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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

The last vestiges of the old Republic have been swept away.
                -- Governor Tarkin
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up along delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
                -- John Gillespie Magee Jr., "High Flight"
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but
only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered
glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat
crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard
powerless to stop it.  It's only afterwards that it becomes anything
like a story at all.  When you are telling it, to yourself or to
someone else.
                -- Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace"
The Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest is held ever year at San Jose State
Univ.  by Professor Scott Rice.  It is held in memory of Edward George
Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), a rather prolific and popular (in his
time) novelist.  He is best known today for having written "The Last
Days of Pompeii."

Whenever Snoopy starts typing his novel from the top of his doghouse,
beginning "It was a dark and stormy night..." he is borrowing from Lord
Bulwer-Lytton.  This was the line that opened his novel, "Paul Clifford,"
written in 1830.  The full line reveals why it is so bad:

        It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except
        at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of
        wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene
        lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty
        flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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