05 April, 2013

Quotable Friday (5)





I love reading quotations. Whether they’re funny, wise or poignant, I love those snapshots into the human mind; I love the beauty of language. There aren’t always easy ways to crowbar great passages from novels or thoughtful quotations into ordinary blog posts, so on Fridays I’m letting them speak for themselves. No deep thoughts, no fancy attempts to unpick hidden meanings – just snippets of our beautiful language I’ve come across that I’ve fallen in love with. I’d love to know what you think of them. 







This week's quotation is from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller and was recommended to me by my wonderful father-in-law. Like many quotations that tickle my fancy, this one is just a perfect bit of characterisation. Drawing characters is hard - I'm in awe of anyone who can do it with originality and flair! Catch-22 was one of a few books I've read where I loved some of the sentences and paragraphs but really didn't like the book as a whole. I know I'm in a minority there though!

“Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.”

4 comments:

  1. Even though it parodies an existing quote, it is such a well-defined description that I can't help but wonder if it was based upon a 'real' (i.e. living off the page) person.

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    1. I hope whoever it was didn't recognise themselves when they read the book (though I suspect they wouldn't). It's fairly damning!

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  2. That is a great line.

    Years ago, I started reading Catch 22, but couldn't get into it. I got about 2/3 way through and still haven't finished it to this day. Maybe I should try again.

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    1. Yeah, I didn't really enjoy it at all either. But there are individual lines like this which I think are brilliant!

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