Category Archives: BOOKS

Serge Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (make music part of your life series)


http://www.cbcmusic.ca
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s music director Bramwell Tovey does double duty as conductor and narrator in this delightfully entertaining performance. It’s the final work on a program that introduces listeners young and old to the various instruments and sections of the orchestra. Also featured are popular favourites from Star Wars, the Nutcracker Suite and Pictures at an Exhibition.

quotation: Gilbert Chesterton


I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Walnut Street Theatre


The Walnut Street Theatre

The Walnut Street Theatre, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the oldest continuously-operating theater in America. Its first play was The Rivals in 1812, and it went on to host many pre-Broadway tryouts of soon-to-be classics—including Gigi with Audrey Hepburn and A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando. Technologically innovative, it was the first theater to install gas footlights and air conditioning. In 1976, what major non-theatrical event happened there? More…

today’s birthday: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811)


William Makepeace Thackeray (1811)

Thackeray was an English novelist and satirist. In his lifetime, he was seen as the only possible rival of Charles Dickens for his pictures of contemporary life. Thackeray achieved widespread popularity in 1848 with Book of Snobs, but he is best known for another of his novels published that year, Vanity Fair, a satirical panorama of upper-middle-class London life in the early 19th century. Who were Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh, and George Savage Fitz-Boodle? More… Discuss

Survivors, poetic thought by George-B ©Always (The smudge and other poems)


Survivors, poetic thought by George-B ©Always (The smudge and other poems)

I’ve witnessed moments like this
Made of lights and shadows,
with aroma of licorice and tarragon
tasting like roasted bell peppers and eggplants

I’ve witnessed moments like this
In sepia, and black and white, faintly smelling of retouching indigo

Papillon:

In the depth of the jungle, the smell of mushrooms is stronger
that any other smell except that of decaying matter

I’ve witnessed moments like this
of serenity: when being takes over the fear of dying,
of falling, through the holes in the old dragnet:
tilapia is a smart fish: it turns on one side,
at the bottom,
just above the mud,
avoiding the net…
other fishes are learning the technique: They are survivors.

The Tomb of Nakht, 1500 BC, contains a tilapia hieroglyph just above the head of the central figure.

Great AudioBooks: LES MISERABLES – Victor Hugo Part 1 Livre Audio Francais Audio Book


LES MISERABLES – Victor Hugo Part 1 Livre Audio Francais Audio Book [GreatAudioBooks]

Jean Valjean.JPG

Author Victor Hugo
Illustrator Emile Bayard
Country France
Language French
Genre Epic novel, historical fiction
Publisher A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie.
Publication date
1862

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quotation: We often despise what is most useful to us. Aesop


We often despise what is most useful to us.

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Discuss

The weather is like the government, always in the wrong. Jerome K. Jerome (three men in a boat)


The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) Discuss

quotation: Edith Wharton – “…habit is necessary;…”


quotation: 

Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Discuss

today’s birthday: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804)


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804)

Hawthorne was one of the great masters of American fiction. His novels and tales are penetrating explorations of moral and spiritual conflicts, and his masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, is often considered the first American psychological novel. Hawthorne also helped to establish the American short story as a significant art form with his haunting tales of human loneliness, frustration, hypocrisy, eccentricity, and frailty. What future US president did Hawthorne befriend in college? More… Discuss

quotation: The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society. Ralph Waldo Emerson


quotation:  The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

todady’s birthday: Franz Kafka (1883)


Franz Kafka (1883)

Despite the fact that he published only a few short works during his lifetime, Kafka is regarded as one of the most influential 20th-century writers. In prose remarkable for its clarity and precision, Kafka presents a world that is at once real and dreamlike and in which individuals burdened with guilt, isolation, and anxiety make a futile search for personal salvation. What virtually insurmountable difficulties do translators face when converting Kafka’s works from German into English? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Revolt Aboard the Amistad (1839)


Revolt Aboard the Amistad (1839)

In 1839, 53 African slaves being transported on the Spanish merchant ship La Amistad revolted against their captors. Having gained control of the ship, they demanded that the navigator set a course for Africa. However, he deceived them and sailed the ship northward until it was intercepted by the US Navy off the coast of New York. After a widely publicized court battle, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans were not legally slaves and ordered them freed. What does amistad mean? More… Discuss

quotation: There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Victor Hugo


QUOTATION

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Discuss

It’s alright, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems Page)


It’s alright, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems Page)

Before me, before I was,
There were two ideas of me, two thoughts
In two minds…and it was alright…
Then one day they came together in one,
New string of DNA, and it was all right…
I was then immersed in the ocean bubble, until
I grew wings, and it was alright…
One day, early morning, I thought
I could leave the ocean
for the rigors of land crawling,
but I did not crawl…
not for a while…and it was alright…
Then
Everything became prosaic, and prose,
and the poetry was lost to
the mundane passage of time,
and nothing could replace that anymore…
not ever…and it’s all right…

Censorship, poetic thought by George-B) (the smudge and other poems – Page-)


Censorship, poetic thought by George-B)
(the smudge and other poems)

We all value things – essentially worthless –
We make them valuable as they rot into forgetfulness
Gold medals, rings, and pocket watches
Old coins, now not currency,
We all give them extrinsic value
Dry flowers, pressed between the pages
Of out of print volumes, and censured volumes
And put to death volumes, by scorching fire, bonfire of volumes
Dangerously truthful to truth volumes, and tomes of many,
many writings in languages forgotten to time itself,
Witchcraft manuals and other books and manuscripts,
and philosophies we agree not with…
All becoming ash and smoke on the bonfire of un-appealable volumes…

Instead, poetic thought by George-B. (my poetry collection: “The Smudge and other poems” Page))


Instead, poetic thought by George-B.


Instead

Of heroic return to sanity
On a tree branch
I chose a steady
Pass all sane, not quite so heroic,
yet sane,
less firecrackers for the 4th,

instead, 

rather virtual kaleidoscope
paintings, and Fotoshetcher application of
Creativity, on the music of Dvorak, Chopin, and
about another few dozens composers
hundred of songs:
All love flowing
like a spring,
continuously flowing,
uninterrupted by unexpected fireworks at midnight
on the 3rd, 4th and well into the 5th:
lets keep it virtual

instead,

instead,

instead
lets keep it real instead, instead, instead…

quotation: An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo (1802-1885)


An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Discuss

today’s birthday: Helen Keller (1880)


Helen Keller (1880)

Blind and deaf from the age of two, Helen Keller was placed in the care of Anne Sullivan, who acted as her teacher and companion for 49 years. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, Keller made rapid progress, eventually graduating from Radcliffe College with honors. She later became a world-famous lecturer and advocate for people with disabilities. The Miracle Worker, a play based on Keller’s autobiography, chronicles her remarkable journey. What was the first word Keller learned? More… Discuss

A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson – Audiobook Full


A Return to LoveMarianne Williamson – Audiobook Full

 

Audiobook : A Course in Miracles – Part 1 (“…a universal theology is imposible but a universal experience is posible!…”)


Audiobook : A Course in Miracles – Part 1 (follow the other audiobooks in the playlist)

Published on Dec 8, 2013

The introduction to the book contains the following summary:

  1. Nothing real can be threatened.
  1. Nothing unreal exists.
  1. Herein lies the peace of God.

Memento: Kate Chopin


Memento: Kate Chopin

 
 

Kate Chopin in 1894

Kate Chopin in 1894 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Born Katherine O’Flaherty
February 8, 1850
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died August 22, 1904 (aged 54)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Occupation Novelist, short story writer
Genres realistic fiction
Notable work(s) The Awakening

Kate Chopin, born Katherine O’Flaherty (February 8, 1850 — August 22, 1904), was an American author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of the feminist authors of the 20th century.

From 1892 to 1895, she wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The Century Magazine, and The Youth’s Companion. Her major works were two short story collections, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Her important short stories included “Desiree’s Baby,” a tale of miscegenation in antebellum Louisiana (published in 1893),[1]The Story of an Hour” (1894),[2] and “The Storm“(1898).[1] “The Storm” is a sequel to “The ‘Cadian Ball,” which appeared in her first collection of short stories, Bayou Folk.[1] Chopin also wrote two novels: At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899), which are set in New Orleans and Grand Isle, respectively. The people in her stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set in Natchitoches in north central Louisiana.

Within a decade of her death, Chopin was widely recognized as one of the leading writers of her time. In 1915, Fred Lewis Pattee[3] wrote, “some of [Chopin's] work is equal to the best that has been produced in France or even in America. [She displayed] what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius.”

quotation: “The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick.” L. Frank Baum


The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) Discuss

quotation: Oscar Wilde – If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. Oscar Wilde


If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Discuss

quotation: Henry James – “…Experience is never limited, and it is never complete…”


Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Henry James (1843-1916) Discuss

Article: Neil Simon


Neil Simon

Simon is an American playwright whose popular comedies touch on various aspects of modern middle-class life. Despite being known as a master jokesmith, Simon often tackles serious topics. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers, for example, deals with the painful subject of parental rejection. His many other plays include The Odd Couple and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Many have been adapted into films, and Simon has written numerous screenplays. How did he get his start? More… Discuss

quotation: The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)


The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Discuss

this pressed: All the Things Hillary Clinton’s Book Doesn’t Say About Iraq – ProPublica (at Ralphs and other markets ar 30% rebates!)


 

All the Things Hillary Clinton’s Book Doesn’t Say About Iraq – ProPublica.

quotation: Edith Wharton: “Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.”


Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Discuss

“At the antipodes of bloggers everywhere! “

writer of the day: Rainer Maria Rilke (the panther)


Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is generally considered the German language‘s greatest 20th century lyric poet. His compositions are generally characterized by striking visual imagery, musicality, and a preponderant use of nouns. His writings include one novel, the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge; several collections of poetry, among them Sonnets to Orpheus and Duino Elegies; and several volumes of correspondence. How did a rose thorn supposedly hasten his death? More… Discuss

The Panther, by Klaus J. Peter.

the panther, A translation by Stephen Cohn:

The bars which pass and strike across his gaze
have stunned his sight: the eyes have lost their hold.
To him it seems there are athousand bars,
a thousand bars, and nothing else. No World
And pacing out that mean, constricted ground,
so quiet, supple, powerful his stride
is like a ritual dance performed around
the centre where his baffled will survives.

The silent shutter of his eye sometimes
slides open to admit some thing outside;
an image runs through each expectant limb
and penetrates his heart and dies

Rainer Maria RILKE. Pour écrire un seul vers.

Pour écrire un seul vers

Pour écrire un seul vers, il faut avoir vu beaucoup de villes, d’hommes et de choses, il faut connaître les animaux, il faut sentir comment volent les oiseaux et savoir quel mouvement font les petites fleurs en s’ouvrant le matin. Il faut pouvoir repenser à des chemins dans des régions inconnues, à des rencontres inattendues, à des départs que l’on voyait longtemps approcher, à des jours d’enfance dont le mystère ne s’est pas encore éclairci, à ses parents qu’il fallait qu’on froissât lorsqu’ils vous apportaient une joie et qu’on ne la comprenait pas (c’était une joie faite pour un autre), à des maladies d’enfance qui commençaient si singulièrement, par tant de profondes et graves transformations, à des jours passés dans des chambres calmes et contenues, à des matins au bord de la mer, à la mer elle-même, à des mers, à des nuits de voyage qui frémissaient très haut et volaient avec toutes les étoiles, – et il ne suffit même pas de savoir penser à tout cela. Il faut avoir des souvenirs de beaucoup de nuits d’amour, dont aucune ne ressemblait à l’autre, de cris de femmes hurlant en mal d’enfant, et de légères, de blanches, de dormantes accouchées qui se refermaient. Il faut encore avoir été auprès de mourants, être resté assis auprès de morts, dans la chambre, avec la fenêtre ouverte et les bruits qui venaient par à-coups. Et il ne suffit même pas d’avoir des souvenirs. Il faut savoir les oublier quand ils sont nombreux, et il faut avoir la grande patience d’attendre qu’ils reviennent. Car les souvenirs eux-mêmes ne sont pas encore cela. Ce n’est que lorsqu’ils deviennent en nous sang, regard, geste, lorsqu’ils n’ont plus de nom et ne se distinguent plus de nous, ce n’est qu’alors qu’il peut arriver qu’en une heure très rare, du milieu d’eux, se lève le premier mot d’un vers.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) – Les cahier de Malte Laurids Brigge.

Illustration : Rainer Maria Rilke, portrait de Helmut Westhoff.

Pour une écoute plurielle :

Chez Bernard Pivot, avec Laurent Terzieff,
homme de Poésie, de Parole, de Silence.
Homme du Sacré, du Visible et de l’Invisible.
Homme de Lumière !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDd2bzXXkvU

Avec la voix de Michel Aumont, extrait du film ‘Clara et moi’ d’Arnaud Viard (2004).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2NybPa4dXc

Avec Christine Mattei-Barraud. Réalisation : papidou1934.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOOXiolhCnA

 

today’s birthday: William Butler Yeats (1865)


William Butler Yeats (1865)

Considered Ireland’s greatest lyric poet and a major figure of 20th-century literature, Yeats was the acknowledged leader of the Irish literary renaissance. His early work centers on Irish mythology and themes and is mystical, slow-paced, and lyrical. His later verse is stronger, more physical, and realistic. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. After proposing to—and being rejected by—his love interest Maud Gonne on numerous occasions, Yeats turned his attentions toward whom? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Anne Frank (1929)


Anne Frank (1929)

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who, with her parents and sister, hid from the Nazis in a secret annex above her father’s Amsterdam office building for two years. Betrayed to the Germans in 1944, the Franks were deported to concentration camps, where all but father Otto perished. The diary Anne kept during their time in the annex, a work characterized by poignancy, humor, and tart observation, was later published and is now an international bestseller. Why did Otto edit out some parts of the diary? More… Discuss

quotation: Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties. Aesop (620 BC-560 BC)


Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Discuss

quotation: Funny how the new things are the old things. Rudyard Kipling


Funny how the new things are the old things.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) Discuss

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quotation: “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” Ambrose Bierce


Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Discuss

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today’s birthday: Gwendolyn Brooks (1917)


Gwendolyn Brooks (1917)

Brooks was an award-winning poet whose compositions, written in a variety of forms, deal with the experience of being black and often of being female in America. Her 1949 book of poetry, Annie Allen, received a Pulitzer Prize, the first ever awarded to an African American. In 1994, she was named the National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecturer, one of the highest honors in the American literary world. How old was Brooks when her first poem was published? More… Discuss

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Quotation: Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage. Ambrose Bierce


Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Discuss

quotation: …when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Arthur Conan Doyle


…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) Discuss

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quotation: Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. Herman Melville


Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) Discuss

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today’s birthday: Thomas Hardy (1840)


Thomas Hardy (1840)

A novelist and poet, Hardy was one of the 19th century’s great English writers. Though he started out writing poetry and regarded the novel as an inferior genre, his first published works were novels, and it was through them that he gained fame as a writer. Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895) are considered his masterpieces. At the height of his success, Hardy gave up writing novels and began publishing poetry. What compelled him to finally make the change? More… Discuss

The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

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quotation: “The whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” William Shakespeare


The whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Discuss

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quotation: “You see, but you do not observe.” Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)


You see, but you do not observe.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) Discuss

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today’s birthday: Walt Whitman (1819) Leaves of Grass – Book 1 – Poems of Walt Whitman – FULL Audio Book (Poetry Librivox recording)


Walt Whitman (1819)

Whitman was an innovative American poet whose works dealt overtly with topics like sexuality while celebrating the collective experience of an idealized, democratic American life. In 1855, he published at his own expense Leaves of Grass, a volume of 12 poems. It was a commercial failure but became one of the most influential volumes of poetry in the history of American literature. Whitman’s much-recited poem “O Captain! My Captain!” was written as a tribute to what US president? More… Discuss

Leaves of Grass – Book 1 – Poems of Walt Whitman – FULL Audio Book – Poetry

Leaves of Grass – Book 1 – Poems of Walt Whitman – FULL Audio Book – Poetry

American poet Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” is a massive collection of poems comprised of a stunning 35 books and is notable for its praise of the senses, during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Prior to the writing of Leaves of Grass, most English language poetry relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on religious and spiritual topics. Leaves of Grass is a stark contrast, as it glorifies the body and material world above all else.

- SUBSCRIBE to Greatest Audio Books:
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This is a recording of Book 1 of 35

Book 1 — 00:00:0000:29:58
Read by: Gord Mackenzie

— More about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” —

Walt Whitman was inspired to begin work on Leaves of Grass after reading an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson in which he expressed a need for a uniquely American poet. When the book was first published, Whitman sent a copy to Emerson, whose complimentary letter of response aided in its success. President Abraham Lincoln, a personal hero of Whitman, is noted to have read and thoroughly enjoyed an early version of Leaves of Grass. Despite critical acclaim, Whitman faced charges of creating obscene, immoral work, but this inadvertently added to the popularity of his book.

Whitman continually revised and republished Leaves of Grass throughout his lifetime, most notably adding the “Drum-Taps” section after Lincoln’s assassination. The book grew from 12 poems in its first publication. to nearly 400 poems in its final version (the “Death Bed Edition”).

This is a Librivox recording. All Librivox recordings are in the public domain.
Video photo used: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…

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memento: And Still I Rise


And Still I Rise

 

Maya Angelou with Bloomberg and Nadler

Maya Angelou with Bloomberg and Nadler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to her well-known autobiographies, Maya Angelou has steadily written poetry over the years. In this video Professor Angelou recites her poem, “And Still I Rise,” from her volume of poetry And Still I Rise, published in 1978.

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news: Maya Angelou Passes Away


Maya Angelou Passes Away

Legendary African-American poet and author Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. She was an active campaigner for African-American civil rights, and her autobiographical works explore themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression. She rose to prominence with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) and had been recognized with honors and awards for her literary contributions ever since. She was the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US. More… Discuss

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quotation: To him who is in fear everything rustles. Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)


To him who is in fear everything rustles.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Rachel Carson (1907)


Rachel Carson (1907)

Carson was an American writer and marine biologist. Her book Silent Spring, a provocative study of the dangers of certain insecticides, is generally acknowledged as the impetus for the modern environmental movement. In other well-known books on sea life, such as Under the Sea Wind, she combines keen scientific observation with rich poetic description. What did Carson’s marital status lead former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson to conclude about her political leanings? More… Discuss

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today’s birthday: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)

Emerson was a poet and essayist who established himself as a leading spokesman for transcendentalism. He developed his own philosophy combining German idealism, Neo-Platonism, and Asian mysticism, and dominated the American lecture circuit of the 1830s with his winter lecture tours, which included the notable essaysThe Over-Soul” and “Self-Reliance.” Although he published many volumes of essays and poetry, his lectures provided most of his income. What famous philosopher was Emerson’s godson? More… Discuss

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QUOTATION: E. M. Forster


 

The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) Discuss

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