12 April 2011

As good a corner as possible

"You must have changed immensely. A year ago you valued your liberty beyond everything. You wanted only to see life."
"I've seen it," said Isabel. "It doesn't look to me now, I admit, such an inviting expanse."
"I don't pretend it is; only I had an idea that you took a genial view of it and wanted to survey the whole field."
"I've seen that one can't do anything so general. One must choose a corner and cultivate that."
"That's what I think. And one must choose as good a corner as possible."
-from The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James


  1. Matthew Taylor14 April, 2011 00:54

    Cultivate - is not that a good word? It is my second favourite of all.

    Someday you should pick up The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. It is about cultivating neighbourhoods in big cities.

  2. Thank you, it will go onto my booklist. :)

    And what is number one?

  3. Matthew Taylor15 April, 2011 03:37

    Why love, of course. Not amor, not agape, nor any other foreign or ancient sophistication. The English monosyllable.

    Moi luff!

    Mah luuv!

    My love!