Ex Libris Kirkland

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


Recently Quoted

  • That personal bravery is required in the composition of manliness must be conceded, though, of all the ingredients needed, it is the lowest in value. But the first requirement of all must be described by a negative. Manliness is not compatible with affectation. Women's virtues, all feminine attributes, may be marred by affectation, but the virtues and the vice may co-exist. An affected man, too, may be honest, may be generous, may be pious;—but surely he cannot be manly. The self-conscious assumption of any outward manner, the striving to add,—even though it be but a tenth of a cubit to the height,—is fatal, and will at once banish the all but divine attribute. Before the man can be manly, the gifts which make him so must be there, collected by him slowly, unconsciously, as are his bones, his flesh, and his blood. They cannot be put on like a garment for the nonce,—as may a little learning. A man cannot become faithful to his friends, unsuspicious before the world, gentle with women, loving with children, considerate to his inferiors, kindly with servants, tender-hearted with all,—and at the same time be frank, of open speech, with springing eager energies,—simply because he desires it. These things, which are the attributes of manliness, must come of training on a nature not ignoble. But they are the very opposites, the antipodes, the direct antagonism, of that staring, posed, bewhiskered and bewigged deportment, that nil admirari, self-remembering assumption of manliness, that endeavour of twopence halfpenny to look as high as threepence, which, when you prod it through, has in it nothing deeper than deportment. We see the two things daily, side by side, close to each other. Let a man put his hat down, and you shall say whether he has deposited it with affectation or true nature. The natural man will probably be manly. The affected man cannot be so.

    an excerpt from Phineas Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

  • "No;—I don't suppose he's given to lying at all. He believes it all. But he's such a muddle-headed fellow that he can get himself to believe anything. He's one of those men who always unconsciously exaggerate what they have to say for the sake of the importance it gives them."

    an excerpt from Phineas Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

  • 'You talk of the heart as though we could control it.'
    'The heart will follow the thoughts, and they may be controlled.'

    an excerpt from Phineas Redux, written by Anthony Trollope in 1873

Recently Noted

  • Am I up to immediately jump to the sequel? Definitely not. But might I one day... if it ever gets translated to English? Probably.

    an note about A Heart Divided, written by Jin Yong in 1957

  • 500 more pages of rambling kung fu battles! This was actually really fun, and I think the most engrossing any of these books have been. Some major plot twists that were legitimately shocking to me, some real character development for our hero (finally), and stake-raising that felt organic and earned.

    I mostly loved the way the much-hyped Contest at Mount Hua turned out, and how it matches a maturing Guo Jing.

    an note about A Heart Divided, written by Jin Yong in 1957

  • I was sick last week (covid, finally!) and so picked this up to pass the time. It was a lot more pretentious than I remembered. I mean, it earns it for sure, but was not as enjoyable as I recalled it being.

    an note about Dune, written by Frank Herbert in 1965

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Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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