collected short stories-roald dahl

“You can’t have frustration without desire…” (26, William and Mary)

i thought about this long and hard, and i can’t claim that i’ve over thinking about it. it’s really so deep, right? but you have to consider the different kinds of desire-and especially as of late, the frustration that comes from the unfulfilled desire for justice. i think that is the one that makes this quote the realest for me.

this was patrick dewitt’s recommendation, well switch bitch was, and when i went to look it up, i only found this whole collection, and why not-except that it was kind of terrifying. but hell, the children’s books were scary enough for me, i don’t know why i thought i could handle the adult stories, but hey-excellent writing is excellent writing. i only skimmed a few stories, i mostly enjoyed the whole thing.

i seemed to have pulled passages about appearance and how we judge each other on that, and that in itself is interesting:

“Her features, which must have been quite pleasant once, had now gone completely. The mouth was slack, the cheeks loose and flabby, and the whole face gave the impression of having slowly but surely sagged to pieces through years and years of joyless married life.” (31, William and Mary)

“She was also a spinster, though you would never have guessed that either, for there was nothing spinsterish about Aunt Glosspan. She was never bitter or gloomy or irritable; she didn’t have a moustache; and she wasn’t in the least bit jealous of other people, which in itself is something you can seldom say about either a spinster or a virgin lady, although of course it is not known for certain whether Aunt Glosspan qualified on both counts.” (157, Pig)

“Personally, I mistrust all handsome men. The superficial pleasure of this life come too easily to them, and they seem to walk the world as though they themselves were personally responsible for their own good looks. I don’t mind a woman being pretty. That’s different. But in a man, I’m sorry, but somehow or other I find it downright offensive.” (506, Galloping Foxley)

“…I had never liked him, and this I think was manly because I have a deep suspicion of all people who carry their military titles back with them into private life-especially majors and colonels.” (552, Neck)

“The quality may be inferior, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the cost of production that counts. And stories-well-they’re just another product, like carpets and chairs, and no one cares how you produce them so long as you deliver the goods. We’ll sell them wholesale, Mr Bohlen! We’ll undercut every writer in the country! We’ll corner the market!” (599, The Great Automatic Grammatizator)

“She is a suspicious person, my mother. She is especially suspicious of two things-strange men and boiled eggs. When she cuts the top off a boiled egg, she pokes around inside it with her spoon as though expecting to find a mouse or something. With strange men, she has a golden rule which says, ‘The nicer the man seems to be, the more suspicious you must become.’ This little old man was particularly nice. He was polite.” (661, The Umbrella Man)

yo go mami, trust no one.


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