “what a pleasure it is to see you again. May I offer my renewed congratulations on your marriage to Lord Westcliff, and…” He hesitated, for although Lillian was obviously pregnant, it would be impolite to refer to her condition. “…you are looking quite well,” he finished. “I’m the size of a barn,” Lillian said flatly, puncturing his attempt at diplomacy. Swift’s mouth firmed as if he was fighting to suppress a grin. “Not at all,” he said mildly, and glanced at Annabelle and Evie. They all waited for Lillian to make the introductions. Lillian complied grudgingly. “This is Mr. Swift,” she muttered, waving her hand in his direction. “Mrs. Simon Hunt and Lady St. Vincent.” Swift bent deftly over Annabelle’s hand. He would have done the same for Evie except she was holding the baby. Isabelle’s grunts and whimpers were escalating and would soon become a full-out wail unless something was done about it. “That is my daughter Isabelle,” Annabelle said apologetically. “She’s teething.” That should get rid of him quickly, Daisy thought. Men were terrified of crying babies. “Ah.” Swift reached into his coat and rummaged through a rattling collection of articles. What on earth did he have in there? She watched as he pulled out his pen-knife, a bit of fishing line and a clean white handkerchief. “Mr. Swift, what are you doing?” Evie asked with a quizzical smile. “Improvising something.” He spooned some crushed ice into the center of the handkerchief, gathered the fabric tightly around it, and tied it off with fishing line. After replacing the knife in his pocket, he reached for the baby without one trace of self-consciusness. Wide-eyed, Evie surrendered the infant. The four women watched in astonishment as Swift took Isabelle against his shoulder with practiced ease. He gave the baby the ice-filled handkerchief, which she proceeded to gnaw madly even as she continued to cry. Seeming oblivious to the fascinated stares of everyone in the room, Swift wandered to the window and murmured softly to the baby. It appeared he was telling her a story of some kind. After a minute or two the child quieted. When Swift returned to the table Isabelle was half-drowsing and sighing, her mouth clamped firmly on the makeshift ice pouch. “Oh, Mr. Swift,” Annabelle said gratefully, taking the baby back in her arms, “how clever of you! Thank you.” “What were you saying to her?” Lillian demanded. He glanced at her and replied blandly, “I thought I would distract her long enough for the ice to numb her gums. So I gave her a detailed explanation of the Buttonwood agreement of 1792.” Daisy spoke to him for the first time. “What was that?” Swift glanced at her then, his face smooth and polite, and for a second Daisy half-believed that she had dreamed the events of that morning. But her skin and nerves still retained the sensation of him, the hard imprint of his body. “The Buttonwood agreement led to the formation of the New York Stock and Exchange Board,” Swift said. “I thought I was quite informative, but it seemed Miss Isabelle lost interest when I started on the fee-structuring compromise.” “I see,” Daisy said. “You bored the poor baby to sleep.” “You should hear my account of the imbalance of market forces leading to the crash of ’37,” Swift said. “I’ve been told it’s better than laudanum.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
The bodies were pulverized into stock and marked with insurance. And the bodies were an aspiration, lucrative as Indian land, a veranda, a beautiful wife, or a summer home in the mountains. For the men who needed to believe themselves white, the bodies were the key to a social club, and the right to break the bodies was the mark of civilization. “The two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black,” said the great South Carolina senator John C. Calhoun. “And all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.” And there it is—the right to break the black body as the meaning of their sacred equality. And that right has always given them meaning, has always meant that there was someone down in the valley because a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
If the suffragists acquiesced to arguments invoking the extension of the ballot to women as the saving grace of white supremacy, then birth control advocates either acquiesced to or supported the new arguments invoking birth control as a means of preventing the proliferation of the “lower classes” and as an antidote to race suicide. Race suicide could be prevented by the introduction of birth control among Black people, immigrants and the poor in general. In this way, the prosperous whites of solid Yankee stock could maintain their superior numbers within the population. Thus class-bias and racism crept into the birth control movement when it was still in its infancy. More and more, it was assumed within birth control circles that poor women, Black and immigrant alike, had a “moral obligation to restrict the size of their families.” What was demanded as a “right” for the privileged came to be interpreted as a “duty” for the poor.
Angela Y. Davis (Women, Race & Class)
Now alongside Scovell, John eased preserved peaches out of galliot pots of syrup and picked husked walnuts from puncheons of salt. He clarified butter and poured it into rye-paste coffins. From the Master Cook, John learned to set creams with calves' feet, then isinglass, then hartshorn, pouring decoctions into egg-molds to set and be placed in nests of shredded lemon peel. To make cabbage cream he let the thick liquid clot, lifted off the top layer, folded it then repeated the process until the cabbage was sprinkled with rose water and dusted with sugar, ginger and nutmeg. He carved apples into animals and birds. The birds themselves he roasted, minced and folded into beaten egg whites in a foaming forcemeat of fowls. John boiled, coddled, simmered and warmed. He roasted, seared, fried and braised. He poached stock-fish and minced the meats of smoked herrings while Scovell's pans steamed with ancient sauces: black chawdron and bukkenade, sweet and sour egredouce, camelade and peppery gauncil. For the feasts above he cut castellations into pie-coffins and filled them with meats dyed in the colors of Sir William's titled guests. He fashioned palaces from wafers of spiced batter and paste royale, glazing their walls with panes of sugar. For the Bishop of Carrboro they concocted a cathedral. 'Sprinkle salt on the syrup,' Scovell told him, bent over the chafing dish in his chamber. A golden liquor swirled in the pan. 'Very slowly.' 'It will taint the sugar,' John objected. But Scovell shook his head. A day later they lifted off the cold clear crust and John split off a sharp-edged shard. 'Salt,' he said as it slid over his tongue. But little by little the crisp flake sweetened on his tongue. Sugary juices trickled down his throat. He turned to the Master Cook with a puzzled look. 'Brine floats,' Scovell said. 'Syrup sinks.' The Master Cook smiled. 'Patience, remember? Now, to the glaze...
Lawrence Norfolk (John Saturnall's Feast)
But as I reflected on what the president could have done or said differently, I also remembered what it felt like in the weeks following 9/11. When, for a few glorious weeks, we were all united as Americans. For a brief time, it didn’t seem to matter if you were black, white, or brown. We were all brothers and sisters because we were Americans. We shared certain values, a certain past, a certain goal. We haven’t really seen that since. Charlottesville, I knew, had the same potential to unite us. But Trump’s response derailed that opportunity. America didn’t need a stock statement. The country was pleading for a serious discussion about race, about our fundamental need to completely stamp out the Klan and neo-Nazis. I couldn’t help but think of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and the Charleston church shooting. Emmett Till and Jimmie Lee Jackson. Black Codes and the Southern Manifesto. Trump, I felt, had betrayed black America. And Jewish America. And American decency.
Gianno Caldwell (Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed)
He carefully poured the juice into a bowl and rinsed the scallops to remove any sand caught between the tender white meat and the firmer coral-colored roe, wrapped around it like a socialite's fur stole. Mayur is the kind of cook (my kind), who thinks the chef should always have a drink in hand. He was making the scallops with champagne custard, so naturally the rest of the bottle would have to disappear before dinner. He poured a cup of champagne into a small pot and set it to reduce on the stove. Then he put a sugar cube in the bottom of a wide champagne coupe (Lalique, service for sixteen, direct from the attic on my mother's last visit). After a bit of a search, he found the crème de violette in one of his shopping bags and poured in just a dash. He topped it up with champagne and gave it a swift stir. "To dinner in Paris," he said, glass aloft. 'To the chef," I answered, dodging swiftly out of the way as he poured the reduced champagne over some egg yolks and began whisking like his life depended on it. "Do you have fish stock?" "Nope." "Chicken?" "Just cubes. Are you sure that will work?" "Sure. This is the Mr. Potato Head School of Cooking," he said. "Interchangeable parts. If you don't have something, think of what that ingredient does, and attach another one." I counted, in addition to the champagne, three other bottles of alcohol open in the kitchen. The boar, rubbed lovingly with a paste of cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, was marinating in olive oil and red wine. It was then to be seared, deglazed with hard cider, roasted with whole apples, and finished with Calvados and a bit of cream. Mayur had his nose in a small glass of the apple liqueur, inhaling like a fugitive breathing the air of the open road. As soon as we were all assembled at the table, Mayur put the raw scallops back in their shells, spooned over some custard, and put them ever so briefly under the broiler- no more than a minute or two. The custard formed a very thin skin with one or two peaks of caramel. It was, quite simply, heaven. The pork was presented neatly sliced, restaurant style, surrounded with the whole apples, baked to juicy, sagging perfection.
Elizabeth Bard (Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes)
She sent a serving girl out to fetch some food. A beef pie, bread and butter and plenty of the sweet stuff that she loved. She devoured a treacle pudding, closing her eyes to savor every sticky crumb. Sugar. How she had craved the stuff. Though her belly was full, still she helped herself from a paper bag of sugarplums, globes of candied fruits that made her cheeks bulge. Was this happiness, she wondered? She was full of food again, and as sleepy as a suckled child. She pictured a well-stocked larder, and the chance to make all the delights in Mother Eve's Secrets. She would help herself to the best, of course, for she who stirs the pot never starves. A comfortable future lay before her, all for the taking. Mrs. Quin bustled back into the room and began to dress her face. Gone were the worst of the bran-specks and flaking red sores. Instead, she had the prettiness of a portrait on an enameled tin; a smudgy confection of pink and cream. "A rosy blush," Mrs. Quin said benignly, "is the fashion nowadays." While Mrs. Quin deposited her half a crown in a locked trunk, Mary slipped a bottle of Pear's Almond Bloom and a tin of White Imperial Powder into her skirts.
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
He looked like an excited sixteen-year-old with his tousled hair and shining eyes. Barbara could not deny she liked him, even though every word he said was repellent to her. With an eloquence that frequently tied itself in knots but was of an unflagging vehemence he explained to her that the faith for which he was fighting was basically revolutionary. 'When the day arrives and our Führer takes over supreme power, then that's the end of capitalism and the economy of the big bosses. The servitude of usury will be abolished. Big banks and stock exchanges that bleed our national economy white can close their doors, and no one will mourn them". Barbara wanted to know why Miklas did not join the Communists if he, like them, was against capitalism. Miklas explained as eagerly as a child reciting a lesson learned by heart. "because the Communists have no patriotism for the fatherland, but are supranational and dependent on Russian Jews. AndCommunists don't know anything about idealism-all Marxists believe that the only purpose in life is money. We want our own revolution-our German, idealistic revolution. Not one that will be directed by Freemasons and the Elders of Zion.
Klaus Mann (Mephisto)
The rain-sifted light was weaker now, coming in through the transom windows in pallid silver and dark rainbow dapples. Through heavy-lidded eyes, she watched the play of muted color and shadow across Tom's shirt. Eventually, his long-boned, eloquent hands slid up over her knees and beneath the legs of her drawers. He untied her white lace garters and rolled her silk stockings down into neat circles. After dropping them to the floor, he unfastened his shirt and discarded it, taking his time, letting her look her fill. His body was beautiful, built with the long, efficient lines of a rapier, every inch wrought with tough muscle. A light furring of hair covered his chest and narrowed down toward his midriff. Cassandra sat up on the mattress and touched the black fleece, her fingertips as shy and fleet as a hummingbird in flight. Still standing by the side of the bed, Tom reached out to gather her against his chest. Cassandra shivered at the feel of being surrounded by so much bare skin and body hair, so much hardness. "Did you ever imagine we would be doing this?" she said in a wondering tone. "Sweet darling... I imagined it about ten seconds after we met, and I haven't stopped since.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Pedigree was the centerpiece of Supreme Court chief justice Roger B. Taney’s majority opinion in the Dred Scott decision (1857). Though this case assessed whether a slave taken into a free state or federal territory should be set free, its conclusions were far more expansive. Addressing slavery in the territories, the proslavery Marylander dismissed Jefferson’s prohibition of slavery in the Northwest Ordinance as having no constitutional standing. He constructed his own version of the original social contract at the time of the Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention: only the free white children of the founding generation were heirs to the original agreement; only pedigree could determine who inherited American citizenship and whose racial lineage warranted entitlement and the designation “freeman.” Taney’s opinion mattered because it literally made pedigree into a constitutional principle. In this controversial decision, Taney demonstrably rejected any notion of democracy and based the right of citizenship on bloodlines and racial stock. The chief justice ruled that the founders’ original intent was to classify members of society in terms of recognizable breeds.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
Most whites in America have a consciousness of race that is very different from that of minorities. They do not attach much importance to the fact that they are white, and they view race as an illegitimate reason for decision-making of any kind. Many whites have made a genuine effort to transcend race and to see people as individuals. They often fail, but their professed goal is color-blindness. Some whites have gone well beyond color-blindness and see their race as uniquely guilty and without moral standing. Neither the goal of color-blindness nor a negative view of their own race has any parallel in the thinking of non-whites. Most whites also believe that racial equality, integration, and “diversity” flow naturally from the republican, anti-monarchical principles of the American Revolution. They may know that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves but they believe that the man who wrote “all men are created equal” had a vision of the egalitarian, heterogeneous society in which we now live. They are wrong. Earlier generations of white Americans had a strong racial consciousness. Current assumptions about race are a dramatic reversal of the views not only of the Founding Fathers but of the great majority of Americans up until the 1950s and 1960s. Change on this scale is rare in any society, and the past views of whites are worth investigating for the perspective they provide on current views. It is possible to summarize the racial views that prevailed in this country until a few decades ago as follows: White Americans believed race was a fundamental aspect of individual and group identity. They believed people of different races differed in temperament, ability, and the kind of societies they built. They wanted America to be peopled by Europeans, and thought only people of European stock could maintain the civilization they valued. They therefore considered immigration of non-whites a threat to whites and to their civilization. It was common to regard the presence of non-whites as a burden, and to argue that if they could not be removed from the country they should be separated from whites socially and politically. Whites were strongly opposed to miscegenation, which they called “amalgamation.” Many injustices were committed in defense of these views, and many of the things prominent Americans of the past said ring harshly on contemporary ears. And yet the sentiment behind them—a sense of racial solidarity—is not very different from the sentiments we find among many non-whites today.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait--there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu (Yellow)
It wasn’t until she had almost reached its lights that she heard another rider in the hills behind her. Ice slid down Kestrel’s spine. Fear, that the rider was Arin. Fear, at her sudden hope that it was. She pulled Javelin to a stop and swung to the ground. Better to go on foot through the narrow streets to the harbor. Stealth was more important now than speed. Beating hooves echoed in the hills. Closer. She hugged Javelin hard around the neck, then pushed him away while she still could bear to do it. She slapped his rump in an order to head home. Whether he’d go to her villa or Arin’s, she couldn’t say. But he left, and might draw the other rider after him if she was indeed being pursued. She slipped into the city shadows. And it was magic. It was as if the Herrani gods had turned on their own people. No one noticed Kestrel skulking along walls or heard her cracking the thin ice of a puddle. No late-night wanderer looked in her face and saw a Valorian. No one saw the general’s daughter. Kestrel made it to the harbor, down to the docks. Where Arin waited. His breath heaved white clouds into the air. His hair was black with sweat. It hadn’t mattered that Kestrel had been ahead of him on the horse path. Arin had been able to run openly through the city while she had crept through alleys. Their eyes met, and Kestrel felt utterly defenseless. But she had a weapon. He didn’t, not that she could see. Her hand instinctively fell to her knife’s jagged edge. Arin saw. Kestrel wasn’t sure what came first: his quick hurt, so plain and sharp, or her certainty--equally plain, equally sharp--that she could never draw a weapon on him. He straightened from his runner’s crouch. His expression changed. Until it did, Kestrel hadn’t perceived the desperate set of his mouth. She hadn’t recognized the wordless plea until it was gone, and his face aged with something sad. Resigned. Arin glanced away. When he looked back it was as if Kestrel were part of the pier beneath her feet. A sail stitched to a ship. A black current of water. As if she were not there at all. He turned away, walked into the illuminated house of the new Herrani harbormaster, and shut the door behind him. For a moment Kestrel couldn’t move. Then she ran for a fishing boat docked far enough from its fellows that she might cast off from shore unnoticed by an sailors on the other vessels. She leaped onto the deck and took rapid stock of the boat. The tiny cabin was bare of supplies. As she lifted the anchor and uncoiled the rope tethering the boat to its dock, she knew, even if she couldn’t see, that Arin was talking with the harbormaster, distracting him while Kestrel prepared to set sail.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools. Oh my god, said the sergeant.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Closing the door, she turned back to him, taking in the long, muscled length of him on the bed, staring at her. Waiting for her. Perfection. He was perfect, and she was bare before him, bathed in candlelight. She was instantly embarrassed- somehow more embarrassed than she had been that night in his office, when she'd touched herself under his careful guidance. At least then she'd been wearing a corset. Stockings. Tonight, she wore nothing. She was all flaws, each one highlighted by his perfection. He watched her for a long moment before extending one muscled arm, palm up, an irresistible invitation. She went to him without hesitation, and he rolled to his back, pulling her over his lovely, lean chest, staring up at her intently. She covered her breasts in a wave of nerves and trepidation. "When you look at me like that... it's too much." He did not look away. "How do I look at you?" "I don't know what it is... but I feel as though you can see into me. As though, if you could, you would consume me." "It's want, love. Desire like nothing I've never experienced. I'm fairly shaking with it. Come here." The demand was impossible to resist, carrying with it the promise of pleasure beyond her dreams. She went. When she was close enough to touch, he lifted one hand, stroking his fingers along hers where they hid her breasts from view. "I tremble with need for you, Pippa. Please, love, let me see you." The request was raw and wretched, and she couldn't deny him, slowly moving her hands to settle them on his chest, fingers splayed wide across the crisp auburn hair that dusted his skin. She was distracted by that hair, the play of it over muscle- the way it narrowed to a lovely dark line across his flat stomach. He lay still as she touched him, his muscles firm and perfect. "You're so beautiful," she whispered, fingers stroking down his arms to his wrists. His gaze narrowed on her. "I am happy you approve, my lady." She smiled. "Oh I do, my lord. You are a remarkable specimen." White teeth flashed again as she gained her courage, retracing her touch, over his forearms, marveling in the feel of him, reciting from memory, "flexor digitorium superficialis, flexor capri radialis..." along his upper arms, "biceps brachii, tricipitis brachii..." over his shoulders, loving the way his muscles tensed and flexed beneath her touch, "deltoideus..." and down his chest, "subscapularis... pectoralis major..." She stilled, brushing her fingers over the curve of that muscle, the landscape of him... the valleys of his body. He sucked in a breath as her fingers ran over the flat discs of his nipples, arching up to her touch, and she stilled, reveling in her power. He enjoyed her touch. He wanted it. She repeated the stroke, this time with her thumbs. He hissed his pleasure, one wide hand falling to the inside of her knee, sending a river of heat through her. "Don't stop now, love. This is the most effective seduction I've ever experienced.
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
Large-leafed plants at the edge of the jungle reflected the sun rather than soaking it up, their dark green surfaces sparkling white in the sunlight. Some of the smaller ones had literally low-hanging fruit, like jewels from a fairy tale. Behind them was an extremely inviting path into the jungle with giant white shells for stepping-stones. And rather than the muggy, disease-filled forests of books that seemed to kill so many explorers, here the air was cool and pleasant and not too moist- although Wendy could hear the distant tinkle of water splashing from a height. "Oh! Is that the Tonal Spring? Or Diamond Falls?" Wendy withered breathlessly. "Luna, let's go see!" She made herself not race ahead down the path, but moved at a leisurely, measured pace. Like an adventuress sure of herself but wary of her surroundings. (And yet, as she wouldn't realize until later, she hadn't thought to grab her stockings or shoes. Those got left in her hut without even a simple goodbye.) Everywhere she looked, Wendy found another wonder of Never Land, from the slow camosnails to the gently nodding heads of the fritillary lilies. She smiled, imagining John as he peered over his glasses and the snail faded away into the background in fear- or Michael getting his nose covered in honey-scented lily pollen as he enthusiastically sniffed the pretty flowers. The path continued, winding around a boulder into a delightful little clearing, sandy but padded here and there with tuffets of emerald green grass and clumps of purple orchids. It was like a desert island vacation of a perfect English meadow.
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning)
Is power like the vis viva and the quantite d’avancement? That is, is it conserved by the universe, or is it like shares of a stock, which may have great value one day, and be worthless the next? If power is like stock shares, then it follows that the immense sum thereof lately lost by B[olingbroke] has vanished like shadows in sunlight. For no matter how much wealth is lost in stock crashes, it never seems to turn up, but if power is conserved, then B’s must have gone somewhere. Where is it? Some say ‘twas scooped up by my Lord R, who hid it under a rock, lest my Lord M come from across the sea and snatch it away. My friends among the Whigs say that any power lost by a Tory is infallibly and insensibly distributed among all the people, but no matter how assiduously I search the lower rooms of the clink for B’s lost power, I cannot seem to find any there, which explodes that argument, for there are assuredly very many people in those dark salons. I propose a novel theory of power, which is inspired by . . . the engine for raising water by fire. As a mill makes flour, a loom makes cloth and a forge makes steel, so we are assured this engine shall make power. If the backers of this device speak truly, and I have no reason to deprecate their honesty, it proves that power is not a conserved quantity, for of such quantities, it is never possible to make more. The amount of power in the world, it follows, is ever increasing, and the rate of increase grows ever faster as more of these engines are built. A man who hordes power is therefore like a miser who sits on a heap of coins in a realm where the currency is being continually debased by the production of more coins than the market can bear. So that what was a great fortune, when first he raked it together, insensibly becomes a slag heap, and is found to be devoid of value. When at last he takes it to the marketplace to be spent. Thus my Lord B and his vaunted power hoard what is true of him is likely to be true of his lackeys, particularly his most base and slavish followers such as Mr. Charles White. This varmint has asserted that he owns me. He fancies that to own a man is to have power, yet he has got nothing by claiming to own me, while I who was supposed to be rendered powerless, am now writing for a Grub Street newspaper that is being perused by you, esteemed reader.
Neal Stephenson (The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, #3))
We ran back, he first and I following him, between the beds and downstairs, and we picked up an armful of wood from the pile by the wall and the knife for whittling and ran up again, we couldn’t be quick enough. He knelt down in front of the stove, and it wasn’t long before he had done the trick again. Outside the window it was night now, and the wind blew vaporous white milk against the panes, milk over the forest and the fjord, but in here there were just the two of us and the stoves and the sound of wood burning behind the black iron and sending waves of heat out into the rooms and into the walls and timbers that sucked it in. I smelt the scent of wood growing warm, and it made me as white in my head as the whirling night outside, and hungry. We stood in the kitchen with our coats on eating the contents of two tins with one spoon we took it in turns to use, and we laughed, I didn’t even notice what I was eating. Soon it was warm enough for us to take off some clothes, his overcoat and my coat, and while he hung his on a hook, I let mine fall to the floor. I took off the sweater I wore underneath and dropped that on the floor too, I unbuttoned my blouse and still felt the cold against my neck. But the heat rose to the ceiling and up to the first floor and there was another stove there. Then I calmly walked across the room and upstairs with his eyes on my back, and at first he stood still, and then he followed, and when he got to the top my blouse was off and my stockings on the floor. I slowly turned round and stood there, me inside my skin, while he was fully clothed, and I cleared my head of every thought I had ever had and let them sink out into my skin till it was painfully taut and shinning all over my body, and he saw it and did not know what it was he saw. I put my arms round my back and unfastened my bra and slid the straps over my shoulders, and I thought he might be going to weep, but his voice sounded hoarse as he whispered: “You’re lovely,” and I answered “Yes”, and didn’t know if that was true. But it did not matter, for I knew what I wanted and what to say, and his hands were as I’d thought they would be, his skins as soft and his body as hard, and it was so warm around us, and the whole time I smelt the dampness of the bedclothes like the ones at Vrangbæk, and then I just shut my eyes and floated away.
Per Petterson (To Siberia)