Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House
“ Vistas of inevitable simplicity and ineffable harmonies would open, so beautiful to me that I was not only delighted, but often startled. ”
Evelyn Waugh, Black Mischief, Chapter 5
“ It was from the least expected quarter, the tribesmen and villagers, that the real support for Seth’s Birth Control policy suddenly appeared. ”
Leon R. Kass, The Beginning of Wisdom, Pp. 406-7.
“ The biblical counterpart of Odysseus, Jacob must solve the fundamental human difficulties illustrated in the pre-Abrahamic chapters of Genesis. ”
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (paperback edition), p210-1
“ I couldn’t manage to be anywhere near a nun, let alone a pair of them, without a mind awash in my none-too-pure Jewish thoughts. ”
Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever
“ It was natural to bring out the small change and jerk the handles and watch the lemons and the oranges and the cherries and the bell fruits whirl round to their final click-pause-ting, followed by a soft mechanical sigh. Five cents, ten cents, a quarter. Bond gave them all a try… ”
David Pryce-Jones, “Jews, Arabs, and French Diplomacy: A Special Report”
“ The Zionists must understand once and for all that there can be no question of constituting an independent Jewish state in Palestine, or even forming some sovereign Jewish body. ”
Charles Darwin, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, Chapter 1, General Principles of Expression
“ It is well known that cats dislike wetting their feet, owing, it is probable, to their having aboriginally inhabited the dry country of Egypt; and when they wet their feet they shake them violently. My daughter poured some water into a glass close to the head of a kitten; and it immediately shook its feet in the usual manner; so that here we have an habitual movement falsely excited by an associated sound instead of by the sense of touch. ”
Edward Lear, Journals of a Landscape Painter in the Balkans
“ Not the least annoyance was that given me by the persevering attentions of a mad or fanatic dervish, of most singular appearance as well as conduct. His note of ‘Shaitán‘ was frequently sounded; and as he twirled about, and performed many curious antics, he frequently advanced to me, shaking a long hooked stick, covered with jingling ornaments, in my very face, pointing to the Kawas with menacing looks, as though he would say, “Were it not for this protector you should he annihilated, you infidel!” ”
Robert Graves, I, Claudius
“ The drink was as remarkable as the food, and Caligula became so lively as the meal went on that, deprecating his own generosity to Herod in the past as something hardly worth mentioning, he now promised to give him whatever it lay in his power to grant. “Ask me anything, my dearest Herod,” he said, “And it shall be yours.” He repeated: “Absolutely anything. I swear by my own Divinity that I will grant it.” ”
t was like Nixon not to have told them I’d resigned. On the other hand, it was like him to sense that I might make something of the U.N. After his election he had asked Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota to take the post, and McCarthy had accepted on condition that the Republican governor of that state appoint a Democrat to succeed him in the Senate. The governor declined, and the appointment did not go through, but the President kept looking for a person who could acknowledge our own moral failings and yet make no apologies to our moral inferiors. Nixon understood more about liberals than liberals ever understood about him. He took it as given that we had a role in the scheme of things — a tolerance not always reciprocated.
In the end, I stayed in the White House longer than a month. Summer passed, the second without violence. The Southern schools were at long last integrated. The President asked once again that I go to the United Nations; this time I agreed. In September he took me on a trip around Europe: “To strengthen the structure of peace,” as it was billed. In that I was a member of the Cabinet, protocol provided that I step out of Air Force One behind the President and ahead of Kissinger, who was also on the journey. Somehow Kissinger invariably reached the ground ahead of me.
It was his obsession that no one ever should appear to be closer to the President than he, while neither should anyone be seen to hold this President in greater contempt. This was so much a preoccupation as to be, in a way, impersonal. It was not the usual White House style. Presidential aides do not succeed Presidents, and so, in the main, despite the conflicts within any such court, its members do not much conspire. But then, Kissinger did not operate in the usual style of a presidential aide. It was his view, and he did not conceal it, save possibly from the President, that Richard Nixon did not deserve to be President.
Kissinger’s own style was that of the Politburo, and indeed in time, in a sufficient sense, he did succeed his master. For most of the two Watergate years, during which civil war, as he thought of it and as he described it, raged in the country, Kissinger was able to perform the duties of President in foreign affairs. It was an act of courage and of daring beyond anything seen in our time. One’s only reservation is that he helped bring on that civil war, and, had he been in an actual Politburo, would have done so deliberately.
A Well-Scrubbed, Cute Little Boy