Marc Latham’s liked quotes in Goodreads have reached double figures, and we don’t like to waste work at the Greenygrey, so it’s time for moi, G.G. Howling, literary correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by J.K. Rowling, to bring you right up to date.
Marc started his Goodreads quotes career by liking three Socrates quotes. Socrates was a philosopher in Greece 2500 years ago, when Greek mythology was still Greek religion.
He was executed for challenging orthodox thinking. Here’s the three quotes attributed to him:
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
Jack Wolfpac’s recent quote about the Greenygrey on this very blog about Marc’s Very Inspiring Blogger Award seems to reflect them: ‘If we want to inspire anything it’s independent thought, so you inspire yourself!!’
Travel Writing Quotes
Talking of Jack Wolfpac, his human inspiration Jack Kerouac has a quote from his Big Sur book, which could be seen as quite greenygreyish, a long time before the Greenygrey entered the human world!:
“…Cody is furiously explaining to his little son Tim ‘Never let the right know what your left hand is doing’…”
Marc’s recent mirror poem about flexible thinking seems to reflect that.
Marc also likes the writing of another American travel writer, Paul Theroux, and there’s a quote of his from The Great Railway Bazaar there. That seems to mirror the photo used by Marc with the above flexible thinking poem, and here it is again accompanying this. Here’s the quote:
“Ever since childhood, when I lived within earshot of the Boston and Maine, I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I was on it. Those whistles sing bewitchment: railways are irresistible bazaars… Anything is possible on a train…”
Marc had previously liked Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express, after reading it in South America when travelling there in 1994. In an exclusive update especially for the Greenygrey, Marc has just included a couple of his favourite quotes from that book:
“And yet on that bench at Jacobacci, I was glad I had left everyone else behind. Although this was a town with a main street and a railway station, and people with dogs and electric lights it was near enough to the end of the earth to give me the impression that I was a solitary explorer in a strange land. That illusion (which was an illusion in the South Pole and at the headwaters of the Nile) was enough of a satisfaction to me to make me want to go forward.”
There’s a line of poetry from Lewis Turco‘s The Death of the Astronaut, from his The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics.
Marc’s Folding Mirror poetry form is of course featured in that book, but Marc does genuinely like a lot of the poetry in the book, and especially the extract below.
The first sentence reminded him of the Tears in Rain final monologue of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, delivered by the replicant Roy Batty, portrayed by Rutger Hauer, which was also included in Grey’s Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps.
“I saw sunrises fade and burn among fleets of sparks. The moon blossomed like a lily carved of bone…’
The second line has a nice twisting metaphor, which he thought was a good lesson in how to create distinguished poetry: evoking an image of something from something else, but additionally also making the metaphor out of two seemingly unrelated items/words: lily and bone.
Socrates of Modern Crosswords
Returning to Socratian critical thinking, Marc also liked Alan Connor’s honesty about whether crosswords help the thinking brain in his book about crosswords, Two Girls, One on Each Knee: The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword:
“It’s from the newspapers that people I know – relatives and co-workers – have got the idea that crosswords are a prophylactic against Alzheimer’s. Newspapers are of course also the place where crosswords (and now sudokus) are most readily available, so the association is presumably good for circulation.”
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
That brings us to Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf, which set the quote quota off the richter scale, increasing them by 50%: from five to ten.
That’s because it has lots of quotes relevant to the Greenygrey, inspired by Shaun Ellis living with Native Americans and wolves in real life (a character called Luke in the book was based on him); so they contrast the ancient world with the modern, the animal world with the human, and returning to ‘normal’ society after having travelled outside.
Lone Wolf Quotes
More like Diogenes than Socrates, but independent of either, Ellis is thankfully still with us, and still working with wolves, trying to educate humanity about the wolf’s worth, like our very own poetry correspondent William Wolfsworth! Here’s the five:
“The Abenaki also believe that there are some people who live between the animal world and the human world, never fully belonging to either one.”
“Limbo. It’s not Heaven, and it’s not Hell. It’s the in-between.’ (Edward speaking about reading the Divine Comedy.)
Luke: ‘This was, I realised, my new address.”
“The hardest part about being back in the human world was relearning emotion. Everything a wolf does has a practical, simple reason. There is no cold shoulder, no saying one thing when you mean something else, no innuendo. Wolves fight for two reasons: family and territory. Humans are driven by ego; wolves have no room for it and will literally nip it out of you. For a wolf, the world is about understanding, knowledge, respect – attributes that many humans have cast off, along with an appreciation of the natural world.”
“The Native Americans know that wolves are mirrors for humans. What they show us are our strengths and weaknesses… When I lived with the wolves, I was proud of the reflection of myself. But when I came back, I always paled in comparison.”
“ The first Abenaki word I ever learned was Bitawbagok – the word they use for Lake Champlain. It means, literally, the waters between. Since I’ve come back from Quebec, I have thought of my address as Bitawkdakinna. I don’t know enough Abenaki to be sure it’s a real word, but translated, it is the world between.
I had become a bridge between the natural world and the human one. I fit into both places and belonged to neither. Half of my heart lived with the wild wolves, the other half lived with my family.”