Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Extracts: Purpose and passion (or lack thereof) in life

From Middlemarch:
We are on a perilous margin when we begin to look passively at our future selves, and see our own figures led with dull consent into insipid misdoing and shabby achievement. - from Chapter 79, Sunset and Sunrise

But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope. - from Chapter 51, The Dead Hand

It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self – never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted. - from Chapter 29, Waiting for Death


naida said...

All interesting quotes. I do like that last one best. It rings so true!

Lucy said...

The last one, Casaubon's imprisonment in a 'small hungry shivering self', is so poignant, and yet the more she begs our compassion and understanding towards him, the more I dislike him. Not sure if that's good or bad! But I never cease to be delighted that the book can still evoke such strong responses from me, and there's still so much to be found afresh in it.