Nancy Mitford · 468 pages
Rating: (4.8K votes)
“Twice in her life she had mistaken something else for it; it was like seeing somebody in the street who you think is a friend, you whistle and wave and run after him, and it is not only not the friend, but not even very like him. A few minutes later the real friend appears in view, and then you can't imagine how you ever mistook that other person for him. Linda was now looking upon the authentic face of love, and she knew it, but it frightened her. That it should come so casually, so much by a series of accidents, was frightening.”
“But I think she would have been happy with Fabrice,' I said. 'He was the great love of her life, you know.'
Oh, dulling,' said my mother, sadly. 'One always thinks that. Every, every time.”
“The worst of being a Communist is the parties you may go to are - well - awfully funny and touching but not very gay...I don't see the point of sad parties, do you? And Left-wing people are always sad because they mind dreadfully about their causes, and the causes are always going so badly.”
“Oh! How like a woman," Davey said. "Sex, my dear Sadie, is not a sovereign cure for everything, you know. I only wish it were.”
“Always be civil to the girls, you never know who they may marry' is a aphorism which has saved many an English spinster from being treated like an Indian widow.”
“Spring came late, but when it came it was hand-in-hand with summer, and almost at once everything was baking and warm, and in the villages the people danced every night on concrete dancing floors under the plane trees...”
“She...ran away so often, and with so many different people, that she became known to her family and friends as the Bolter....”
“The people welcome a new da yas if they were certain of liking it, the shopkeepers pull up their blinds serene in the expectation of good trade, the workers go happily to their work, the people who have sat up all night in night clubs go happily to their rest, the orchestra of motor-car horns, of clanking trams, of whistling policemen tunes up for the daily symphony, and everywhere is joy.”
“Isn't it lovely to be lovely me!”
“For a long time we see only one side of a person’s personality, because for reasons of self-preservation we do not wish to see any other, I thought, then suddenly we see all sides of their personality and are disgusted by them, I thought.”
“MAYBE IT WOULD be a good idea to rearrange the flat a bit,’ said Mum. ‘I’ve been thinking. You and Kendall might like your own den, more of a play space. So how about us turning the bedroom into your room. It’s purple too, your favourite colour.’ ‘Lilac isn’t purple.’ ‘It’s light purple, Miss Picky. Anyway, I was thinking of getting a little portable telly for you two. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Then the living room could be more – well, my room.’ ‘And you want to put a socking great bed in it for you and Jake,’ I said coldly. ‘No I don’t! Well. I was thinking about one of them sofa beds. Then if Jake should want to stay over . . .’ ‘Why can’t he stay in his own place?’ ‘He hasn’t exactly got his own place,’ said Mum. ‘He’s staying with a friend at the moment.’ ‘Why can’t he get his own place, then?’ I said. ‘Because he hasn’t got any money. He’s a student.’ ‘They give them rooms in the university, don’t they?’ ‘Only the first year. For God’s sake, Lola Rose, give it a rest. He’s coming to live with us and that’s that. I don’t see why you’ve got such a problem with it. We’re in love, can’t you see?’ ‘He doesn’t love you. He’s just shacking up with us because he hasn’t got anywhere else. And you spend a fortune on him. Our fortune.’ Mum slapped me straight across the face. Kendall was watching. He cried. I didn’t cry. I stared Mum out. ‘You only slapped me because you know it’s true.’ ‘I slapped you because you’re a spoilt little cow,’ Mum snapped. ‘What’s the matter with you, Lola Rose? You can’t be jealous, can you?”
“Just because you never look at me doesn't mean I'm not here.”
“I fear that, with our current veneration for the natural and the real, we have arrived at the opposite pole to all idealism, and have landed in the region of the waxworks.”
“Debemos guardarnos de la confusión en que por contiguity [contiguidad] psicológica, para decirlo igual que los ingleses, muy fácilmente cae un artista: la de creer que él mismo es aquello que él puede representar, concebir, expresar. En realidad ocurre que, si él lo fuera, no lo podría en absoluto representar, concebir, expresar.”
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