Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Cristo
“Oh, don’t trust it, Madame,’ said Monte Cristo. ‘A drop of that elixir sufficed to bring the child back to life when he was dying, but three drops would have driven the blood into his lungs in such a way as to give him palpitations of the heart. Six would have interrupted his breathing and caused him a much more serious fit than the one he was already suffering. Ten would have killed him. You recall, Madame, how I hastened to pull him away from those phials which he had been rash enough to touch?’ (595)
Alexandre Dumas- The Count of Monte Cristo
‘But, Monsieur, you too might say that yourself because, as long as you live in France, you are automatically subject to French law.’ ‘
I know that,’ Monte Cristo replied. ‘But when I have to go to a country, I begin by studying, by methods peculiar to me, all those persons from whom I may have something to hope or to fear. I get to know them quite well, perhaps even better than they know themselves. The result of this is that the crown prosecutor with whom I had to deal, whoever he might be, would certainly be more put out by it than I would be myself.’
‘By which you mean,’ Villlefort said hesitantly, ‘that, in your view, human nature being weak, every man had committed some…error or other?’
‘Some error . . . or crime,’ Monte Cristo replied casually. (544-5)
No Plot? No Problem!- Chris Baty
With back-to-back novelizing failures to my credit, “exuberant imperfection” started seeming less like a panic-free way to get monumental tasks accomplished and more like a surefire way to make me feel like a moron. Not bring if I wrote crap and stumbling into passable prose was exhilarating. Not caring if I wrote crap and getting exactly that for two years in a row was demoralizing.
Just as I was about to drop my laptop into a trash compactor, though, a friend of mine sent me some quotes from the celebrated graphic designer Bruce Mau. One of which struck pretty close to home.
“Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child0,” Mau’s maxim went. “Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiment, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and llow yourself the fun of failure every day.”
As corny as it sounds, those words changed the way I looked at my two crapulent works of fiction. As literature, they were ugly as sin. As experiments, though, they were packed with a beautify , useful array of wrong turns, misguided decisions, and shameful flops. From those experiments, I discovered copious amounts about what I shouldn’t be writing. This allowed me to spend my fourth and with novels in the happy pursuit of what I should.
The Sistine Secrets- Benjamin Blech & Roy Doliner
In fact, the Latin root of the word literary is the same as for the word intellect: leggier, “to read”. The source for the word intellectual also gives us its true meaning: inter-leggere, “to read between”. An intellectual is defined by an ability to read between the lines, to analyze and to think critically, to understand things on many levels at the same time. This is exactly what we must do to appreciate fully the works of Michelangelo and his fellow Renaissance artists.
A. Lee Martinez- In The Company of Ogres
There was one last warning, no doubt for those who couldn’t read. It was a series of pictographs showing a careless goblin’s journey through Kevin’s digestive tract from beak to rectum. The artist had done a thorough job of showing the unpleasantness of the experience, even painting a frowny face on the pile of dung at the very end.