The Snippets Project

June 2001

So. There is that garden. And there is
First Woman and Ahdamn. And there are the
animals and the plants and all their
relations. And there is all that food.

"Boy," says Coyote, "that food
certainly smells good."
They can't eat my stuff, says that GOD. And
that one jumps into the garden.

Oh, oh, says First Woman when she sees that
GOD land in her garden. Just when we were
getting things organized.

[Thomas King,Green grass, running water,1993,locate]
Edward III had very good manners. One day at
a royal dance he noticed some men-about-court
mocking a lady whose garter had come off,
whereupon to put her at her ease he stopped
the dance and made the memorable epitaph:
"Honi soie qui mal y pense" ("Honey,
your silk stocking's hanging down") and
having replaced the garter with a romantic
gesture gave the ill-mannered courtiers the
Order of the Bath. (This was an extreme form
of torture in the Middle Ages.)

[W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman,1066 and All That,1931,locate]
Boys hanging from the most beautiful sycamores
in the world. It shamed her--remembering the
wonderful soughing trees rather than the boys.
Try as she might to make it otherwise, the
sycamores beat out the children every time and
she could not forgive her memory for that.

[Toni Morrison,Beloved,1988,locate]
"You be careful with that tree now. These things
are like explosives, you know. I sold these people
a tree, I think it was last year, and two days
later they was all dead. It blew up one night and
burned them all so you couldn't tell one from the
other. I tell you I wouldn't have one if you paid
me. Even fresh--they can go off like a bomb, you
know Boom! Just like that."
"Merry Christmas," Dad said.
"God help you," said Mr. Munch.

[Garrison Keillor,Lake Wobegon Days,1985,locate]
"Go back and tell the king that at that hour I will
smother the whole world in the dead blackness of
midnight; I will blot out the sun, and he shall
never shine again; the fruits of the earth shall
rot for lack of light and warmth, and the peoples
of the earth shall famish and die, to the last man!"

[Mark Twain,A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court,1889,locate]
'Holy saints!' he cried again. 'Deeping!' He
stared helplessly, then swung round on
Mackintosh. 'Deeping dead! And you're telling
me he was murdered! Good God! Surely not!'

'I'm feared it doesna look like an accident!'

[Freeman Wills Crofts,Mystery in the Channel,1931,locate]
The reassembled body of Tutankhamen was placed
on a wooden litter filled with sand and put inside
the largest outer coffin, then lowered into the
sarcophagus where it remains today. Tourists
peering into the open sarcophagus see the outer
coffin, but few realize that the mummy still
lies inside.

[Bob Brier,The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story,1998,locate]
"Let us imagine now a hotel with an infinite number
of rooms, all taken up, and an infinite number of
guests who come in and ask for rooms.
"'Certainly, gentlemen,' says the proprietor,
'just wait a minute.'
"He moves the occupant of N1 into N2, the occupant
of N2 into N4, the occupant of N3 into N6, and so
on, and so on...
"Now all odd-numbered rooms become free and the
infinity of new guests can easily be accomodated
in them."

[George Gamow,One, Two, Three... Infinity,1947,locate]
It's been a disastrous fishing season for Port
Anguish fishermen. Harold Nightingale has taken
exactly nine cod all season long. "Two years
ago," he said, "we took 170,000 pounds of cod
off Bumpy Banks. This year--less than zero. I
dunno what I'm going to do. Take in washing, maybe."

[E. Annie Proulx,The Shipping News,1993,locate]
The witches hear some dear friends calling, and
depart. "Fair is foul, and foul is fair," they
comment philosophically as they leave. This must
have been pretty upsetting to any moralists,
semanticists, or baseball umpires who chanced
to overhear them.

[Richard Armour,Twisted Tales From Shakespeare,1957,locate]
VANDAMM:   This matter is best disposed
of from a great height over water.

[Alfred Hitchcock,North By Northwest,1959,locate]
Then I turned round and saw the sky. It was red
and all my life was in it. I saw the grandfather
clock and Aunt Cora's patchwork, all colours, I
saw the orchids and the stephanotis and the
jasmine and the tree of life in flames.

[Jean Rhys,Wide Sargasso Sea,1966,locate]
Even with the temperature of the bath, there was
a heat which came distinctly from her body. It
seeped through the skin of my palms, up my wrists
to my elbows, and flooded straight into my heart.
The room was quiet, only the sound of bathwater
lapping and my blood roaring in my ears.

[Larissa Lai,When Fox is A Thousand,1995,locate]
"Well, it could mean that you are weaning me away
from my awe for your wisdom and higher standing
in the social order because you think my learning
has reached a level on which I stand as a full
member of the band."
"Or it could mean that you do not have a really
good notion of why we are doing all this riding."

[George Bowering,Caprice,1987,locate]
And of top of that, she had such an unbelievable,
wonderful smell, as if she had never taken a
bath in her whole life.

[Jamaica Kincaid,Annie John,1986,locate]
She leans the plane left over the islands,
thinks how easy left has become, how the
plane slides that way by itself. It seems
inconceivable now that she will ever bank
right again. Not just the plane, she
thinks. Left is the direction that her
body automatically pulls as well.

[Helen Humphreys,Leaving Earth,1997,locate]
Every time she put her shod foot down, the
satin shoe hissed when it touched water.
The branches switched her and tore off her
dress till only the two sleeves were left
on her, and otherwise she was naked. She
stopped to pant, but the alligator lumbered
up out the black water beside the tree
where she stood. This time she saw herself
carefully remove the remaining shoe, and
slowly stretch her naked body along his
scaled and ridgy back, her head above his
head. Then she reached out before his jaws
and proffered the shoe, which he snapped
from her hand, and crunched happily.

[Eugene Walter,The Byzantine Riddle: Careless Willadell,1985,locate]
I don't remember when I first saw Victorine
Meurent, but I wouldn't have recognized her
or known her name at the time. No one would
have. She was just another naked woman in a

[Eunice Lipton,Alias Olympia: A Woman's Search for Manet's Notorious Model & Her Own Desire,1992,locate]
"I am still awaiting an explanation for this
intolerable ruse, if ruse it was. Dr.Watson
may tell you that it is very dangerous for
me to leave London for any length of time. It
generates in the criminal classes an unhealthy
excitement when my absence is discovered."

[Nicholas Meyer,The Seven-Per-Cent Solution,1974,locate]
A country road. A tree.

[Samuel Beckett,waiting for godot,1954,locate]
In certain moods I must confess that I find the
Bain Turc a slightly comic picture. No wonder
that it was made into a greetings card, with the
caption 'The whole gang misses you'.

[Kenneth Clark,The Romantic Rebellion,1973,locate]
A painting like Olympia seems much less
dubious in taste now than confections such
as The Birth of Venus that were greeted
with universal satisfaction. What seemed
provocative now seems truthful; what
appeared charming has become dishonest.

[Michael Gill,Image of the Body: Aspects of the Nude,1989,locate]
There before us lay the sealed door, and with its
opening we were to blot out the centuries and
stand in the presence of a king who reigned three
thousand years ago. My feelings as I mounted the
platform were a strange mixture, and it was with
a trembling hand that I struck the first blow.

[Howard Carter,The Tomb of Tutankhamen,1923,locate]
All that was currently on offer was some luke-warm
noodle soup, great gobbets of some unidentifiable
meat which looked as if it had been hacked to
pieces by a maniac with an axe, and what where
literally smashed potatoes.

[Eric Newby,The Big Red Train Ride,1978,locate]
"The next time a girl wants a little powder-room
change," she called, not teasing at all, "take my
advice, darling: don't give her twenty-cents!"

[Truman Capote,Breakfast at Tiffany's,1958,locate]
Learning to draw is really a matter of learning
to see -- to see correctly -- and that means a
good deal more than merely looking with the eye.

[Kimon Nicolaides,The Natural Way to Draw,1941,locate]
Rikki-tikki had a right to be proud of himself;
but he did not grow too proud, and he kept that
garden as a mongoose should keep it, with tooth
and jump and spring and bite, till never a
cobra dared show its head inside the walls.

[Rudyard Kipling,The Jungle Book,1894,locate]
He felt terrible pain in his hands, feet and
heart. His sight cleared and he saw the crown
of thorns, the blood, the cross... His head
quivered. Suddenly he remembered where he was,
who he was and why he felt pain. A wild
indomitable joy took possession of him. No, no,
he was not a coward, a deserter, a traitor.

[Nikos Kazantzakis (trans P.A. Bien) ,The Last Temptation of Christ,1955,locate]
`It is required of every man,' the Ghost returned,
`that the spirit within him should walk abroad
among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and
if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is
condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to
wander through the world -- oh, woe is me! -- and
witness what it cannot share, but might have
shared on earth, and turned to happiness!'

[Charles Dickens,A Christmas Carol,1843,locate]
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

[Samuel Taylor Coleridge,The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts,,1797-8,locate]