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NauenThen

Monday Quote

And what is a barbarian, you ask? A man dressed in skins? Not in this century, friend. He's the type who likes to destroy. That's all. He wants to be boss-man, whether it's with a hatchet or a gun or a bomb, or with nice cold-eyed justifications such as "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs." As if we were only something laid by a clucking hen for breakfast.

~ Helen Macinnes

 

It's so miserable having one's illusions of civility torn apart. 

 

I don't need to say more, do I? 

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Monday Quote

Pray for a brave heart, which does not fear death, which places a long life last among the gifts of nature, which has the power to endure any trials, rejects anger, discards desire… If we have common sense, Chance, you are not divine: it is we who make you a goddess, yes, and place you in heaven. 

~ Juvenal, (10. 357-360, 365-366), epigraph to Pray for a Brave Heart by Helen MacInnes

 

I love the books of spy novelist Helen MacInnes because they are wholly unmemorable, yet exciting while you're reading them. I'm rereading one now, which I only realized because I ran into a passage I had underlined. Nothing—not the characters, scenery, or situation—is familiar the second time around.

 

Or too familar: all the men are handsome, strong, quick-witted & educated, except for the villains who have squints or cold, cold eyes; the women are either beautiful, strong, quick-witted & educated, or plain, with cold eyes. This isn't a criticism, merely pointing out that she uses a formula, which she does very enjoyably. I've read several of her books published in 1940 or 41 & even that early in World War II she was well aware of what was going on & condemned it in no uncertain terms. We should all be so sure of the moral high ground & so willing to stay on it. 

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Monday Quote

Everything you don't want to hear is a lie. 

~ Helen MacInnes, spy novelist of the 1940s & 50s, in Pray for a Brave Heart

 

How readily we wriggle out of hard truths. How easy to simply deny what's said. And believe we never heard it. 

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