Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1948
Genre Fiction
Origin UK
Publisher Penguin
My Copy penguin paperback, 1978 printing
First Read February 10, 2006

The Heart of the Matter

In European cases there are words one believes and words one distrusts: it is possible to draw a speculative line between the truth and the lies; at least the cui bono principle to some extent operates, and it is usually safe to assume, if the accusation is theft and there is no question of insurance, that something has at least been stolen. But here one could make no such assumption: one could draw no lines. He had known police officers whose nerves broke down in the effort to separate a single grain of incontestable truth; they ended, some of them, by striking a witness, they were pilloried in the local Creole papers and were invalided home or transferred. It woke in some men a virulent hatred of a black skin, but Scobie had long ago, during his fifteen years, passed through the dangerous stages; now lost in the tangle of lies he felt an extraordinary affection for these people who paralysed an alien form of justice by so simple a method.

Quoted on May 20, 2012

They say, 'If there's such a thing as an honest Syrian, then Tallit's the man.' Tallit's not very successful, and that looks just the same as honesty.

Quoted on September 21, 2010

The truth, he thought, has never been of any real value to any human being - it is a symbol for mathematicians and philosophers to pursue. In human relations kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.

Quoted on September 21, 2010

They had been corrupted by money, and he had been corrupted by sentiment. Sentiment was the more dangerous, because you couldn't name its price. A man open to bribes was to be relied upon below a certain figure, but sentiment might uncoil in the heart at a name, a photograph, even a smell remembered.

Quoted on September 21, 2010

Women depended so much on pride, pride in themselves, their husbands, their surroundings. They were seldom proud, it seemed to him, of the invisible.

Quoted on September 21, 2010

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