picking his teeth with a silver toothpick.
“It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night — and, as obscurely as it had begun, his career as Trimalchio was over.” — F.Scott begins Chapter 7.
Petronius describes the entrance of Trimalchio in The Satyricon:
“We were in the middle of these elegant dishes when Trimalchio himself was carried in to the sound of music and set down on a pile of tightly stuffed cushions. The sight of him drew an astonished laugh from the guests. His cropped head stuck out from a scarlet coat; his neck was well muffled up and he had put round it a napkin with a broad purple stripe and tassels dangling here and there. On the little finger of his left hand he wore a heavy gilt ring and a smaller one on the last joint of the next finger. This I thought was solid gold, but actually it was studded with little iron stars. And to show off even more of his jewelry, he had his right arm bare and set off by a gold armlet and an ivory circlet fastened with a gleaming metal plate.”
“…the world and its mistress..”
i am slow thinking.
“It takes two to make an accident.” - Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby
upon the quick and dead.
HAMLET [Advancing] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wand’ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane!
LAERTES [Grappling with him] The devil take thy soul! (5.1.232-7)
[I am a dangerous, dangerous man.]
if anybody ever struggled with a soul, i am the man.
Marlow Do you know what you are doing?
Marlow You will be lost — utterly lost.
Kurtz I had immense plans.
Marlow Yes, but if you try to shout I’ll smash your head with — I’ll throttle you for good.
Kurtz I was on the threshold of great things. And now for this stupid scoundrel —.”
Marlow Your success in Europe is assured in any case.
[I never imagined Marlow and Kurtz’s conversations in a such a format. It helps. The “‘Do you know what you are doing?” “Perfectly’” exchange disturbs me immensely.]
du calme, du calme. adieu.
“What greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river into the mystery of an unknown earth! … The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires” (Conrad, Heart of Darkness).
[I had a conversation about this line earlier but could not quote it exactly. I kept leaving out “The dreams of men.”]
“i never got summoned much by the magicians.”
“I was very interested in the invention of the light bulb, for instance, and in the matter-into-energy theories of the twentieth century. More recently, some of us have been able to infiltrate the new ethereal-wave system that now encircles the globe, and to travel around that way, looking out at the world through the flat, illuminated surfaces that serve as domestic shrines.”
- Homer’s Penelope from the Asphodel of Margarat Atwood’s The Penelopiad.
[If you’re a fan of The Odyssey, I highly recommend Atwood’s novella. It’s absolutely wonderful.]
smile. in your face.
[In season 3, episode 1 of The Sopranos, one of the caporegime says of a disgruntled soldier, “Patsy launches into this single malt diatribe about how people can smile in your face and still be a villan.” This reminds me of Gloucester, later Richard 3, in 3 Henry 6].
Gloucester Why, I can smile and murder whilst I smile.” (3.2.186).
[I’ve been watching The Sopranos late at night. This is the second Shakespearean reference I’ve noticed. I’ll keep watching. Interesting, too, that the discussion centers on the murder of brothers — an act perpetrated by Richard.]
to the post.
[In season 2, episode 12 of The Sopranos , Junior tells Richie Aprile, “We’ve got to screw our courage to the post.” The line originates in Macbeth.]
MACBETH If we should fail?
LADY MACBETH We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking place.
And we’ll not fail. (1.7.59-61)
[Junior’s discussion, of course, centers on killing Tony thereby removing the proverbial king — not unlike Macbeth’s murder of Duncan.]
[let me mix into your bloodline.]