Paul Theroux Quotes
86 Sourced Quotes
Mustn't grumble was the most English of expressions. English patience was mingled inertia and despair. What was the use? But Americans did nothing but grumble! Americans also boasted. "I do some pretty incredible things was not an English expression. "I'm fairly keen" was not American. Americans were showoffs — it was part of our innocence — we often fell on our faces; the English seldom showed off, so they seldom looked like fools.
Assigning human personalities to animals is the chief trait of the pet owner—the doting dog-lover with his baby talk, the smug stay-at-home with a fat lump of fur on her lap who says, "Me, I'm a cat person," and the granny who puts her nose against the tin cage and makes kissing noises at her parakeet. Their affection is often tinged with a sense of superiority. Deer and duck hunters never talk this way about their prey, though big game hunters— Hemingway is the classic example — often sentimentalize the creatures they blow to bits and then lovingly stuff to hang on the wall.