Ex Libris Kirkland

Ex Libris Kirkland is my self-centered way to keep track of what I read, what I like, and what I want to remember.


Recently Quoted

  • Oh Dear! How old are you about?
    Twelve.
    Oh, you poor thing! Are you indeed? I really hated twelve - and thirteen. And then somebody told me that it was all to do with growing. It was all to do with my inside. With my stomach I believe in some way. I was so relieved. I had thought I was growing unpleasant and starting to hate everyone, and I didn't want to be that sort of person at all. It all calmed down later on. I do remember though that I spent a lot of time crying. But childhood is such a wretched time anyway. Have you noticed in the street, or in a bus or anywhere, if you stop and listen you can nearly always hear a child crying? It's perfectly awful when you come to think of it.

    an excerpt from A Long Way from Verona, written by Jane Gardam in 1971

  • Usually if a poet's good he doesn't break his heart. Can you imagine Emily Bronte crumpling up with a broken heart? No, of course you can't. She'd start working instead. Like Keats who said when he was really in despair he put a clean shirt on. Though mind you he was very lucky, being a man he wouldn't have had to wash it and iron it himself first...

    an excerpt from A Long Way from Verona, written by Jane Gardam in 1971

  • Later I grew annoyed with his constant, uncritical admiration of everything that belonged to him. But it was back then that I was right, when I saw only how handsome he was in his lively trust and joy. ... Now I take a more lenient view of many things, but that's because I too am guilty. When I was young and innocent I was a harsher judge.

    We keep learning all our lives - but God help us what we learn. To understand everything is supposed to mean to forgive everything; if so, then may God spare me from those people who forgive too much. That's merely something we say to console ourselves when life starts to leave its mark on us, and we have done various things that we would have been ashamed of in our better days. Or else we don't have the courage and energy to live according to our own temperament, and so we relinquish some of our demands. But in the long run a person receives in accordance with what he demands. The young are single-minded. For them there is only one path to salvation, and if they are any good, that's the road they take. Later you catch sight of other paths, and you think that one is in fact just as good as the other. Then you sit down and say: they're all much the same. It's easy to put the blame on tolerance and understanding when you no longer feel like doing anything with your life. But it takes single-mindedness and tenacity to achieve something, because aspirations are required, and that is the way of youth.

    an excerpt from Marta Oulie, written by Sigrid Unset in 1907

Looking for more recently quoted books? Check out the Personal Timeline.



Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
Interested in talking about it?
Get in touch. You might also want to check out my other projects or say hello on twitter.