Saturday, February 08, 2014

Book quotes: Without Feathers By Woody Allen

Here are a few memorable passages and quotes from the excellent “Without Feathers” by Woody Allen (reviewed here).

This opening line had me hooked:
- Getting through the night is becoming harder and harder. Last evening, I had the uneasy feeling that some men were trying to break into my room to shampoo me.

- The wheezing comes and goes, and I get dizzy more and more frequently. I have taken to violent choking and fainting. My room is damp and I have perpetual chills and palpitations of the heart. I noticed, too, that I am, out of napkins.

- Idea for a story: A man awakens to awakens to find his parrot has been made Secretary of Agriculture. He is consumed with jealousy and shoots himself.

- I am plagued by doubts. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists?  In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.

- Wandering around the fairgrounds is a beautiful girl names Natasha, who is sad because her father has been sent to fight in Khartoum, and there is no war there.

- “I jokingly suggest thou sacrifice Isaac and thou immediately runs out to do it.”
And Abraham fell to his knees, “See, I never know when you’re kidding”
And the Lord thundered, “No sense of humour, I can’t believe it.”
“But doth this not prove that I love thee, that I was willing to donate my only son on thy whim?”
And the Lord said, “It proves that some men will follow any order no matter how asinine as long as it comes from a resonant, well-modulated voice.”

- ..And it came to pass that a man who sold shirts was smitten by hard times. Neither did his merchandise move nor did he prosper. …
And the Lord hear the man (praying) and said, “About thy shirts…”
“Yes Lord,” the man said, falling to his knees.
“Put an alligator over the pocket”
“Pardon me, Lord?”
“Just do what I’m telling you. You won’t be sorry.”
And the man sewed on to all his shirts a small alligator symbol and lo and behold, suddenly his merchandise moved like gangbusters…

- “Well, I heard of this young girl. Eighteen years old. A Yassar student. For a price, she’ll come over and discuss any subject – Proust, Yeats, anthropology, Exchange of ideas. You see what I’m driving at?”
“Not exactly”
“I mean, my wife is great, don’t get me wrong. But she won’t discuss Pound with me. Or Eliot. I didn’t know that when I married her. See, I need a woman who’s mentally stimulating, Kaiser. And I’m willing to pay for it. I don’t want involvement. I want a quick intellectual experience, then I want the girl to leave. Christ, Kaiser, I’m a happily married man.”

- On the floor was a cryptic suicide note. “Dear Edna, My woollen suit itches me, and so I have decided to take my own life. See that our son finishes all his push-ups. I leave you my entire fortune, except my pork-pie hat, which I leave to the planetarium.

- …Fogarty published a magazine for new poets and although its circulation was limited to his mother, its impact was international.

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