"When it comes to hard fact, eight out of ten locutions among mates long married are in the accusative. Expletives, of course, are invariably so. This remains no less true if the married phoneme is but a sigh, or a sudden and vigorous exhalation through the nostrils. A virtual 'top quark' in married grammar is what our cutting-edge theoreticians are now calling the expletive silence."
Hitler Abroad: Wyndham Lewis Shops the Fuhrer
"What with communism and fascism at each other's throats and between them squeezing what life there was left out of the western democracies, Lewis saw no other option but to deposit his pens and brushes with Italy's 'ice-cream agitator' Mussolini."
Modes of Denial
"As a resident of Los Angeles, where the residue of Hollywood creeps over the hills and through the paved valleys in the form of media saturation and film crews setting up their complicated imitations of reality, and where one might see a minor celebrity pass by with the same feeling of vague recognition as seeing a face from one's own past, I sometimes get the impression that I'm living in a world where one's identity must somehow be media-verified in order to be real."
On The Value of "Worthless" Endeavor
Wheeler Winston Dixon
"Nobody had any money; we lived in cheap apartments that cost as little as $100 a month, worked a variety of odd jobs to keep the wolf from the door, and plowed nearly everything we made back into films; films that had no market, no commercial value, and were so resolutely personal that it seemed that no one, outside of a small circle of friends, could ever possibly find them of value, worth or interest."
My Father, Mr. Hoover, and the Emperor of Japan
"And so it didn't strike us as odd that Dad went off to Washington to work on word games. He was good at them, and if the government had had an interest in Hangman or the Double Crostic, I guessed he would be doing that. I later heard how he, at thirty-eight too old for military service, responded to a boxed ad run alongside the cryptogram box,
GOOD AT PUZZLES? HELP YOUR COUNTRY
listing a WHitehall 3 number. That famously posh exchange should have been a tell that something big was up."
Exploding New York
Steven H. Jaffe
"Yet the September 16 bombing also represented something new: an indiscriminate attack on the mass of random passing pedestrians, an assault aimed at terrorizing the entire population, not just selected officials, businessmen, or landmarks. The wagon, packed with fifty pounds of blasting gelatin and five hundred pounds of iron window sash weights to cause maximum shrapnel damage, was the first major vehicle bomb in modern world history. The death count remains the third worst from a terrorist attack in America, following 9/11 and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing."