…she concluded with the wisdom invariably shewn by people who, not being in love themselves, feel that a clever man ought to be unhappy only about such persons as are worth his while; which is rather like being astonished that anyone should condescend to die of cholera at the bidding of so insignificant a creature as the common bacillus.
If they studied their paper money for clues as to what their country was all about, they found, among a lot of other baroque trash, a picture of a truncated pyramid with a radiant eye on top of it, Not even the President of the United States knew what that was all about. It was as though the country were saying to its citizens, ” In nonsense is strength”
I’m going out there to show them what nobody has ever seen at an arts festival before: a representative of all the thousands of artists who devoted their entire lives to a search for truth and beauty—and didn’t find doodley-squat!
I have some news for you: modern science has given us a whole lot of wonderful new colors, with strange, exciting names like red!, orange!, green!, and pink!, Harry. We’re not stuck any more with just black, gray and white! Isn’t that good news, Harry? And the State Legislature has just announced that it is no longer a crime to smile during working hours…
After dinner, Proust got into his taxi with his hosts, Violet and Sydney Schiff, and without asking, Joyce followed them in. His first gesture was to open the window and his second to light a cigarette, both of which were life-threatening acts as far as Proust was concerned. During the journey, Joyce watched Proust without saying a word, while Proust talked continuously and failed to address a word to Joyce. When they arrived at Proust’s flat at the Rue Hamelin, Proust took Sydney Schiff aside and said: ‘Please ask Monsieur Joyce to let my taxi drive him home.’ The taxi did so. The two men were never to meet again.
Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.