Monday, October 26, 2009

Quotable QTuesday: In which three fictional characters in times of old share their thoughts about women

No, but the logic of it! A Man's ready to hang himself -- and she won't pay up because, oh dear me, she's not inclined to concern herself with money matter! A real piece of feminine logic! That's precisely why I never have liked and never will like talking to women. I'd rather sit on a barrel of gunpowder.
Then, later on, in the same play . . .

This is something like a woman! This is something that makes sense to me! A real woman! Not some whingeing, whining, wishy-washy creature, but fire, gunpowder, skyrockets! Shame to kill her, in fact.

Smirnov talks of Popova in "The Bear", a play from The Sneeze by Anton Chekov

I'd love to see this play performed. It was hilarious reading.

My heart sank within me. The sorapus nutshell had proved a false prophet, and, after all, my intuition had been correct -- it was the left-hand channel that I should have followed.
Had I been a woman I should have wept.

John Carter, upon his failure to determine the correct path in The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Right. Because all women are simpering wimps who collapse at the realization they've made a poor decision.

'Women,' said Psmith, helping himself to trifle, and speaking with the air of one launched upon his special subject, 'are, one must recollect, like -- like -- er, well, in fact, just so.'

Psmith, losing his characteristic wit for a brief moment in Psmith in the City

You seriously have to love the guy for dodging the issue in such an adorable manner, don't you?

And a couple of Psmith's remarks on work:

'This,' he said to Mike, 'is undoubtedly something in the nature of a set-back. I have drawn blank. The papers bring out posters, "Psmith Baffled." I must try again. Meanwhile, to work. Work, the hobby of the philosopher and the poor man's friend.'

p.44 of Psmith in the City

'I fear,' he said to Mike, as he resumed work, ' that as far as Comrade Rossiter's friendship and esteem are concerned, I have to a certain extent landed Comrade Bannister in the bouillon; but it was in a good cause. I fancy we have won through. Half an hour's thoughtful perusal of the "Footballers' Who's Who", just to find out some elementary facts about Manchester United, and I rather think the friendly Native is corralled. And, now once more to work. Work, the hobby of the hustler and the deadbeat's dread.'

p. 48 of Psmith in the City

Wait! One more quote because I am so in love with Wodehouse that I must share.

Mr. Bickersdyke sat in his private room at the New Asiatic Bank with a pile of newspapers before him. At least, the casual observer would have said that it was Mr. Bickersdyke. In reality, however, it was an active volcano in the shape and clothes of the bank-manager.

p. 65 of Psmith in the City

Who would you want to hang out with? Chekov? Burroughs? Wodehouse?


  1. Definitely Wodehouse. :) I have heard such great things of him as a writer. Love the quotes!

  2. Krista,

    I've heard he was a really great guy, too. Wodehouse gets my vote!

  3. I am going with Chekov because I just love how angry and self-contradictory he is with his opinionations there. Ironically, I bet those are two more traits he would attribute to the women he hate/loves so much.

  4. Daniella,

    Great choice for terrific reasons! Plus, he was pretty good-looking, wasn't he? The contradiction was just a part of what made that play such a work of comic genius. He was truly an amazing writer.

  5. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Not Burroughs, that's for sure!

  6. typical of me: I've read a bio of Wodehouse and still haven't gotten myself to read a book by him! just slips by me. Guess I better make that a bigger priority.

  7. Care,

    I've done the opposite -- read a bunch of his books (including short stories) but I haven't gotten to that bio, yet. I do have a bio about him, though. You should definitely read him. I try to foist Wodehouse on everyone. He was a wonder.

  8. I could weep with frustration at my choices. Oh wait. I'm a woman. I suppose that means I should have already been in hysterics over it? Burroughs, not my guy.

  9. Carrie,

    Women, wimpettes, wishy-washy . . . apparently, they all mean the same thing. I could do without Burroughs, myself. One must remember he is the man who brought us Tarzan and Jane. What did Jane do all day? Did she stay home making skirts out of leaves and crying if Tarzan stayed out too late?


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