The Winter of Our Discontent

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He who is not impatient is not in love.
Italian Proverb
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The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) by John Steinbeck

Part One

Chapter II

  • "I'm sorry," Ethan said. "You have taught me something -- maybe three things, rabbit footling mine. Three things will never be believed -- the true, the probable, and the logical. I know now where to get the money to start my fortune."

Chapter III

  • It is strange how a man believes he can think better in a special place. I have such a place, have always had it, but I know it isn't thinking I do there, but feeling and experiencing and remembering. It's a safety place -- everyone must have one, although I never heard a man tell of it.
  • They successfully combined piracy and puritanism, which aren't so unlike when you come right down to it. Both had a strong dislike for opposition and both had a roving eye for other people's property.
  • No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
  • Does anyone ever know even the outer fringe of another? What are you like in there? Mary -- do you hear? Who are you in there?

Chapter V

  • A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers.

Chapter VI

  • To be alive at all is to have scars.
  • No one wants advice -- only corroboration.

Chapter VIII

  • There's something desirable about anything you're used to as opposed to something you're not."

Part Two

Chapter XI

  • All men are moral. Only their neighbors are not.

Chapter XIII

  • Maybe not having time to think is not having the wish to think.

Chapter XIV

  • Not only the brave get killed, but the brave have a better chance of it.
  • Good God, what a mess of draggle-tail impulses a man is -- and a woman too, I guess.